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Sustainability Planning & Implementation Cohort

This capacity-building cohort provides structured technical assistance and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing to guide local governments through the steps necessary to develop a sustainability or climate action plan and effectively transition into plan implementation.  

Sustainability and climate action plans unite community stakeholders and government officials under a common vision with a set of goals and metrics. These plans help jurisdictions prioritize their strategies and effectively track progress toward organizational sustainability goals. A sustainability plan is a framework, ideally integrated across departments, for short-term and long-term planning that addresses the environment alongside social and economic considerations. Climate action plans focus on mitigation through strategies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions across sectors. Both are valuable tools for local governments starting their sustainability and climate action journeys, and more advanced jurisdictions can use the sustainability planning process to bring a more cohesive, cross-departmental approach to meet community goals. 

The second half of this cohort will move beyond the analysis and planning cycle for climate action and sustainability planning to focus on the effective implementation of plans. ICLEI USA will provide guidance and best practices for cross-departmental collaboration, program accountability, evaluating and communicating the financial implications of climate change, and sector-specific implementation strategies, policies, and programs. 

Please note that if your community already has a sustainability or climate action plan but is interested in the implementation portion of this cohort, additional ICLEI USA members may join the cohort for the second half. Local government staff that will be a part of the implementation or planning process are also strongly encouraged to participate in this cohort in addition to climate and sustainability staff.

ICLEI will provide participants with:

  • Live, 1.5-hour web-based presentations and participant discussion over the course of eight months
  • Peer exchange and learning, including planning and implementation best practices from internationally recognized sustainability plans/planners
  • ICLEI’s extensive Sustainability Plan Toolkit, templates, and other resources

At a Glance

Open To:

ICLEI Members, Regional Affiliates, Cities, Counties

# Participants:



May 2024 through December 2024


100 - Introductory


Free for ICLEI members/affiliates


Low Emissions, Resilient, Equity / People Centered, Nature-Based, Circular


There is no additional cost to participate. This cohort includes 18 hours of group instruction, 1:1 individual support, access to tools and peer networking, and recognition.


Open to ICLEI members only. This cohort is available to members at all points in their sustainability and climate action planning journey.

Who Will Participate

Up to 20 ICLEI USA members, with additional ICLEI USA members for the implementation portion of the cohort.

Effort Level

Participants will attend live virtual training sessions and complete applicable tasks between sessions.


Exact dates and topics pending participant input.

Session 1: Introduction to Cohort, Sustainability and Climate Action Planning, and the GreenClimateCities’ Analyze, Act, Accelerate method

Session 2: Establish Advisory Committee and Foster Interdepartmental Collaboration

Session 3: Define Scope of Plan and Establish a Baseline

Session 4: Community Visioning, Inclusive Planning, and Public Engagement

Session 5: Create Your Vision and Set Goals

Session 6: Identify and Prioritize Actions

Session 7: Develop an Implementation Plan

Session 8: Operationalize and Institutionalize Your Plan

Session 9: Financing Programs and Projects & Innovative Funding Approaches

Session 10: TBD

Session 11: Successfully Communicating Your Climate and Sustainability Goals

Session 12: Closing Group Discussion


Contact your ICLEI Member Advisor or the cohort lead, Caroline Dickey, at