Climate & Environment


Climate & Environment

Since our founding in 1991, ISC has helped people bring clean air, water, and land to their communities while conserving precious resources.

We have found that our approach—engaging communities and building the capacity of local organizations to solve problems—is critical to addressing issues like environmental health and climate change, where a groundswell of citizen commitment is needed to have the most impact.

Today, taking advantage of the best Chinese and U.S. expertise, we are bringing cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable environmental practices to Guangdong and Jiangsu, China, two of the country's most industrial provinces. Our Environment, Health and Safety Academy—which President Bill Clinton highlighted at the Clinton Global Initiative—is helping Chinese factory managers save energy, protect their workers, and minimize their environmental impacts.

In hurricane-damaged communities along the Gulf Coast in the United States, we are helping residents rebuild sustainably to protect their natural resources and local economies while guarding against future disasters.

In 2009 ISC launched the Climate Leadership Academy to help communities translate their commitment to reducing climate pollution into effective action. The Academy brings together teams of senior municipal and regional officials, local climate and energy practitioners, and expert faculty around pressing climate-related topics such as building energy retrofits, transportation, and green jobs.

Tangible Results

  • In six years, 39 pilot municipalities in Russia reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 12,200 tons per year and saved millions of rubles. Our partner, the Fund for Sustainable Development, continues this important work with the aim of influencing practice and policy nationwide.

  • Building on this approach, ISC is now bringing cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable environmental programs and practices to Guangdong and Jiangsu, China, helping communities, cities, and factories reduce climate-changing emissions while becoming energy efficient.

  • Restoring environmental health is a hallmark of ISC's work in the former Soviet Union, with particularly dramatic results in the city of Nizhnii Tagil. Most recently, several Russian cities have seen dramatic improvements in children's health due to cleaner air quality: In our pilot schools, respiratory illness has decreased by 30 percent since 2002.

  • We have helped establish or strengthen scores of nonprofit organizations across Central and Eastern Europe that now provide local communities with training and mentoring to address environmental problems. A strong network of environmental training centers now stretches from Hungary to the Russian Far East.

The Climate Leadership Academy

The Climate Leadership Academy offers state-of-the-art training, technical assistance and mentoring programs to help cities ramp up energy efficiency, create green jobs, and tackle climate disruption.


The Environment, Health and Safety Academy

With our partner, Lignan (University) College, ISC has launched a new Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Academy to expand the pool of qualified EHS managers serving factories in Guangdong province in China. A second academy will open soon in Jiangsu.


Gulf Coast Sustainable Communities Network

Building on our work in Moss Point, Mississippi, we launched the Gulf Coast Sustainable Communities Network, which is helping communities make informed choices about their future.


22 Cities Take On Climate Change

We counted down to Earth Day in 2010 with our list of how cities are improving quality of life while saving money, protecting the environment, and safeguarding public health.


From Commitment to Action

A 2009 interview with Steve Nicholas, ISC's Vice President of Climate and Environment Programs, who was previously Seattle's top sustainability officer. During his tenure, the city became an award-winning model for cities across the United States.