Friday 14 April 2023

Standards Council of Canada & World Council on City Data Collaborate on a New ISO Standard Focusing on ESG Indicators for Cities

 April 14, 2023

Toronto, Ontario

On a global scale, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles are at the core of the discussion on responsible investment. One of the significant stakeholders in ESG-driven investments across Canada and globally are cities. Municipal leaders nationwide (and globally) recognize the importance of high-calibre data to support and validate the ESG-focused commitments made through their debenture programs with their investors. Similarly, the investment community is searching for standardized criteria and trusted measurement platforms to make investment decisions and monitor the year-over-year impacts of these investments. A new, Canadian-led ISO standard – ISO 37125: Environmental, Social and Governance Indicators for Cities – is emerging as a solution to this challenge.

"From our conversations with city leaders, it has become clear that a standardized set of ESG-focussed key performance indicators (KPIs) are needed to meet the demand by cities to embrace ESG-focussed financial instruments. Specifically, these city leaders require high-calibre KPIs to respond to ESG compliance criteria set by institutional investors," states World Council on City Data (WCCD) President and CEO Dr. Patricia McCarney. "From experience in leading the design of the ISO 37120 Series, ISO standardization emerged as a natural tool to overcome that challenge. Through the leadership of partners like SCC and forward-thinking municipalities like the City of Toronto, ISO 37125 will help cities obtain ESG-focused investment as a clear path towards a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient future."

Following the successful collaboration that resulted in the development of the ISO 37120 Series, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and the WCCD have partnered to contribute to the development of ISO 37125. The results of this months-long consultation process will bolster the ongoing work of the Canadian Mirror Committee of ISO/TC 268, which is leading the development of this standard.

"Standardization offers immense value in helping public and private sectors establish ESG frameworks to build a more sustainable future," says Chantal Guay, CEO of SCC. "We are committed to advancing solutions for ESG-driven investment and are proud of our partnership with WCCD, which under its CEO, Dr. Patricia McCarney, created measurable change on a global scale. Together, we will continue to leverage Canada's leadership to collaborate with additional partners in the private sector and across all levels of government."

Convening discussions with municipal and private sector investment leaders across Canada as part of the WCCD-SCC collaboration, one of the most vocal champions of ISO 37125 is the City of Toronto's Chief Financial Officer, Heather Taylor. "The City of Toronto is committed to a ten-year capital plan which aligns with ESG principles to secure a sustainable and resilient future for Toronto residents, businesses and visitors," states Ms. Taylor. "Our work with the WCCD – and more than eight years of ISO-standardized city data – is an essential part of our annual ESG report and has become a critical benchmark for the City's sustainable debenture program investors. ISO 37125 will be another valuable and informative resource as we work with investors to secure the capital required to fulfill Toronto's commitments towards greater sustainability and resiliency."

In a recent news release, following a ceremony acknowledging the City of Toronto's eight-year collaborative partnership with the WCCD, Toronto has become the first city globally to announce its intent to implement ISO 37125 through its partnership with the WCCD.

About the WCCD

The WCCD was founded in 2014 and helps communities of all sizes worldwide embrace standardized, independently verified and globally comparable city data to become more sustainable, resilient, prosperous, inclusive and smart. ISO 37120, ISO 37122, ISO 37123 and the soon-to-be published ISO 37125, now called the ISO 37120 Series, is a Canadian-led, global innovation and is being implemented in more than forty countries.

About the SCC

Since 1970, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) has helped make life safer, healthier, more prosperous and sustainable for people, communities and businesses in Canada through the power of standardization. SCC works with a vast network of partners nationally and around the world, acting as Canada's voice on standards and accreditation on the international stage, including as a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). As the country's leading accreditation organization, SCC creates market confidence at home and abroad by ensuring conformity assessment bodies meet the highest expectations. In all these ways, SCC opens a world of possibilities.


For more information, please contact:

Dr. Patricia McCarney

WCCD President & CEO

Tuesday 11 April 2023

WCCD & Statistics Canada Renew Longstanding Partnership


April 11, 2023
Ottawa, Ontario 

Hosted by the Chief Statistician of Statistics Canada, Mr. Anil Arora, the WCCD President and CEO, Dr. Patricia McCarney, and members of the WCCD Team were in Ottawa to participate in a signing ceremony to renew the longstanding partnership between the two organizations. 
“For the WCCD, Statistics Canada is a critical partner. Both organizations share a common goal to equip cities with the critical data needed to increase prosperity while improving service delivery for residents,” stated Dr. McCarney. “Signing this partnership renewal is important not only for the WCCD but for the more than thirty cities across the country embracing the ISO 37120 Series of Standards on City Data. It helps to harmonize data sources and enables apples-to-apples comparisons while equipping city leaders with the information they need as they build back from the challenges of COVID-19.” 
The WCCD has been collaborating actively with Statistics Canada since 2017. Beyond the high-calibre data that this partnership provides for Canadian municipalities, it is also an opportunity to advance shared local and global agendas, including, for example, a mutual commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Additionally, this renewed partnership will seek to work across both partners – and with Canadian municipalities – to create “data-driven stories” highlighting challenges and successes across the country. 
Statistics Canada will also contribute advice on the development of the newest ISO standard for cities - ISO 37125 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Indicators for Cities - alongside the Government of Canada and, in particular, the Standards Council of Canada. Working with partners across all levels of government – and throughout the private sector – the WCCD is working to ensure that ISO 37125 will help to create a more effective mechanism to enable municipalities to unlock sustainable, private-sector finance underpinned by the principles of ESG. 
For more information, please contact: 
Dr. Patricia McCarney
President & CEO
World Council on City Data