The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network collaborates to accelerate the adoption of econmically viable, socially equitable, and environmentally responsible best practices in American Southeastern communities. We do this by sharing information and problem solving together. SSDN is a project of the Chalice Oak Foundation.
   The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network:
   December Update
2015: Ready to Jump In!

Work group calls have been scheduled for 2015. If you would like to join any of them, email Kim to be added to the calendar appointment. Times below are listed in EDT:
  • Social Equity, January 5th at 2:30 pm
  • Food, January 7th at 1:30 pm
  • Establishing Buy-in from Staff, January 8th at 9:30 am
  • Utility Bill Management, January 8th at 3:30 pm
  • Community Engagement, January 9th at 11:30 am
  • Residential Energy Efficiency, January 14th at 9:30 am

 A Toast to 2014

Since being founded by cities in Tennessee and North Carolina in 2012, SSDN has grown in effectiveness and sophistication.  The following are accomplishments from our 2014 Strategic Plan:

1.) Annual Meeting
2014 marked the third year that SSDN gathered to learn, collaborate, and plan together. Our attendance goal was to have 30 members present in Orlando, Florida in November. All told, 36 members and staff met together to learn from each other and develop a 2015 network strategy. Many pitched in their own funds to attend and freed up additional travel scholarship funds.

2.) Capture Funding for Network Action
In 2014, SSDN leveraged the Energy Foundation’s $20,000 investment and earned an additional $120,000 from three new funders - and also brought in a small but important $5,400 contribution from network members.

3.) Work Group Productivity
2014 marked an important milestone in network development when SSDN members moved beyond information sharing to collaboration on content. In 2013, SSDN had three working groups with 12 members working together primarily on network development activities - such as planning the annual meeting and forming the communications strategy for the network.
In 2014, that number grew to eight working groups with 25 active members whose focus was on collaboration and multi-city implementation of projects. Examples of 2014 working group collaborations include: LED streetlight regulation, development of a climate adaptation planning toolkit, and a multi-city implementation project for a green business recognition program.

 4.) Member Engagement
SSDN had 4 webinars to cover topics of interest to members and to collaborate with partners. Calls focused on providing EPA with feedback on 111d, providing feedback to the President’s Climate Task Force, learning about the Carbon Disclosure Project, and learning about funder outreach strategy from the Funder’s Network.
Our newsletter list grew from 31 to 72 in 2014, number of opens increased from 50% to 60%, and the percentage of content clicks increased from 25% to 30%.
See What SSDN Members
Are Posting

Please continue to share with us what you're learning or needing to know on We look forward to sharing your posts  in the newsletter next month.

Can't log on to USDN?  Reply to this email or send Susanna a note and we'll fix that. Posters, be sure to tag the Southeast so we can all see.  A tutorial for the site is here.


Anna Lange

Sustainability Manager
Richland County
South Carolina

Anna was pre-med at the University of North Carolina, Asheville when she decided to switch to Environmental Policy and Management. She became the student sustainability liaison for the campus and created a student environmental center in the student union. She graduated and took a position with Green Corp. doing environmental not for profit work across the country for a year before bringing her skills home to the Carolinas.

Anna came to Richland County to manage their 2 million in federal Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grants, which were broken into 20 projects. These initiatives had so much variety, resulting in the county understanding where the good opportunities for high return on investment lay, and ultimately resulted in the county formalizing sustainability as a full time position. She built the sustainability case during those 3 years of ARRA work, and her council now sees sustainability as a holistic issue across the board.

Anna is currently an office of one and looking hard at how to showcase the need for more staff. She is being strategic about time management, understanding that she can’t do it all alone. She brings in working groups strategically, establishes their goals, disbands them when they have accomplished the work, and starts again when a phase two emerges. Anna spends a lot of time looking for project funding. She also reshapes programs to meet requirements and priorities of funded programs.

Her greatest opportunities currently focus on solar. The county just passed solar legislation that is expected to create an increase in solar installations and this is the first time any planning around solar has been formalized. Similar to when North Carolina passed their renewable energy standard, South Carolina has followed suit. The county is starting to have conversations with key players (building inspectors, utilities, legislators) around solar permitting. It’s taking on the shape of an education campaign around clean energy. She is prepping for a spring seminar to update internal county staff on solar policies areas that haven’t been established yet.

Anna finds value in SSDN primarily through the website. She likes being able to tag and pull up info on just about anything, which isn’t a feature widely available to county sustainability staff. She also appreciates the network of people and knowing she’s not alone.

Featured Projects:

•Sustainability Policy - high performance building policy that passed after a 6 month discussion with Council. 

Interior LED Retrofit - saw significant savings (7% expected, 15% actual reduction in the first quarter).
Sustainability Showcase - showing the value to leverage more funds. 



Southeast Sustainability Directors Network
P.O. Box 27534
Knoxville, TN 37927

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