“With the exception of some high-flying migrant species, nature doesn't commute to work.” - Janine Benyus, Biomimicry

Aquinas College

Nonprofit Organizations


Green Biz serves as an information clearinghouse on sustainable business practices and resources from a wide variety of entities, including companies, non-governmental organizations, trade associations, government agencies, and academic institutions.


Photo courtesy of Bigfoto


Alliance for Environmental Sustainability

The Alliance for Environmental Sustainability (AES) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission of providing sustainable building education to the general public and building industry. AES is dedicated to helping people understand the options available for designing, building and occupying structures that offer environmentally friendly alternatives, energy efficient products and improved indoor air quality.

Alliance to Save Energy

This web site contains information on energy efficient products and energy saving tips for the residential market. The Alliance to Save Energy site also provides information on the role of energy efficiency in various countries around the world, such as India, Mexico and China. In addition, you can find details on the Green Schools Program, which offers tips on getting students involved in increasing the energy efficiency of schools.

Conservation Economy

Conservation Economy is a project of Ecotrust, an organization created in 1991 by a small group of diverse people seeking to bring sustainability concepts to their homes. This site provides an excellent pattern map, or a visual guide to the sustainability patterns that will help develop a conservation economy.

Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology

"The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology® at Hackensack University Medical Center represents one of the first hospital-based programs whose specific mission is to identify, control and ultimately prevent exposures to environmental factors that may cause adult, and especially pediatric cancer, as well as other health problems with our children."

Development Education Program

The Development Education Program is a part of the World Bank Institute (WBI). The WBI is the learning arm of the World Bank and helps member countries achieve the goals of sustainable development by assisting in the design and implementation of more effective policies and programs. The World Bank Group site provides a great introduction into sustainable development, including various learning modules, games and quizzes, and a glossary.

Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA site provides a basic introduction into the concept of sustainability, as well as links to EPA programs and tools in four key areas:

EPA Terms of the Environment

This section of the Environmental Protection Agency web site has an extensive dictionary of environmental terms that is extremely useful to beginners in sustainability or even advanced professionals.

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Founded in 1990, IISD is in the business of promoting change towards sustainable development. Through research and communication, this organization engages decision-makers in government, business, NGO's, and other sectors to develop and implement policies that are simultaneously beneficial to the global economy, the global environment and social well-being. The site organizes information on various topics, such as measurement, energy, business, and natural resources.

Northwest Earth Institute

The Northwest Earth Institute is recognized as a national leader in developing innovative programs that empower individuals and organizations to protect the Earth. These programs emphasize individual responsibility, the importance of a supportive community, and the dual need to walk lightly on and to take action for the earth.

Smart Communities Network

The Smart Communities Network is a program of the U.S. Department of Energy. The site examines the basic principles underlying a sustainable community and provides case studies of best practices.

The Green Biz

This site was created and is operated by Green Business Network, a project of The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF). The NEETF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. GreenBiz.com is produced from a headquarters in Oakland, California. Green Biz hopes to serve as an information clearinghouse on sustainable business practices and resources from a wide variety of entities, including companies, non-governmental organizations, trade associations, government agencies, and academic institutions.

The Natural Step

The Natural Step is a nonprofit, international organization that uses a set of scientifically proven sustainability principles to transform debate into useful discussion and to drive innovation. Through cutting edge research, services and education this organization is helping to define the emerging field of sustainability and seeding the foundation for global transformation. This web site offers a comprehensible introduction into the basic principles of sustainability, as well as research in the field and resources for more advanced professionals.

The Sustainability Reporting Program

"The Sustainability Reporting Program is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization. It draws on expertise from government, industry, the non-government sector and academe, but does not represent any sector or interest group." While much of the information on the site is specific to Canada, it contains very useful information on sustainability reporting for consumers and business people from every nation. This specific link provides a variety of definitions and principles of sustainability.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

UCS is an independent nonprofit alliance of more than 100,000 concerned citizens and scientists. The site contains the latest news in the scientific community related to the environment, resources on key environmental issues like food and energy, and publications.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

The WBCSD is a coalition of 175 international companies united in a shared commitment to sustainable development. The WMCSD works to make business leadership a catalyst for change toward sustainable development, and to promote the role of eco-efficiency, innovation and corporate social responsibility (CSR). The site was rated the "best website for information on sustainable development" by the Globescan Survey of Sustainability Experts. It offers information on a wide variety of sustainability topics, such as climate, CSR, risk, markets, news, and events.

U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

The USGBC is leading a national initiative to produce a new generation of high performance buildings both inside and out. Council members work together to develop LEED® products and resources, the Greenbuild annual International Conference and Expo, policy guidance, and educational and marketing tools that support the adoption of sustainable building practices. The site offers information on the LEED building rating system, a list of certified buildings throughout the U.S., benefits of green buildings, and other valuable resources.

World Resources Institute (WRI)

The WRI is an independent, nonprofit, environmental research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people's lives. A large portion of the web site is dedicated to governmental issues and news, but the site also contains research topics and publications.

Funded by the Steelcase Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Header photo by Carol Y. Swinehart, courtesy of Michigan Sea Grant Extension
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