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 professional development opportunity designed to help you start sustainability initiatives at your organization whether you’re brand new to the subject or well versed. Grounded in current sustainability plans and research, this workshop presents best practices, local case studies, and changemaking strategies. You will leave with a clear action plan for your projects to make change at your organization. This workshop is building on the success of our MPower Program. Download workshop flyer. We surveyed participants in the 2020 workshops and 100% would recommend it to a colleague. Reach out to facilitator Lorenza Zebell to learn more. 2021 workshop dates:

Cohort 1

Thursday, February 25, 8:30—9:30AM

Thursday, March 25, 8:30—9:30AM

Cohort 2

Thursday, May 20, 8:30—9:30AM

Thursday, June 24, 8:30—9:30AM

“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. Learn more and register:

Tuesday, January 26: Resiliency & Equity in Urban Water Systems

Tuesday, April 27: Sustainability in Food Systems

Tuesday, July 27: Pathways to Carbon Neutrality

Tuesday, October 19: Youth in the Climate Movement

SBN 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 new Master Recycler program is made for you! We developed this program in partnership with the City of Madison with support from The Carton Council. Learn the ins and outs of our local recycling system and get your recycling questions answered. 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. The 2021 sessions have passed, but contact us to be notified about our next sessions. View the program flyer.

This program is part of our borader efforts for better recycling in our region. Learn more on our Recycle Better page.


We are working to understand the opportunities and challenges of long-term teleworking options as an important component of reducing vehicle miles traveled in Dane County. The Dane County Climate Action Plan targets a 15% reduction in vehicle miles traveled by 2050. Working with a cohort of local businesses, organizations, and individuals, we’re identifying teleworking best practices, equity considerations, and available tools for entities implementing telework and telecommuting policies. This program is developed in partnership with The Greater Madison MPO and made possible by Dane County’s Office of Energy and Climate Change’s Clean Energy Economic Development Grant Program.

Lunchtime Networking

Our lunchtime networking sessions are designed to connect you with members of other established or emerging green teams and sustainability committees. Participate in peer-to-peer learning sessions, share best practices, overcome roadblocks, and elevate your projects to advanced levels. You will gain leadership, knowledge, and strengthen relationships with other members. Download program flyer.

Learn more and register:

Thursday, March 11, Noon—1PM

Thursday, June 10, Noon—1PM

Thursday, September 9, Noon—1PM

Thursday, December 9, Noon—1PM

“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

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 Northside Building Energy Efficiency Upgrades! 

We are now accepting applications for the Efficiency Navigator program to help affordable rental housing located on the Northside of Madison. Submit an application as a property owner or recommend your building as a resident. Rolling application review is open. 

Selected buildings will receive funding in the range of $10,000 – $20,000 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). Based on previous experience, we anticipate the upgrades will lead to a 10 – 20% energy and water savings.

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