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Developing Partnerships

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 Developing partnerships is a key way for small communities and local governments to further their climate protection initiatives. In seeking solutions to the pressing challenge of creating more sustainable and adaptable communities, it is important to tap into the skills, resources, and knowledge of various organizations and groups within a community.

Smaller communities often do not have all of the resources necessary to create climate protection plans or implement greenhouse gas reduction projects. This is why developing a partnership with a nearby city, university, business or organization, with the common purpose of enhancing sustainability efforts can prove very advantageous for a small community. A few benefits include shared resources, increased visibility, and reduced costs. For example, developing partnerships with local colleges and universities may provide the local government with interns who are able to assist with the greenhouse gas inventory process, education and outreach strategies, and researching possible action steps. Businesses can assist by funding your inventory process or implementation strategies, as well as leading by example during the implementation process.


Getting Started

Here are some tips for starting your developing partnerships process:

  • Identify the types of stakeholders that would be beneficial for your particular project

  • Conduct an inventory of key stakeholders throughout the community to determine possible partnerships

  • Partner with other local community groups to get the message out, and to help engage larger partners such as counties and regional organizations and agencies.


Possible Partnerships

  • Businesses, banks

  • Colleges and universities

  • Hospitals and health centers

  • Non-profit groups

  • Local citizen groups

  • Faith-based organizations

  • Regional agencies

  • County agencies

  • State agencies


How ICLEI Can Help

ICLEI created an internship toolkit, which guides members on recruiting and managing interns to help increase capacity to complete emissions inventories and advance climate protection initiatives.


Regional Partnership Examples

  • River Cities Rideshare Program, Hutto, TX
    The River Cities Rideshare program is offering a free online service to help match commuters for carpooling in the Austin-San Antonio region. The River Cities Rideshare program, funded by CAMPO, CAPCOG, and AACOG, is designed to help commuters reduce automobile dependency by providing carpool and vanpool matches, biking and pedestrian information, and public transportation options.

  • Addison County Relocalization Network, Addison County, VT
    ACoRN is a cooperative response to an energy-constrained future. Its mission is to revitalize the local economy to help its communities provide sustainable sources of food, water, energy, employment and other essential resources, and to promote conservation and a healthy environment. While the original intent of ACoRN’s founding members was to explore means of both promoting energy conservation and producing community-managed, renewable energy, ACoRN has evolved into an umbrella group where people meet to discuss and serve a variety of local needs.

  • Community Sustainability Partnership, West Michigan
    The Community Sustainability Partnership is a diverse network of community and business members in West Michigan who embrace and support sustainability guiding principles in their planning and operations and are striving to make a positive impact in their community. Members of the Partnership are committed to work together to restore environmental integrity, improve economic prosperity, and promote social equity.

  • The Green & Go Clean Taxi Partnership, North Central Texas
    Working with local governments and other stakeholders, the Green & Go Clean Taxi Partnership offers outreach and technical assistance to cities, taxi companies and operators looking to improve fleet efficiency by replacing older, less efficient vehicles with newer, more efficient, and lower-emitting vehicles, such as hybrids and alternative-fuel vehicles. The partnership can help increase public awareness of hybrid, electric, and alternative-fuel vehicles as cleaner alternatives, and help eliminate roadblocks to incorporating these alternatives into taxi fleets.

  • Texas Clean Air Working Group, Texas
    The Texas Clean Air Working Group was developed as a project of the Texas Conference of Urban Counties and is made up of diverse participants united in the goal to clean the air in Texas' non-attainment areas and improve the air quality in the near non-attainment areas. The group brings together Federal, state, and local government officials, environmental groups, and business leaders on a voluntary basis to discuss and promote efforts to clean the air in Texas.


Community and University Partnerships

  • Gallatin Earth Celebration, Bozeman, MT and Montana State University
    A partnership between the City of Bozeman, Montana State University and a number of non-profit and volunteer organizations, the Gallatin Earth Celebration is a two-day celebration which encompasses outreach, education, and service.

  • Clifton Community Partnership (CCP), Clifton, GA and Emory University
    The CCP is an initiative started by Emory to provide a framework to discuss common quality of life issues within the Clifton community - the area within three miles of Emory's core campus. The CCP engages local audiences (civic leaders, business leaders, local governments, employers/employees, and local residents) in a productive community dialogue on the following topics: live locally, walk anywhere, commute creativity, and enhance vibrant neighborhoods.

  • Florida Partnership for Water, Agriculture, & Community Sustainability at Hastings, University of Florida/IFAS Extension
    The Florida Partnership for Water, Agriculture, and Community Sustainability at Hastings--UF/IFAS’s new demonstration unit--was conceived by a coalition of local farmers, business leaders, and politicians in 2004 as a way to address growth issues that were affecting northeast Florida, one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. The unit will serve several audiences and perform multiple functions: the center will use "living" displays to show visitors alternatives, such as low-impact development (LID), Florida-friendly landscaping principles, and niche crops, to traditional practices in development, agriculture, landscaping, water quality and use, and land management.


Case Studies

  • Community Engagement, Northfield, MN
    The creation of a Energy Task Force allowed the City of Northfield, MN to work directly with the residents and make achievements towards community sustainability.

  • Energy Efficiency Meets Fiscal Responsibility, Jackson, WY
    Realizing that energy efficiency efforts would also make fiscal sense, the Town of Jackson, WY, developed a communications message that highlighted the financial benefits.