About this Toolkit

This toolkit was developed as part of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network’s suite of Innovation Products. The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) is a peer-to-peer network of local government professionals from cities across the United States and Canada dedicated to creating a healthier environment, economic prosperity, and increased social equity. The USDN Innovation Fund supports collaborations of four or more member communities to develop innovations that address city-identified problems or opportunities in sustainability, or scale up proven innovations. 

The development of this toolkit was funded by a grant from the Garfield Foundation, with matching funds provided by the USDN Innovation Fund.

Project Background

Eugene Workshop Participants, October 2014

The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) has been actively exploring sustainable consumption for three years. With the growing interest and engagement of its members, USDN has launched a program of research, capacity building and partner support. USDN Innovation grants supported early research and capacity building for member cities, providing them with a strong foundation in the topic. One of the cornerstones was a successful partnership with the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI) in 2014, where researchers and USDN practitioners came together in a workshop to explore unique opportunities for cities to advance sustainable consumption. The results of the workshop are captured in the Eugene Memo, a framework document that highlights key leverage points in city policy and regulation including housing, economic development, government procurement and community sharing.

In 2015, USDN produced the Understanding Sustainable Consumption report, which defines sustainable consumption, develops metrics, and assesses the degree to which sustainable consumption activities contribute to goals of economic prosperity, social equity and environmental health. In October 2015, USDN’s annual membership meeting featured a full-day Sustainable Consumption Workshop for USDN members. Thirty North American cities participated in the 2014 and 2015 workshops.

Sustainable Consumption Toolkit Authors, Advisors and Partners

Advisory Committee, August 2015

Advisory Committee, August 2015

Project Lead and Primary Author: Babe O’Sullivan, USDN Project Consultant -  (formerly with the City of Eugene) 

Project Manager and Lead Author: Anya Dobrowolski, Consultant

Contributing Authors: Vanessa Timmer, Executive Director and Dagmar Timmer, Managing Director - Strategic Initiatives, One Earth

Sustainable Consumption Toolkit Advisory Committee

The USDN project was supported by significant contributions from members of its Advisory Committee including:

  • David Allaway, Policy and Program Analyst, State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality; EPA West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum;
  • Halina Brown, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, Clark University; SCORAI;
  • Maurie Cohen, Ph.D., Director, Science, Technology, & Society Program New Jersey Institute of Technology; SCORAI;
  • Angela Danyluk, Sustainability Specialist, City of Vancouver;
  • Shannon Davis, Environmental Scientist, US Environmental Protection Agency; co-lead EPA West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum;
  • McKenzie Jones, Sustainability Specialist, City of Flagstaff; Co-Chair, USDN Sustainable Consumption User Group;
  • Brenda Nations, Sustainability Coordinator, City of Iowa City; Co-Chair, USDN Sustainable Consumption User Group;
  • Lauren Norris, Residential Sustainability Outreach Coordinator, City of Portland;
  • Leslie Ng, Sustainability Specialist, City of Vancouver; Co-Chair, USDN Sustainable Consumption User Group;
  • Arianne Sperry, Portland Recycles! Program Coordinator, City of Portland;
  • Vanessa Timmer, Executive Director, One Earth;
  • Dagmar Timmer, Managing Director - Strategic Initiatives, One Earth;
  • Phillip Vergragt, Senior Research Scientist, Clark University; SCORAI;

USDN Project Leadership Team

The following USDN member cities supported this project:

  • City of Eugene, OR
  • City of Iowa City, IA
  • City of Vancouver, BC
  • City of Ann Arbor, MI
  • City of Portland, OR
  • City of Gaithersburg, MD
  • City of Flagstaff, AZ

Thank you to our other Sustainable Consumption Toolkit project advisors:

  • Cara Pike, Principal, Social Capital Strategies;
  • Ashley Zanolli, Senior Policy and Program Advisor,Oregon Department of Environmental Quality; EPA West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum; 
  • Paul Schmiechen, Business and Community Sustainability Manager, City and County of Denver;
  • Kara Peck, Community Development, B Lab Colorado