City of Pittsburgh Announces Second Voluntary Local Review of Sustainable Development Goals

PITTSBURGH, PA (November 10, 2021) The City of Pittsburgh has released its second Voluntary Local Review (VLR) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which the City adopted in 2019. The 2021 review builds off the information and recommendations from the initial review and focuses specifically on City Procurement, considering initiatives and contracts funded by or through the City. 

VLRs provide a framework for the City to integrate SDGs into its work, keep a record of the City’s actions, measure progress and highlight opportunities for growth. The first VLR, published in November 2020, laid the groundwork for Pittsburgh’s alignment with the SDGs by localizing the 17 universal goals to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and improve the quality of life for every human being. The review also provided an overview of the City’s sustainable initiatives and policies and recommended future steps.  

The 2021 VLR sets a framework for sustainable procurement: buy local, sustainable, ethical and circular. The projects listed may have received funding from the City’s Capital Budget, Operating Budget, federal/state/nonprofit grants or through public-private partnerships. It also analyzes four key areas of City spending: 

  • City Initiatives and Related Professional/Non-Professional Services 
  • Commodities, Equipment and Utilities Contracts 
  • American Rescue Plan Funds Allocations 
  • Financial Investment Strategies  

“The Voluntary Local Review process serves as a periodic report card on Pittsburgh’s progress towards collectively achieving these Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” said Grant Ervin, Chief Resilience Officer. “We are partnering with nonprofits, universities and philanthropies to implement these goals and improve outcomes for all residents in the region.” 

The City’s adoption of the SDGs and the development of the VLR is a cross-departmental partnership between the Department of City Planning, Office of Management & Budget, Mayor’s Office of Equity, Commission on Human Relations and Gender Equity Commission to incorporate SDGs into Procurement and Community Development. For example, in September 2020, the City of Pittsburgh adopted “Socially Responsible Investing” guidelines to ensure that pension investments in companies are divested from fossil fuels, for profit prisons, firearms and ammunition. 

Adopting the SDGs and conducting the VLR demonstrates Pittsburgh’s leadership in thinking global and acting local. It connects our communities throughout the region by promoting equitable and resilient solutions for all while also plugging Pittsburgh into a global support network of cities looking to lead the way to a sustainable future.    

The City of Pittsburgh’s 2021 VLR can be viewed here and last year's VLR is available here


Save as PDF
Experimental - may have alignment issues.


Molly Onufer
Communications Director
Mayor's Office