NextStep website and MnSCN are winding down
The NextStep website and the Minnesota Sustainable Communities Network (MnSCN) are winding down and will no longer function after June 30, 2015. Until then, the website will be accessible, but existing web site content will not be updated nor will new resources or other new content be added to the site. Learn more.


Thank you to sponsors of the Minnesota Sustainable Communities Network (MnSCN) and NextStep!

MnSCN is a program of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). However, the MPCA recognizes that a wide range of stakeholders support and appreciate MnSCN / NextStep. Interested sustainability-related organizations and agencies are offered the opportunity to be considered sponsors as a way to make their support for MnSCN's work more visible.

Below is a listing of sponsoring organizations for MnSCN / NextStep, along with links to these organizations' web sites. Each of these sponsors is working to assist individuals, organizations, or communities to move toward sustainability.

Sponsor listing:

1000 Friends of Minnesota - works for a sustainable landscape made up of compact, diverse, pedestrian-oriented cities and healthy, productive farms and forests.

Alliance for Sustainability - works to bring about personal, organizational and planetary sustainability through support of projects that are ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just and humane.

AtKisson, Inc. USA and AtKisson Europe AB - an international consulting and training team that designs and helps launch sustainability initiatives, and supports existing initiatives in achieving success using tools based upon indicators, systems thinking, and innovation.

Blue Sky Guide - it's your annual EcoMetro guide to discovering the best of what's green and local in the Twin Cities including groceries, restaurants, home and garden, bikes and more.

Center for Sustainable Building Research - a unit within the University of Minnesota's College of Design that has been conducting sustainable building research since 1997.

Clean Energy Resource Teams - CERTS are made up of community members across Minnesota who share a bold vision for Minnesota's energy future: to foster strong communities, to create local jobs, and to develop clean and reliable energy from clean sources.

Community Forestry Resource Center - promotes responsible forest management by encouraging the long-term health and prosperity of small, privately owned woodlots, their owners, and their communities (a program of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy).

CR Planning, Inc. - a consulting firm committed to allowing community stakeholders to make educated choices, thus promoting the sustainable management of local resources for economic development, protection of community character, and maintenance of natural systems.

EarthSmart Consumer - presents ecologically sound tips for consumers' everyday lives.

Eco Education - fosters within young individuals the appreciation, knowledge, values, and skills necessary to inspire ecologically-sound decisions and actions.

Eureka Recycling - a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce waste today through innovative resource management and to reach a waste-free tomorrow by demonstrating that waste is preventable not inevitable.

Fresh Energy - leading the transition to a clean, efficient and fair energy system, and working to enhance our economy, protect human health and communities, restore our environment and establish energy independence.

Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development - bringing the ideas and practice of sustainable development to communities in the Great Plains, with a focus on rural development and the hydrogen economy.

The Green Institute - promoting environmental stewardship and creating economic opportunities through sustainable community development.

In Business Magazine - committed to helping creative entrepreneurs and leaders build sustainable enterprises and communities, with every issue reporting on model human-scale enterprises and organizations that support the growth of a sustainable economy.

Initiative Foundation - unlocking the potential of the people of Central Minnesota to build and sustain healthy communities.

Institute for Local Self-Reliance - a nonprofit research and educational organization in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. providing, since 1974, technical assistance and information on environmentally sound economic development strategies that extract the maximum value from local resources.

Land Stewardship Project - a nonprofit organization working to foster an ethic of stewardship for farmland, to promote sustainable agriculture and to develop sustainable communities.

LHB - a Minneapolis and Duluth based integrated design firm of architects, landscape architects, interior designers, and civil, mechanical, electrical, and structural engineers committed to providing sustainable design services for our clients.

Minnesota Design Team - uses design to help small Minnesota communities develop a shared vision of a healthy future.

Minnesota Environmental Quality Board - develops policy and plans, and reviews projects that would significantly influence Minnesota`s environment and development.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency - purpose is to protect Minnesota's environment through monitoring environmental quality and enforcing environmental regulations.

The Minnesota Project - connects people to policy to nurture collaborations that build strong local economies, vibrant communities, and a healthy environment.

Minnesota Sustainable Development Initiative - promotes policies, institutions and actions that ensure Minnesota's long-term environmental, economic and social well-being.

Minnesota Waters - promotes responsible stewardship of our water resources by engaging citizens, local and state policymakers, and other partners in the protection and restoration of Minnesota's lakes and rivers.

Neighborhood Energy Connnection - promotes practical energy efficiency solutions in housing and transportation, provides residential energy audits and custom energy consulting, and is the home of hOurCar, the Twin Cities' first carsharing program (

Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships Program - works to sustain Minnesota's natural resource-based communities and industries by addressing community-identified agriculture, natural resources, and tourism issues in partnership with the University of Minnesota.

Resource Recovery Technologies - providing sustainable and cost-effective disposal and recycling at facilities across the Twin Cities for a variety of materials including construction and demolition debris, wood waste and source-separated organic material.

Rooted In Sustainability A consultant network providing strategic planning, workshops, speaking engagements, and leadership training based on The Natural Step, biomimcry, and other leading sustainable development principles.

School of Environmental Studies - providing an interdisciplinary lens and an environmentally focused study for 400 junior and senior high school students, this optional public school in School District #196 is located on the grounds of the Minnesota Zoo.

Transit for Livable Communities - works for a greater reliance on transit use, bicycling, and walking and promotes more compact pedestrian-friendly development patterns.

If your sustainability-related organization or company would like to also be listed as a sponsor of MnSCN and NextStep, please contact MPCA staff Paul Moss at There is no financial aspect to sponsorship at this time, but sponsors are encouraged to publicize and promote NextStep and MnSCN, and to contribute information and timely news for the web site and e-mail newsletter. Content of independent web sites accessible by link from this site is in no way endorsed as to content or accuracy by the MPCA, and MPCA bears no responsibility for the content of these sites.