2020
ANNUAL
REPORT

AND 2021 OUTLOOK

SUMMARY

In 2020, the effects of climate change could not have been clearer. We saw a haze of orange skies on the west coast caused by wildfires, an increase of natural habitat loss, a record breaking number of hurricanes in the South. On top of that, the global pandemic and global recession collided with peaking racial and social injustices to reveal deep inequities and systemic challenges worldwide.

In response, the content of discussion and framing of SSDN’s activities certainly changed. Yet our mission, vision, and core values remained the same. Our culture has always been focused on building trusted relationships, and those relationships have persevered in a time of disconnection and intense anxiety. As a result, our members continued to show up for the network and for each other. They continued to demonstrate impact in their communities despite insurmountable challenges. At SSDN, we continued to serve our members as a reliable source of information, trust, and connection.

SSDN also held virtual listening sessions and networking time with members to understand challenges and to inform how SSDN could pivot and help members find solutions. In response to member needs, SSDN:

  • Increased programming and capacity for state policy work in five states, reaching over 75% of our members,
  • Offered two equity capacity building trainings from experts that spanned six months and reached 50% of our members,
  • Provided technical expertise related to green stormwater management, resilience hubs, electric vehicles, state energy policy, building codes, and more,
  • Supported 6 peer learning workgroups and a peer cohort of 11 grantees through our Southeast Sustainable Communities Fund,
  • Successfully engaged nearly 100% of our members at our first virtual Annual Meeting.
Southeast Sustainability Directors Network (SSDN) members meet over Zoom to discuss current environmental issues.
Southeast Sustainability Directors Network (SSDN) members meet over Zoom to discuss current environmental issues.
Ferns Photo by Elias Tigiser from Pexels

Our vision remains that local governments are continually integrating and institutionalizing sustainability best practices

throughout all towns, cities, and counties in the Southeast. Moving forward into 2021, we are hopeful that our vision will be realized.

NEW MEMBERS IN 2020

Hillsborough, NC

Dekalb County, GA

Largo, FL

Jackson, MS

Sandy Springs, GA

Chatham County, NC

Decatur, GA

Greenville, SC

Apex, NC

Tybee Island, GA

New Bern, NC

Pensacola, FL

Woodstock, GA

2020 MEMBER PRIORITIES

Climate Action Planning

Electric Vehicle Transition

Green Stormwater & Flood Mitigation

Resilient & Equitable Land Use Planning

Green Buildings

Access to Clean Energy

2020 MEMBER SUSTAINABILITY GOALS

OF MEMBERS
Are measuring GHG emissions
for city/county operations
%
OF MEMBERS
Adopted a GHG target for
city/county operations
%
OF MEMBERS
Are measuring community
GHG emmissions
%
OF MEMBERS
Adopted a community
GHG target
%

SSDN ACTIVITIES MEMBERS VALUED MOST IN 2020

DIRECT CONNECTIONS TO PEERS
%
ANNUAL MEETING
%
STATE NETWORKS
%
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE OR TRAININGS
%
WORKGROUPS
%

2021
NETWORK
FORECAST

Southeast Sustainability Directors Network (SSDN) welcomes the state of Virginia and its towns, cities, and counties to our network.
Southeast Sustainability Directors Network (SSDN) welcomes the state of Virginia and its towns, cities, and counties to our network.

In 2021, SSDN looks forward to continuing to support its members through continued adjustments and settling back into a new normal: one that is better than we left in 2020, and one that supports people and planet for the long term.

In 2021, SSDN will:

  • Prioritize capacity building for members that centers equity into sustainability and resilience practices.
  • Onboard cities and counties from Virginia into the network, with the merger of SSDN and the Virginia Energy & Sustainability Peer Network (VESPN).
  • Develop a network-wide capacity building program focused on state policy and member engagement in energy and water issues at a broader level.
  • Support new members to SSDN and those new to the field with mentorship and peer learning opportunities.
  • Offer high quality virtual peer learning and expert-driven experiences that support members throughout the Southeast in their day-to-day sustainability work.
Meg Jamison Signature, Executive Director, SSDN
Meg Jamison
Executive Director
Logo Southeast Sustainability Directors Network (SSDN)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thank you to our members, our 2020 funders (The Kendeda Fund, The Kresge Foundation, Energy Foundation, Roddenberry Foundation, Z Smith Reynolds Foundation, and Turner Foundation); to our fiscal sponsor, The Urban Sustainability Directors Network; and to our 2020 Steering Committee.