Sustainable Connections Launches New Strategic Plan

A Farm Tour visitor pets a cow at Appel Farms on the 7th annual Whatcom County Farm Tour.

Submitted by Sustainable Connections

Sustainable Connections has completed and launched their latest organizational strategic plan outlining goals and strategies that will guide the work of the organization over the next three years.

This plan is the organization’s third and was developed through an extensive process in 2013 and 2014 that included input from partner organizations, key informant interviews, past and current board members, member satisfaction surveys and research of similar business network activities and accomplishments.

The five goals of the new plan include: providing new educational opportunities, expanding market opportunities, deepening member engagement, promotion of public policy to support sustainable economy goals, and strengthening the organization.

One new key initiative under educational opportunities is the launch of the new Measure What Matters Quick Impact Assessment Tool. After years of supporting members in implementing Toward Zero Waste recycling efforts, local purchasing, energy efficiency through the Community Energy Challenge, green building features in construction, and low impact development our business community is ready for this comprehensive management tool. Measure What Matters will help businesses set goals for improvement, create action plans, track changes, and report results.

“It’s a great tool for companies to self-assess how they perform in regards to best practices on social, environmental and local economic development impact. Businesses can see how they stack up against other businesses and create a plan to improve,” notes Mark Peterson, Sustainable Business Manager at Sustainable Connections.

Future Public Policy work will include supporting local governments in the region implement smart policies to streamline permitting for solar electricity and other green building practices.

“We know that our goals and strategies are shared by many people and other organizations in our community. Our list of strategic partners is growing rapidly and with that grows the positive impact we all have. We invite businesses, government officials, other non-profits, volunteers and local citizens to share their ideas. We know we are better together and invite you to help us reach our goals.” states Derek Long, Executive Director.

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