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About ISC

We are in the business of unleashing the power of people to transform their communities. Our approach ensures solutions emerge from within the community, rather than being imposed from the outside. By sharing international best practices and experience, providing technical expertise and training, and building the capacity of local organizations, we are sparking creative solutions and lasting change.

Since our founding in 1991 by former Vermont Governor Madeleine M. Kunin and the former ISC President George Hamilton, ISC has led transformative, community-driven projects across the globe. Over the years, we have developed an approach that supports a community’s ability to meet challenges head on.


ISC’s mission:

To help communities around the world address environmental, economic, and social challenges to build a better future shaped and shared by all.

Our approach – the ISC Way – is an effective, authentic, and lasting way to achieve community transformation.

Areas of Impact

What We Do

We develop, test, and share cost-effective approaches to tackling local challenges with a strong focus on what we’ve seen to be the biggest threats to sustainability. We work with factories and cities because of the central role they play in achieving broad-sweeping change.

ISC's Strategic Direction

ISC’s strategic direction identifies strategies that will best enable ISC to advance its mission. Within the strategic direction, you’ll find ISC’s Theory of Change to help visualize what success to our mission and strategic direction will look like and how we get there. 

ISC's Equity Lens – Values Statement

ISC’s mission is to help communities around the world address environmental, economic, and social challenges to build a better future shaped and shared by all. Our programs focus on building a culture of collaboration, fostering greater equity and inclusion, transitioning to a low-emission economy, and becoming more resilient in the face of climate disruption.

We embrace equity and inclusion as a fundamental value and seek to fully embed them in our programs, institutional culture and internal practices. ISC believes in dignity, fairness and equal opportunity for all human beings. ISC understands that people who have contributed the least to the global climate and environmental crisis suffer the most from its ill-effects. And that a history of discriminatory policies and practices have significantly increased the vulnerability of many communities.

Therefore, it is essential that climate and environmental solutions that ISC implements are inclusive and equitable and focused on strengthening the most vulnerable communities. ISC actively engages with and works in partnership with frontline organizations serving the most vulnerable populations including people of color, women and people of low economic status. ISC opposes racism and discrimination in all of its forms. We strongly believe that equity and inclusion are fundamental to building healthy, prosperous, and peaceful communities.

How We Do It

Strengthening Institutions and Leaders

Across the world, there are local businesses, cities, nonprofits, and individuals intent on changing things for the better. While they’re usually best positioned to transform their community, they often lack the experience and resources to succeed. ISC matches local knowledge with international best practices to accelerate implementation and create community-tailored, lasting, and equitable solutions. Even after ISC is gone, our partners retain the capacity to tackle new challenges and advance sustainability.

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Demonstrating What Works

Far too often, sustainability solutions remain theoretical. ISC’s team of experts helps institutions and leaders apply the theory – wrestling with real-world application, identifying what works and what doesn’t, replicating the successes, and driving systemic change.

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Adapting, Sharing & Replicating

As our partners uncover promising practices, ISC adapts those solutions for scale-up and shares them broadly across the network we’ve developed over our more than a quarter century working in the field. We seek out institutions and individuals best-suited to leverage these cutting-edge innovations, and we encourage adoption of policies and other innovations as proven solutions with real impact.

Public-Private Partnerships

Solutions are more likely to succeed and endure when they are community-driven and incorporate market-based approaches. ISC establishes public-private partnerships that leverage public, philanthropic, and private investment and harness the critical role the private sector can play in transformational changes within cities, nonprofits, and factories.

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