Global Philanthropy Partnership Projects


Since 2005, Global Philanthropy Partnership has worked with partners including the City of Chicago, Chicagoland headquartered corporations, Chicago universities, and local, North American, and global non-profit organizations to coordinate adaptation and mitigation strategies regarding climate change.

Chicago is taking a leadership role in environmental issues building a stronger, more resilient city.  “A sustainable Chicago is a city that spends less on energy use with each passing year, creates good-paying jobs in up-and-coming industries, responsibly maintains and upgrades its infrastructure, and ensures every Chicagoan has the opportunity to live a healthy and active lifestyle.” – Mayor Rahm Emanuel

The Sustainable Chicago Action Agenda represents Chicago’s vision to make our city more livable, competitive, and sustainable.  The plan, which launched in 2012 with GPP support, outlines 7 themes, 24 goals, and 100 concrete actions that comprise a clear commitment to leadership, partnership, and positive impact. The plan also offers a roadmap for how residents and businesses can contribute to Chicago’s ambitious sustainability goals. 

Click here to learn more about Chicago’s climate focus:  Sustainable Chicago 2015

Click on the partnership project links below for more on how GPP is supporting climate initiatives around the world.


GPP is building the Chicago Global Action Network to better link the locally-based and globally-engaged community through a networking website, a tool for NGOs and the donors who support them.  Goals include connecting non-profits in Chicago to encourage collaboration for impact; and sharing experiences and best practices around implementation issues as well as leveraging geographic overlaps.

Stay tuned for details!


Partnership Projects

Alliance to Retrofit Chicago Higher Education - ARCH
Alliance to Retrofit Chicago Higher Education

The Alliance to Retrofit Chicago Higher Education launched in the fall of 2012 after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Green Ribbon Committee highlighted the role of higher education in the City’s climate reduction efforts. Eleven Chicago Universities with a diverse portfolio– upwards of 850 buildings, totaling 75+ million square feet of space, with combined annual utility spend exceeding $150 million — came together to share sustainability efforts.

The ARCH network provides an increased opportunity for networking and communication across institutions, introduces new ideas; makes connections to funding and contractors, provides access to key city managers, delivers tailored technical assistance, leverages external resources (including local utility companies) to enhance investment in energy efficiency and resiliency on campuses, and develops mechanisms for higher education to coordinate their activities to amplify their effectiveness.

Due to the success of ARCH program in Chicago, the concept of having a local energy and sustainability cohort of colleges and universities has expanded to the cities of Milwaukee and New Orleans.

CNCA - Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance
Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance

An offshoot of the Urban Sustainability Director’s Network and in partnership with the Innovation Network for Communities (INC) and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA) is a collaboration of international cities committed to achieving aggressive long-term carbon reduction goals of at least 80% by 2050. The Alliance aims to address what it will take for leading international cities to achieve deep emissions reductions and how they can work together to meet their respective goals more efficiently and effectively.

Because urban areas account for nearly three-quarters of humanity’s emissions, reaching this goal will depend in large part on our ability to reimagine and reinvent cities in ways that promote economic prosperity, social equity, enhanced quality of life, and climate resilience.

Dragonfly Trust - Illinois Food Policy Project
Dragonfly Trust

Dragonfly Trust was established as a philanthropic platform working across large and often complex geographies to address some of our most difficult societal challenges in the areas of food and agriculture, climate, water, and the built environment. With the support of philanthropic partners, investors, and advisors, Dragonfly Trust helps identify, connect, and advance the work of leading innovators, practitioners, and entrepreneurs to achieve the leverage to challenge and change systems.

Dragonfly Trust is working on food policy in Illinois, developing a Climate Resilience land plan in the Upper Midwest to advance work around landscape-scale conservation, becoming a convener to support foundation work that, because of its scale, location, or focus has systemic value, and building the field by sponsoring cutting edge research focused on landscape-scale and collaborative opportunities.

Environmentalists of Color
Environmentalists of Color

Environmentalists of Color (EOC) is an interdisciplinary network of leaders who are passionate about the environment and promoting diversity in the environmental sector. EOC was initiated in Chicago, IL in 2013 as a support network to address the shared challenges of developing and sustaining a flourishing career as a person of color in the environmental sector. EOC looks at an array of critical environmental issues, ranging from habitat conservation to environmental justice.

Environmental complexities affect all communities and the need for increased staff and leadership diversity will be imperative for a broadened and deepened impact of programs across the region. By working together, EOC hopes to inspire current and emerging leaders who are prepared to address professional and social complexities in the environmental sector.

Farm Illinois logo
FARM Illinois

The Food and Agriculture Roadmap for Illinois (FARM Illinois) is a statewide association organized to develop and implement a comprehensive and integrated 21st-century strategic plan for food and agriculture in Illinois. Released in May 2015, the association’s foundational roadmap pairs the innovation and global access of the Chicago region with the fertile soils and production capacity of Illinois. Its goal is to establish leadership statewide and regionally in sustainably meeting the challenges of food supply and demand, both locally and globally.

FARM Illinois is an independent, multi-stakeholder initiative working to harness the strengths of Illinois’ food and agriculture sector by convening and connecting stakeholders to catalyze and champion actions that will grow the economy, support community health, and sustain the environment. Through a collaborative network, FARM Illinois partners are joining forces to align strategic priorities, spark innovation, improve coordination, catalyze new collaborations, increase visibility, and build trust. FARM Illinois is creating the enabling environment to ensure Illinois’ food and agriculture sector continues to be a driver of the state’s economy while also addressing environmental and societal challenges.

Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange
Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange

The Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange is a practitioner network that supports communities seeking to grow green stormwater infrastructure programs by accelerating implementation through peer learning, innovation, partnerships and advocacy. The Exchange develops, hosts and shares resources to advance the benefits and viability of green infrastructure.

Green stormwater infrastructure includes a range of soil-water-plant systems that intercept stormwater, infiltrate a portion of it into the ground, evaporate a portion of it into the air, and in some cases release a portion of it slowly back into the sewer system. Key programs and initiatives include the Exchange Work Groups, Annual Meeting, and Collaborative Grant Program.

GIEx members are GSI program managers or lead GSI implementers from municipal governments or municipal water utilities.

SCORAI - Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative
Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative

The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network (SSDN) is a professional, member-driven network of local government sustainability officials in the Southeastern United States, and one of the regional networks connected to the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. SSDN collaborates to accelerate the adoption of sustainable best practices in the region and the nation, and leverage the knowledge and experience of members to advance and model innovative policies and programs.

SSDN strives to support members in their work, influence sustainable policies and programs at the local and state levels, and lead the advancement of regional sustainability.

Southeast Sustainability Directors Network - SSDN
Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative

SCORAI is a multi-regional assemblage of networks with independent groups in North America, Europe, China, and Israel. SCORAI networks are made up of academics and practitioners to forge connections and work together to address challenges at the interface of material consumption, human fulfillment, lifestyle satisfaction, and macroeconomic and technological change. Each affiliation provides critical support and facilitates meaningful impact in their region. Members are either actively involved in research or avid practitioners who are driven to translate research on sustainable consumption into practical action.

Urban Sustainability Directors Network - USDN
Urban Sustainability Directors Network

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. USDN’s dynamic network enables sustainability directors and staff to share best practices and accelerate the application of good ideas across North America. USDN has over 185 member communities representing more than 84 million residents. USDN’s work is member led and member driven. Members collectively determine what priorities they will focus on each year and lead the work to carry them out.

USDN governments are leading the way to a sustainable, low-carbon future by developing, adopting, and sharing practices that create equitable and prosperous communities and a healthy environment.