Sustain Dane Programs

Sustain Dane programs help you prioritize and implement sustainability actions. We welcome you wherever you are in your sustainability journey and celebrate your unique experiences and perspectives.

Accelerate Sustainability Workshops

Our Accelerate Sustainability Workshop is a half-day gathering that connects you to the tools, people, & case studies you need to accelerate sustainability at your business or organization. It’s a leadership opportunity designed to help you achieve your sustainability initiatives. The workshop will include how to harness incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act and case studies from local businesses. Learn more about projects and participants from the 2021 Accelerate Sustainability Workshop here and 2022 here—100% of past program participants would recommend the workshop to a colleague. This workshop is building on the success of our MPower Program. Our 2023 workshop date is:

Friday, April 7, 8:30 AM—12:30 PM

Reach out to facilitator Lorenza Zebell to learn more.

“Sustain Dane is taking a holistic approach to sustainability in our community with programming for businesses, schools, and community members alike. We all have a responsibility to this community and this world and Sustain Dane is here to hold us accountable.”

—Alex Lindenmeyer, Short Stack Eatery

Sustainable Breakfast Series

The Sustainable Breakfast Series highlights current sustainability topics through expert speakers, case studies, and skill-building opportunities. Breakfast meetings are attended by regional business leaders and individuals who care about integrating environmental, social, and economic sustainability into their professional and personal actions. Members have access to recordings of past meetings. Learn more and register:

Tues, Feb 28, 8:00 AM—10:00 AM on PFAs Community Impact & Management

Tues, April 25, 8:00 AM—10:00 AM

Tues, July 25, 8:00 AM—10:00 AM

Tues, Sept 19, 8:00 AM—10:00 AM

Sustain Dane members listen to presentation on UW-Health’s sustainability initiatives presented by Tom Thompson.

Speakers Jay A. Patel, Lauren Yang, and JD Stier at our “Sustainability & You = Social Impact” Sustainable Breakfast series meeting.

Members convene at the Wisconsin Energy Institute to explore issues surrounding environmental justice in our community.

Master Recycler

Have you ever paused at the recycling bin and wondered if what you’re throwing out is actually recyclable, or what will happen to it after it’s picked up? Then our award-winning Master Recycler program is made for you! We developed this program in partnership with the City of Madison. The program will give you the tools you need to teach your family, neighbors, friends, and coworkers how to improve recycling and community sustainability. Each session has two 90-minute classes to become a Master Recycler. This program is part of our broader efforts for better recycling in our region. Learn more on our Recycle Better page.

Session 1

Thursday, April 6, 12PM—1:30PM

Thursday, April 13, 12PM—1:30PM

Session 2

Wednesday, July 5, 6:30 PM—8:00PM

Wednesday, July 12, 6:30 PM—8:00PM

Lunchtime Networking

Join us for lunchtime networking to discuss your current sustainability successes and challenges with your fellow members. Networking is an opportunity to connect with members of other established or emerging green teams and sustainability committees. Participate in welcoming peer-to-peer conversations, share best practices, and elevate your projects together. Participants in the Climate Action program will have the opportunity to connect at this networking program. Learn more and register:

Wed, March 15, 12:00PM—1:00PM

Wed, May 24, 12:00PM—1:00PM

Wed, Aug 23, 12:00PM—1:00PM

“I support Sustain Dane because they multiply their impact through partnerships with businesses and communities promoting sustainability. Improving our environment and quality of life is a collaborative process.”

—Seth Nowak, Individual Member

Water Steward

Fresh water is Earth’s most precious resource. We all use it every day and can all have an impact on the ability to provide reliable supplies of clean water now and for future generations. Become a steward of our local waters with our new course! Water Stewards is developed in partnership with Sustain Dane, the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, the Madison Area Municipal Storm Water Partnership, the Madison Water Utility, and the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department. We’ll meet in two sessions, dates TBD. Email for more info and to get on the waitlist!

Efficiency Navigator

Are you interested in energy efficiency, water efficiency, or solar, but don’t know where to start? We are offering the Efficiency Navigator program with Elevate to help small to medium-sized multifamily housing become more efficient, affordable, and resilient while reducing operating costs for owners and energy cost burden for residents. The goals of the program are to address housing resilience, equity, and climate change. We provide complimentary efficiency assessments and step-by-step navigation of implementation. The program is for renter-occupied buildings with rents affordable to residents at or below 80% Area Median Income. This housing stock is known as naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH). Send an email to to get involved. 

 Apply Now for Madison & Middleton Building Energy Efficiency Upgrades! 

Are you a rental property owner interested in maintaining long-term housing affordability for your residents? Working closely with the City of Middleton and the City of Madison, the Efficiency Navigator program helps small apartment housing become more efficient while reducing operating costs to owners and utility bills for residents. Buildings selected to participate are eligible to receive funding to cover the cost of recommended measures. We are now accepting applications for properties located in Madison and Middleton. Submit an application as a property owner or recommend your building as a resident. 

Selected buildings will receive funding for efficiency upgrades in areas such as efficient lighting, improved heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, improved insulation with the addition of attic insulation and air sealing, water softener optimization, tune-ups or replacement, water conservation systems, and identify healthy building elements (asthma triggers).

Sustainability Stories

Sustain Dane’s Sustainability Stories platform amplifies the voices of people from different backgrounds, races, ages, genders and geographies that are working on and want to inspire others to build a more sustainable and inclusive community. Share your sustainability stories with us, and be inspired by other people’s stories.

Holly Hollister (left) and Dina Nina Martinez (right) share their stories at a Sustain Dane story slam.

Upcoming Sustain Dane Programs

Apr 07
Accelerate Sustainability Workshop
Goodman Community Center - 149 Waubesa St, Madison, WI 53704
Apr 15
Earth Month Cleanup
Garver Feed Mill - 3241 Garver Green, Madison, WI 53704
Apr 25
April Sustainable Breakfast Series
Spark Building - 821 E Washington Ave Starting Block 3rd Floor Cafe, Madison, WI 53703
May 24
Lunchtime Networking
The Spark Building - 821 East Washington Avenue 3rd Floor Cafe, Madison, WI 53703
Jul 25
July Sustainable Breakfast Series
Spark Building - 821 E Washington Ave Starting Block 3rd Floor Cafe, Madison, WI 53703
Aug 23
Lunchtime Networking
The Spark Building - 821 East Washington Avenue 3rd Floor Cafe, Madison, WI 53703
Sep 19
September Sustainable Breakfast Series
Spark Building - 821 E Washington Ave Starting Block 3rd Floor Cafe, Madison, WI 53703
Nov 03
2023 Sustain Dane Summit
Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center - 1 John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI 53703