Learn / Do Cohorts
Build capacity, peer relationships, and tangible outcomes
Cohorts are multi-month structured technical assistance training programs that guide communities toward tangible results. They offer a deep level of technical assistance and serve as a cost-effective alternative to project outsourcing.
As a Member benefit, communities gain access to our annual cohort trainings.
We also customize cohorts, offered in partnership with states, utilities, and universities. Many of our custom cohorts and supported by university students.
GHG Inventory and Forecasting Cohort
Setting a defensible baseline of GHG emissions is fundamental to both climate mitigation and adaptation. Therefore, our GHG inventory and forecasting cohort is offered annually for members, and we enjoy strategic partnerships with states, universities, and utilities to offer cohorts specific to their locations.
Regional Climate Collaboratives (RCC)
Regional Climate Collaboratives (RCC) play a key role in bringing municipalities together to collectively tackle climate change. This cohort introduces all five ICLEI pathways. Each participant will complete a collective action Roadmap to involve communities in collective action.
Sustainability Plan Cohort
This capacity-building cohort guides local governments through the development of a Sustainability Plan to address social, economic, and environmental elements of community development and management.
Biodiversity Assessment Cohort
Among city networks, ICLEI holds a unique leadership role as the focal point for local and regional governments in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), providing ICLEI USA members with access to a plethora of biodiversity resources, including the CitiesWithNature platform. Participants develop Biodiversity Assessments that link health, equity, and climate through nature.
Integrated Climate Action Plan Cohort
With a baseline GHG emissions inventory in hand, communities in this cohort move to developing an integrated climate action plan. Tangible outcomes include:
- Climate vulnerability assessment
- GHG reduction targets
- Climate adaptation goals
- Climate adaptation and mitigation strategies
- Stakeholder involvement strategies
- Communication strategies
- Narrative document for internal and external audiences
Supply Chain GHG Inventory Cohort
The Supply Chain GHG Inventory Cohort guides participants through the quantification of greenhouse gas emissions associated with local government purchasing. The inventory is a baseline to inform local government procurement to reduce environmental impact, create operational efficiency, and drive innovation.
Consumption Based Emissions Inventory Cohort
Recognizing that GHG emissions occur within and outside a political border, local government participants will use Consumption-Based Emissions Inventory methods to quantify emissions and develop sustainable production and consumption strategies.
Forest and Tree Accounting Cohort
The Forest & Tree Carbon Accounting Cohort guides communities in the application of the Forestry Protocol, an appendix to the U.S. Community Protocol for GHG Emission Inventories. Participants assess the emissions and removals of carbon through forestry and urban tree management. At the conclusion of the cohort session, participating communities will have a key element of the Agriculture, Forestry, and Land Use (AFOLU) sector of their community-wide GHG inventory.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Cohort
The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes that local and subnational governments are key stakeholders to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To better respond to what a city or region is doing to act on the SDGs, cities including Toyama, Shimokawa, and Kitakyushu in Japan, and New York City in the USA, pioneered the Voluntary Local Review (VLR) in 2018 as one mechanism to demonstrate local or subnational action toward a “Local2030 Agenda”. By aligning local sustainability actions and plans with the SDGs, cities can advance within a shared framework and communicate to the global community their progress.
See Past Custom Cohorts
Many local governments in the state of Pennsylvania do not have baseline measurements of their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions nor the plans to act on
Mountain Towns Cohort
“We had just started meeting as a cohort of governments to discuss resilience initiatives when we found out about the opportunity to have support from ICLEI through the MT2030 group. The guidance and resources that ICLEI provided streamlined our process of creating GHG inventories for each city and the county. At times, it was not easy to “herd cats” so to speak between governments and interns, but Tom showed infinite patience with our questions and extended timeframe due to COVID and an influx of new residents to our remote location in the Wood River Valley of Idaho. Comparing each city showed surprising differences in the sources of emissions. We are so excited by this foundation and the opportunity to use the information to develop a Climate Action Plan! Already, stakeholders are incorporating emissions into decision-making such as evaluating options for recycling collection. Clean energy goals have been adopted by several jurisdictions. And, funding has been allocated to create a Regional Sustainability Manager!”
Pennsylvania Local Climate Action Planning Cohort
"Working with the PADEP and ICLEI to create the greenhouse gas inventory for the City of York was very rewarding. Getting to collaborate with people who are passionate about combating climate change was inspiring and I felt the work I was doing was important. While it was sometimes a difficult task getting the necessary data, my persistence paid off. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to complete meaningful work while having the flexibility of an online/work-from-home setting!"
Indiana University Resilience Cohort
“[Without the Indiana University Resilience Cohort], we would not have had the internal capacity to complete GHG Inventory based on current staffing levels”
Zero Net Energy Cohort
"As a local government sustainability practitioner, the 2019 Zero Net Energy Cohort webinar series provided me with valuable and detailed expertise and case studies from professionals in the field that advanced our approach to zero net energy at the City of Fremont. The webinar format offered a fine balance of technical assessments of leading edge ZNE technologies and policies and practical discussions of the governmental, economic, and cultural considerations for implementation. This added knowledge will inform the Sustainability Team’s development of policy measures, local sustainability projects, and local building reach codes as the City continues to push towards its ambitious climate and sustainability goals."
“Working with ICLEI to achieve SolSmart designation showed us we are on the right track and that we should continue to work through the SolSmart roadmap. As a designated Silver community, we can strive to meet gold designation. SolSmart incentivizes the County to go further."
Indiana University Resilience Cohort
“I am so thankful for having ICLEI as a partner in the Resilience Cohort program. Their technical expertise and the platform they have for providing support exponentially increased our ability to guide Indiana communities on their path towards climate resilience and greenhouse gas mitigation.”
“The ICLEI-SEEC Cohort Training program was really useful, and we wouldn’t have been able to complete the inventory without it. Anytime we had a question, we were able to call up the ICLEI USA staff. The personal, one-on-one assistance was greatly helpful in walking through different problems and calculations.”