Our Impact

Building solutions in the South.

Our Desired Impact

We want the Southeast to be a more sustainable region, and we believe that we will be successful when:

More communities have increased knowledge of and access to sustainability best practices;

There is widespread adoption of sustainability policies;

Practitioners implement and adapt sustainability best practices with greater consistency and ease;

The field of sustainability evolves and matures across the entire region;

Our network is recognized as a national leader in sustainability field building through exemplary management, operations, and financial health.

SSDN's Commitment to a Member-Driven Network Model

The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network (SSDN) was founded, and continues to operate as, a member-driven network whereby our core values, mission, vision, and theory of change are developed by members, and based on members’ needs. Members develop the network’s goals, strategies, activities, and principles, which are rooted in equitable pathways to reach sustainability goals. In our member driven process, we invite members to actively recognize their own privileges and to contribute to a space that is inclusive and respectful of the need for all to contribute. The outcomes of success of all of SSDN’s work are measured by membership engagement and collaboration that scales sustainability best practices beyond the local government to the region.

Our Goals


Our vision is to motivate local governments to continually integrate and institutionalize sustainability best practices throughout every town, city, and county in the Southeast.


We exist to accelerate and scale implementation of local government sustainability best practices through a member-driven network of professionals who collaborate to solve problems, innovate to create equitable solutions, and influence decision-makers.


When networks of professionals are equipped with knowledge and skills, and supported to collaboratively learn and experiment, they can accelerate the field of practice toward scaled implementation and integration of sustainability in all communities across the Southeast.


Grow the Field

More communities commit to implementing sustainable solutions for all.

Outcome: Municipal leaders have a pathway for advancing sustainability with access to support and resources. 

Build Capacity

Sustainability leaders have the capacity to implement sustainability best practices in their communities.

Outcome: We recognize local needs and customize capacity building tracks for members at all levels of their sustainability journey.

Align Practitioners

Members collaborate to develop solutions to scale sustainability best practices.

Outcome: Sustainability practitioners build trusting relationships with one another and have access to shared best practices and regional implementation examples.

Build a Strong Organization

We are a vehicle of change through building and maintaining a thriving organization rooted in the network model.

Outcome: Our foundational structure is built on our core values and will build sustainability solutions for all in the Southeast.

Strategic Plan

SSDN conducted its first strategic planning exercise in 2018, adopting the long-term vision, mission, theory of change, and goals for the network. In light of the incredible changes we have faced since then, SSDN updated its Strategic Plan, and adopted a new StrategIc Plan in 2022. This effort builds upon the original plan, but highlights opportunities to ensure that the plan recognizes and takes into account the growth of the network and the establishment of new member services and programs.

We look forward to continuing to grow and evolve over the next three to five years, and we will use this plan to guide our work.

Executive Summary (PDF)

Annual Reports

2022 Annual Report

2022 saw SSDN though significant expansion in response to our members' needs. We remain committed and accountable to our membership by championing their work at the local, state, regional, and federal level.

2021 Annual Report

2021 was a year of innovation and building upon SSDN's vision in the virtual world. Through increased programming and virtual relationship building, SSDN continued to meet our members needs by meeting them where they were.

2020 Annual Report

Our vision remains that local governments are integrating and institutionalizing sustainability best practices throughout the Southeast.

2019 Annual Report

2019 was a year of building, trying new things, and experimenting with creative opportunities to meet strategic planning goals.

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