Sustainable development: a core value for Centraide

June 10, 2022 •  By Centraide

Sustainable development is a core value for Centraide that is expressed both within the organization and in the community through its investment and support strategy for agencies. 

At Centraide

Since its creation, the Sustainable Development Committee has continued its work to promote sustainable practices: 

  • Deployment of a carbon footprint reduction strategy, including reduction targets. 
  • Implementation of guidelines and policies for sustainable resource and waste management.  
  • Integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria in the analysis and decision-making process for the investments of the Centraide of Greater Montreal Foundation. 

In the community

Centraide is a stakeholder when it comes to sustainable development in Greater Montreal neighbourhoods, notably through its collaborative approach, investment strategy based on sustainable solutions, and desire for measurable impacts. 

Centraide makes a direct or indirect contribution to 10 of the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals. 

No poverty

Centraide’s primary mission is to fight poverty and social exclusion. It works on the ground with Greater Montreal neighbourhoods to support a vast network of community agencies that help and improve the living conditions of vulnerable individuals and families.

Zero hunger

Food security is a priority for Centraide’s investments. By supporting initiatives as diverse as collective gardens, group purchases, community grocery stores, collective kitchens, and food deliveries to vulnerable people, Centraide plays a key role in food security in the territory and is the largest social investor in this sector after the provincial government.

Quality education

Youth success is an important tool in the fight against poverty. Every student who graduates from high school embarks on a path to a better future and better living conditions. Centraide works with all of its partners in academic perseverance (schools, community agencies, institutions, etc.) to provide ongoing support to young people and their families in their efforts to succeed.

Gender equality

Women are a group that is at greater risk of poverty and social exclusion. Women also make up the majority of people (60%) who use the services of the network of agencies supported by Centraide. They receive support in many aspects of their lives, such as housing, food, and access to support networks. These agencies include about twenty women’s centres that strive to make a difference on specific women’s realities and take action to raise awareness and fight discrimination.

Decent work and economic growth

The social and professional integration of marginalized people is an important strategy within the network of agencies supported by Centraide. For example, single mothers, young dropouts, people with disabilities, and racialized people can benefit from pre-employability programs that help them achieve greater self-sufficiency.

Reduced inequalities

The past few years have revealed the extent of existing social inequalities. Not all individuals and families are equal when it comes to the health crisis and soaring inflation. The community sector acts as a critical component of the social safety net by providing support and services to meet basic needs.

Sustainable cities and communities

In every Greater Montreal neighbourhood, citizens and organizations are joining forces to find solutions to the problems in their area. Neighbourhood roundtables mobilize communities around issues related to housing, food, education, transportation, urban planning and more by deploying collective projects that focus on lasting solutions. Centraide financially supports Greater Montreal’s network of neighbourhood roundtables.

Responsible consumption and production

The launch of the Collective Impact Project in 2016 has been an opportunity for many Montreal neighbourhoods to lay the initial foundations for local food systems or to reinforce existing ones to provide food security to people in a situation of poverty. These food systems promote access to healthy, local food that is grown with a concern for social, economic and environmental equity. These systems are made up of different interrelated links, from production and waste management to processing, distribution, and consumption.

Paix, justice et institutions efficaces

Centraide supports nearly sixty community agencies in Greater Montreal that advocate for collective rights. These advocacy agencies shine a light on social problems (access to housing, lack of accessibility) and discrimination (racism, sexism, homophobia). They help implement programs (social housing, accessibility) and improve legislation (employment insurance, labour standards, consumer protection).

Partnership for the goals

No single organization alone can solve complex problems like poverty or generate substantial social change. This is why Centraide encourages all social development partners to collaborate to meet their goals to fight poverty and social exclusion: citizens, community agencies, their coordinating bodies and groups, philanthropic foundations, the business community, institutions, cities, and governments.