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Organizations that provide assistance

This list of resources is not intended to be exhaustive. It should be considered a starting point. The organizations included either provide information and technical assistance to communities or have extensive links on their web sites to sources of information on sustainability.

"The AtKisson Group is an international network of professional consultants, trainers, facilitators, researchers, writers and designers, dedicated to advancing sustainable development. They provide strategic consulting, training, and communications support to sustainability leaders and innovators around the world. The AtKission Accelerator (tm) is a comprehensive toolkit that helps integrate sustainability into organizations, initiatives, and plans."


"A volunteer organization established prior to the UN Earth Summit as a vehicle to work on issues relating to sustainable development, the environment, government policy, and civic participation."


The Tool Box provides free how-to resources for people working to develop healthier communities.


"Nonprofit organization working on fostering widely shared and sustainable economic well being. Their report 2005 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard is a state-level snapshot of how the country is performing in six key areas: financial security, business development, homeownership, health care, education, and tax policy and accountability."


"Crossroads' mission is to promote the growth of regenerative local communities. Services provided include conducting studies of economic assets, creating customized indicators to monitor progress toward goals of the community, assessing skills of local residents (to help create community linkages), and producing summaries of lending activity within the community. Published Neighborhood Sustainability Indicators Guidebook on how to develop local indicators of neighborhood sustainability and the Neighborhood Balance Sheets Assess Local Economies."


"The Global Footprint Network is dedicated to advancing the scientific rigor and practical application of the Ecological Footprint, a tool that quantifies human demand on nature, and nature's capacity to meet these demands. Created in 1993 by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees, the Ecological Footprint is now in wide use by governments, communities, and businesses to monitor current ecological resource balances and to plan for the future."


"ICLEI lists a vast amount of sustainability information on its web site. Including an information clearinghouse, summaries of local government projects addressing environmental and development issues. Recently published the U.S. Mayors' Climate Action Handbook, a tool kit for addressing global warming at the local level."


"A nonprofit research and educational organization that provides technical assistance and information on environmentally sound economic development strategies. Researches the feasibility of communities generating a significant amount of wealth from local resources. Projects include New Rules -- a proposed set of rules, based on the ideas of 'new localism' for building community by supporting humanly scaled politics and economics - and Waste to Wealth which focuses on better ways to recycle including deconstructing buildings and reusing the material locally."


"IISD is a non-profit organization whose mandate is to promote sustainable development in decision making within government, business and the daily lives of individuals in Canada and the world. One of the best starting places for web-based information on sustainable development. They have a number of documents on world wide sustainable development/community projects available for a fee in hard copy format. Includes the Bellagio Principles for sustainable community indicator development."


The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) is a non-profit, member-driven association for professionals who are committed to making sustainability standard practice. Members share resources and best practices, and develop themselves professionally. Special reports, salary surveys, and the upcoming competency study are just a sampling of the rich content offered members.


"The Lowell Center develops, studies, and promotes environmentally sound systems of production, healthy work environments, and economically viable work organizations. The web site has a training guide on sustainable production indicators and a hierarchy for classifying indicators, a valuable tool that enables the companies and other orgainzations to understand the extent to which they are measuring their overall input to community sustainability."


An excellent source of information about sustainability. Although the emphasis is on Minnesota, much of the information is also relevant to other areas. They manage an excellent monthly e-newsletter on sustainability issues for the Minnesota Sustainable Communities Network.


"Founded in 1996 by the late Donella (Dana) Meadows to apply systems thinking and organizational learning to economic, environmental and social challenges. The organization continues to build on Dana's vision and provides research, workshops, tools and games about sustainability. Contact point for the Balaton Group, which produced a report Indicators and Information Systems for Sustainable Development, available on the web site in pdf format.


"With the objective of stimulating and assisting societies in their development towards sustainability, the Sustainable Society Foundation – SSF – has been established in 2006 as a private initiative by Geurt van de Kerk and Arthur Manuel. The main objective remains to further develop the Sustainable Society Index – SSI – and to publish and disseminate the results every two years. The SSI has been developed for 151 countries on national level. Nowadays the SSI has been implemented on regional level as well. Furthermore, SSF is involved in various fields of promoting sustainability: development and implementation of projects aiming at development towards sustainability, research projects, lectures and contribution to sustainability courses and support of students."


"An international non-profit environmental education organization working to build an ecologically and economically sustainable society using the Natural Step, a framework based on science that serves as a compass for businesses, communities, academia, government entities and individuals working to redesign their activities to become more sustainable. The Natural Step is based in Sweden. The US-based affiliate is the Oregon Natural Step."


"UNEP's Sustainable Consumption programme was initiated in 1998 to supplement UNEP's production process oriented activities with activities on the demand side. Production and consumption policies were considered to be two sides of the same sustainability coin, which needed to be addressed in an integrated manner. The programme has led to the establishment of the Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch with its integrated life-cycle approach towards achieving more sustainable consumption and production patterns."