Cape Cod Center

for Sustainability








About Us


Students for Sustainability

Family Album


Board of Directors

Organization News





Sustainability in Other Sections of the Larson Report


Perspectives on Sustainability


Articles on Sustainability  


Articles on Sustainability Indicators


Sustainability Reference Desk





          The Cape Cod Center for Sustainability was founded in 1991as a nonprofit 501(C)3 corporation for the general purpose of safeguarding the invaluable quality of life that Cape Cod affords its inhabitants.  Since its inception, the center has sought to demonstrate that a sound economy, a healthy natural environment, and a healthy populace are not conflicting but rather are complementary aspirations and in fact are all essential to the present and future well-being of this place.  

          The core value of the Center for Sustainability consists of three parts:

  1. to act in constructive ways that strengthen Cape Cod's established institutions,

  2. to enhance the services they provide to the Cape community, and thereby 

  3. to improve the overall quality of life for people who live here.

To achieve these ends, we work to 

  • build upon the solid relationships we have formed with the Cape Cod Community College and Barnstable County;

  • establish similar collaborations with local Cape businesses, health care providers, town governments, and other nonprofit institutions in the manner of "management support organizations"; and

  • engage in promotional activities that inform the public about sustaining Cape Cod and the actions each of us can take to achieve that end.

Each one of these successes has stemmed from the Center for Sustainability's core value: to work in constructive ways with established Cape institutions to better serve the people who live on Cape Cod.  In each instance our success has resulted from our willingness to collaborate with these institutions in the context of their ongoing activities and responsibilities. 

          What follows is a brief description of how we have progressed in reaching our goals in each of the three areas listed.




          The renewable-energy curriculum at Cape Cod Community College  |   Early in 2003, we solicited a donation of $100,000, which was paid to the college over two years.  The first installment of $50,000 was used to develop a renewable energy curriculum. 

          The Cape Cod Community College Sustainability Center   |    We are currently working to make the renewable energy curriculum development an initial step in establishing or endowing a formal academic sustainability center at the college. 

          CONNECT   |    The only condition the donor attached to the previously mentioned renewable energy donation was that the college collaborate with other educational institutions in the region so that a full range of educational programs and training could be established over time.  The college complied with this request in creating a program called CONNECT, one that has now received additional support from the National Science Foundation and other sources.

          Cape Cod Community College as a sustainability center   |   The college has already demonstrated strong leadership on the Cape in applying sustainability principles and practices in their activities and operations, as documented in the application we submitted to nominate the college for an award from the Alliance for Sustainability.

          Cape Cod Community College internship programs   |    In addition to this curriculum development initiative, the Center for Sustainability also established an internship program at the college. Our goal is to raise funds to support the work of students interested to participate in sustainability projects that take place on Cape Cod.  In the past, the college has assigned interns to work with the Center for Sustainability as part of the college's environmental technology program.  These interns developed the center's first Web site and assisted the Sustainability Indicators Council in many ways, including attending their meetings as recorders.


*     *     *



          Sustainability Indicators Council    |    In 2002 the county committed an in-kind contribution of  $25,000 in the form of a half-time position that enabled a staff member to act as the facilitator of twelve volunteers whom we convened as the Sustainability Indicators Council (SIC).  Once formed, the SIC requested and received input from more than a hundred additional volunteers.  With this information, the SIC defined fifteen indicators of the general economic, environmental, and social conditions on the Cape.

           Cape Cod Sustainability Indicators Report 2003    |    With Barnstable County government, the sustainability center and the SIC jointly ventured to produce the Sustainability Indicators Report 2003.  To publish and distribute the report widely to Cape residents, we relied on the financial support of other businesses, foundations, and individual donors.  We released the report on August 21, at a publicity-generating event held at Cape Cod Community College. 

            The follow-through to the report's publication   |    In the period since, we have begun preparations to produce the next report.  We will be asking businesses and individuals to contribute money to this effort as well.




          Management support organizations    |    With the United Way and the Community Foundation, we presented an idea for collaboration that builds upon a written recommendation we made to the public in an op-ed piece that appeared on December 16, 2003, in the Cape Cod Times.  In 2005 we acquired the organization CapeCorps, which we have used as a base on which to develop the Cape Cod Volunteer Center.

          In the proposal, the Center for Sustainability expressed the importance of establishing a management support organization (MSO) as a means to shore up nonprofit organizations on the Cape that have been struggling.  An MSO provides professional support services across a full range of administrative, operational, and training areas. The Center for Sustainability has joined the national alliance of such organizations in order to benefit from their experience and knowledge base. 

         The Cape Cod Volunteer Center    |    In order to demonstrate the merits of an MSO, we worked with the United Way to fulfill the volunteer needs of nonprofit institutions by forging a stronger link to Cape residents interested to volunteer services. 

          Volunteer Expo   |   On Monday, May 1, the Center for Sustainability will be sponsoring our third annual volunteer expo.  These events bring together nonprofits and the general public with the result of new volunteers being found for existing nonprofits and awareness being raised in the community of the need for volunteers in nonprofits throughout the region. 



          We're working on upgrading our technology and will be unveiling new Web sites and database capabilities this coming year.  If you'd like to become a member, please contact us at


Yarmouth Port at Sunset




An Environmental Resort for Cape Cod

1999 Sustainability Indicators Report

In affiliation with Community Newspapers,
a survey of Cape Codders on sustainability issues


2003 Sustainability Indicators Report



Recognition Award from the Massachusetts State Legislature via Representative Ruth Provost

Citation by Environmental Protection Agency for Outstanding Effort (1998)

Recognition, Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (1998)

Cape Cod Green Connections Certificate of Achievement (1998)

Paul E. Tsongas Environmental Recognition Award (1999)







































page updated
March 09, 2006