Council of the Great Lakes Region Announces First Sustainability Fellows to Accelerate Progress on Sustainability and Resilient Infrastructure in the Great Lakes Region


November 9, 2023

Ottawa, ON and Cleveland, OH

The Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) in Canada and the CGLR Foundation in the United States are pleased to announce the appointment of Daniel Hoornweg, PhD, PEng and Michael Sanio, F.ASCE, ENV-SP as CGLR’s first Sustainability Fellows.

Together, Dan Hoornweg, who is based in Ontario, Canada and is currently on research leave from Ontario Tech University, and Michael Sanio, who is based in Reston, Virginia and is the founder of the Atlas Initiative for Climate Resilient Infrastructure and who is the former Director of Sustainability with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), will contribute to furthering CGLR’s work and impact with respect to solving for sustainability in the Great Lakes region.

Many different indicators are needed to understand top sustainability risks and tipping points and to capture progress in living within certain planetary boundaries, much like measuring the health of a patient, such as blood pressure and weight, which, when measured overtime, provide observable trends that are critical for decision making and moving in a better direction. Such indicators, however, do not exist for the Great Lakes region, North America’s economic engine and the guardian of 20% of the world’s surface freshwater, or its cities and industries.

Therefore, as outlined in the report, Sustainable Great Lakes: A Regional Assessment of Sustainability in the Binational Great Lakes Megaregion, authored by Dr. Hoornweg for CGLR, both Fellows have been tasked with guiding the development of a dashboard to track sustainability at the regional and city-level using some 60 open-sourced bio-physical and socio-economic indicators. They will also promote the use of sustainability cost-curves, a novel framework that will help regional policymakers and planners assess the sustainability of proposed infrastructure projects before urban planning decisions and large-scale investments are made.

Moreover, the Fellows will look for opportunities to demonstrate the use of other tools for improving sustainability and infrastructure resilience, such as ASCE’s Sustainable Infrastructure Standard, the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision framework, and the Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee Protocol and Program run by Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), the Climate Risk Institute (CRI) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH Climate Risk Institute.


“The majority of sustainability measures are set a global and national level, which are too broad for meaningful action where the economy and society operates and where environmental degradation occurs,” said Mark Fisher, President and CEO of the CGLR. “We’re very excited to be working with two leading sustainability and resiliency experts, Daniel Hoornweg and Michael Sanio, over the next year to further develop a sustainability framework to inform regional planning and infrastructure investments using the Great Lakes region as a case study.”

Biographical Notes

Daniel Hoornweg
Michael Sanio

About CGLR

CGLR is a network of organizations comprised of CGLR Foundation, CGLR USA, and CGLR Canada. It is dedicated to creating stronger, more dynamic regional collaborations through dialogue, policy research and programs, and advocacy in order to find new ways of harnessing the bi-national Great Lakes region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and livelihoods of the region’s citizens, and protecting the environment and the Great Lakes for future generations. Learn more at

For More Information:

Mark P. Fisher

President and CEO

613-668-2044 /

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