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ISC Selected to Advance Solutions to Global Resilience Challenges

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Institute for Sustainable Communities Selected to Advance Solutions to Global Resilience Challenges

Will Work on Supply Chain Resilience in Bangladesh, India and Thailand


Montpelier, VT – February 23, 2015 – The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) was selected as one of 17 teams to advance in the Global Resilience Challenge by the Global Resilience Partnership, an initiative spearheaded by The Rockefeller Foundation, USAID, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. ISC will work to develop innovative community resilience solutions for at-risk communities in Southeast Asia, seeking to qualify for the next phase of the Challenge, which will award up to $1 million for project implementation.


ISC’s concept, selected from nearly 500 applications, focuses on the global supply chain in Southeast Asia. Supply chain factories are often the central source of livelihoods in vulnerable communities, and the increased risks posed by environmental hazards threaten communities as well as economies. ISC’s team – which includes the Stockholm Environment Institute – Asia Centre in Bangkok; North South University in Dhaka; and Symbiosis Institute of International Business in Pune, India – will investigate the opportunities to build resilience from inside the factories outside to the communities. ISC will develop a public-private partnership that brings together corporate sustainability efforts, local resilience work, and ISC’s EHS+ Network of factory training centers in Asia.


Stephanie Rust, Vice President of Learning and Development, project lead for ISC, notes: “Connecting the dots on resilience for business and communities in Southeast Asia is imperative. Vulnerable populations are exposed to severe risks, and local factory managers and their multi-national clients can become champions for elevating resilience in the factory and in the surrounding streets and city. We are very excited to be working in this area, which bridges our sustainable manufacturing and urban transformation work, and we look forward to joining the Global Resilience Challenge. ”


The Global Resilience Challenge is a three-stage grant competition led by the Global Resilience Partnership, a $150 million effort of The Rockefeller Foundation, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to help the global community pivot from being reactive in the wake of disasters to driving evidence-based investments to better manage and adapt to inevitable shocks. Teams moving forward in the Challenge comprise scientists, policy practitioners, humanitarians, and a host of experts from across dozens of other disciplines. With up to $200,000 in next stage funding, these 17 teams will explore the effects of persistent cycles of drought, storms, famine, and other disasters on vulnerable populations in each of the focus regions, and identify locally driven, scalable solutions that can help communities and households adapt to and recover from chronic shocks and stresses, while reducing vulnerabilities.



ISC’s innovative EHS programs began in the heavily industrialized region of Guangdong, China, in 2009; their second Center opened in Jiangsu in 2011. The EHS+ Center in Bangladesh opened at North South University in 2014, and the India EHS+ Center at Symbiosis Institute for International Business opened in Pune in 2015. Each Center is a public-private partnership that pairs international nonprofit ISC with a local host organization, provides technical training in essential skills for EHS management and sustainability leadership. After completing the training, factory managers work to improve health and safety on the job and drive improvements in environmental health, energy efficiency, and greenhouse gas management. Hundreds of global brands have sent their local EHS managers and suppliers to the EHS+ Centers, and consider the program an integral part of achieving their global sustainability goals.



An international nonprofit organization, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has 24 years of practical experience working with local leaders to accelerate climate change and sustainability solutions. ISC’s programs are designed to facilitate peer learning and engagement among local leaders charged with the work of making their communities more sustainable. ISC has led more than 100 projects in 30 countries, and currently works in China, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Serbia and the United States.