Who We Are

We build and serve the movement of local governments pursuing deep reductions in carbon pollution and tangible improvements in sustainability and resilience. For more than 25 years, we have achieved results that have helped communities reduce emissions and become healthier, stronger, more equitable, and more prepared.

Our History

ICLEI USA was founded in 1991 and is currently based in Denver, CO, with staff strategically located across the country. The USA regional office has long been the largest regional network of the broader international ICLEI community, which is now located in Bonn, Germany, with regional offices across the world.

ICLEI USA’s first program was the Cities for Climate Protection™ (CCP), the world’s first and largest program supporting cities in climate action planning using a Five Milestone process to measurably and systematically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today, our climate programs continue to offer cutting-edge resources, while newer programs and campaigns embrace wider sustainability and resilience issues. The ICLEI Council acknowledged this and formally broadened the mandate of the association in 2003, renaming the association ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.

In addition to our current programs addressing the most urgent opportunities for local governments and their communities, ICLEI USA has launched and partnered on many initiatives that continue to benefit communities today but are no longer under ICLEI management, including the nationally recognized STAR Communities Rating System®, now STAR Communities.

Our Impact

In the U.S.:

  • Our network of hundreds of local governments has consistently led the way on climate and sustainability.
  • Academic research has shown that ICLEI USA members implement more sustainability solutions, regardless of political ideology, wealth, or other factors.
  • More than 1,500 local governments have utilized our Five Milestones frameworks for climate action.
  • We consistently provide the most widely used standards and software tools for local climate action.
  • Through partnerships, our frameworks and tools have been institutionalized into state-level climate policy.
  • We’ve supported leaders in our network in engaging in national policy dialogues at the highest levels, leading to meaningful changes in federal programs.


  • We have built a global sustainability network of more than 1,500 local governments of all sizes.
  • We work with our Members through a network of 15 offices and global centers on all continents, which hold technical expertise and experience.
  • We have provided leadership in linking local governments to global policy processes and multilateral environmental agreements.
  • More than 50,000 local government officials have benefited from more than 1,000 capacity building events organized by ICLEI
  • The efforts of more than 1,000 cities participating in the CCP Campaign resulted in annual emissions reductions of more than 60 million tons CO2e.