Institute for Sustainable Communities
The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) is an international nonprofit organization specializing in helping communities, government agencies, NGOs, and businesses accomplish their environmental, economic, and social goals – with a particular focus on climate mitigation and adaptation. ISC’s programs facilitate peer learning and engagement among local leaders charged with making their communities more sustainable. ISC has led more than 100 projects in 30 countries, and currently works in China, India, Bangladesh, and the United States.
ISC works with local partners to design and implement projects that mobilize communities to protect and sustain clean air, water, and land; adopt energy efficiency measures and conserve resources; reduce the causes and adapt to the local effects of climate disruption; strengthen community-based organizations to become influential partners alongside business and government; and rebuild sustainably after disasters.
In the U.S., ISC’s flagship platform is the Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy, which uses intensive peer-learning workshops to share best practices and accelerate learning on such topics as low-carbon transportation, food systems, adaptation and resilience, green/ local economy, and energy efficiency. Working with small cross-sector teams from across the U.S., ISC helps government and community leaders develop the skills they need to make the case for sustainability and create effective stakeholder partnerships for action.
ISC makes use of this platform - along with technical assistance and knowledge dissemination - to advance three interrelated areas of focus:
- Community-Driven Resilience: ISC works with community-based organizations – particularly through its Partnership for Resilient Communities – to build the capacity of these organizations to shape and inform resilience-building initiatives in their own communities.
- Clean Energy Cities: ISC is helping communities advance, accelerate, and scale-up efforts to dramatically increase their renewable energy use with a particular focus on fostering the connection between mitigation and adaptation in solar applications. As the National Coordinator for Solar Market Pathways—a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative - ISC has supported 14 solar projects forging innovative approaches, tackling long-standing challenges, and creating new partnerships to develop replicable tools and strategies for solar deployment and adoption.
- Regional Climate Action: placed-based work - including their new Advancing Community Resilience Partnership in Maricopa County, Arizona - helps efforts at the regional, metro, and city levels move beyond fragmented planning and development programs to achieve the ultimate goal: thriving, resilient regions of robust, connected, sustainable communities that create opportunities for all.
ISC provides implementation support to the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact - a group of four counties and 109 municipalities. The Compact is a White House Climate Change Champion and is a leading regional-governance model for effective solutions in mitigation, adaptation, and resilience.
ISC also incubated the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), the only organization in the U.S. focused solely on connecting and supporting the people who are building climate resilience across North America. ASAP advances innovation in the field by building a network that cuts across sectors and skill sets – allowing adaptation professionals to share ideas, learn from each other, and discover the latest trends in adaptation from around the country.
Internationally, ISC supports adaptation and resilience through EHS+ centers, climate smart city initiatives, and resilient manufacturing communities.
Phone: (802) 229-2900
- Promising Practices in Climate Adaptation and Resilience: A Guide for Local Leaders
- Regional Impacts of Climate Change and Issues for Stormwater Management
- Vermont's Roadmap to Resilience
- Regional Governance for Climate Action
- Building Community Resilience in Maricopa County, Arizona
- Southeast Florida Regional Compact: Climate Action Plan - 2014 Municipal Implementation Survey
- Developing Urban Climate Adaptation Indicators
- ISC Regional Resilience Primer
- Urban Climate Adaptation - From Risk Barriers to Results - Managing the Social, Political, Environmental and Financial Risks of Urban Infrastructure: A Resource Guide for Local Leaders
- Regional Collaboratives for Climate Change - A State of the Art