Meaningful Climate Action for Business Associations

Joining the efforts to encourage and support meaningful climate action for business and associations, SDG Align is excited to be partnering with the USA-based Association Climate Action Coalition (AC3). This article will outline the transformative mission of this upcoming international SDG Align partnership and how associations can benefit from their resources and work.

“This isn’t just about reducing carbon footprints;  it’s a monumental shift towards reshaping industries for a sustainable future.”

Introducing the Association Climate Action Coalition

The newly formed Association Climate Action Coalition is determined to harness the influence of trade associations and professional societies. By spotlighting these often-overlooked pillars of the business sector, the coalition focuses on empowering US trade associations and professional societies to adopt and champion sustainable practices in their respective fields.

This aligns with our mission: a future where every business actively drives positive impacts on people, planet, and prosperity.

Meet the change-makers behind the Coalition

Elizabeth Weaver Engel, M.A., CAE

Elizabeth is the lead strategist at Spark Consulting LLC with over 25 years in association management. While she specializes in membership, marketing, and communications, her expertise spans areas like corporate partnerships, tech solutions, online strategies, budget planning, volunteer coordination, publications, and governance.

Shelly Alcorn

Shelly is a Principal at Michelle Alcorn and Associates, focusing on non-profit trade groups and professional bodies. She merges technology, education-to-employment systems, and future association trends. Shelly leads strategic retreats and speaks on vital issues for associations, including the challenges of artificial intelligence and impending climate change impacts.

The Power of Associations and Societies

While often overlooked in the realm of environmental activism, trade associations and professional societies, represent a significant portion of the business sector and hold the potential to influence and enact meaningful changes in sustainability practices.

Associations across the world play an essential role in moulding industry trends and standards. By channelling their influence, the coalition aims to shift sustainability practices, ensuring the business sector not only responds to but anticipates the challenges of climate change.

At SDG we are proud to be working with several associations including the Building Designers Association of Australia (BDAA), Consulting Surveyors National (CSN) and Strata Community Association (SCA). Find out more about their commitment to sustainable development and our work here.

The Coalition’s Sustainable Framework

This Coalition achieves this shift toward sustainability in associations by providing curated high-quality content, industry expertise, strategy design and data-driven solutions.

The Association Climate Action Coalition’s strategy comprises three main pillars:

  • Elevate Knowledge: Increase awareness about the pressing nature of the climate crisis.
  • Inspire Cultural Shift: Encourage businesses to integrate sustainability into values and operations.
  • Champion Action: Advocate for concrete strategies that prioritize eco-friendly practices.

This approach spans three primary areas:

  • Streamlining sustainability within association operations.
  • Developing environmentally-conscious member services.
  • Influencing green transitions across industries.

In collaboration with SDG Align (check out our tools for Sustainable development and how we work) the Coalition are leveraging technology and aggregated data insights to guide associations towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goals 13, 14, and 15. This isn’t just about reducing carbon footprints;  it’s a monumental evidence-backed shift towards reshaping industries for a sustainable future.

Unpacking The White Paper

The Coalition recently published an illuminating WhitePaper, “The Time is Now: Association Resilience and Adaptation and the Anthropocene Climate Disruption.” It is a valuable resource and acts as a true blueprint for change for those in business. SDG Align is featured in the paper (pages 37-40), where our work with the Strata Community Association is detailed.

Download and read the document for free on the Coalition’s website.

Summary of the White Paper
  • Fact-Based Foundations: This comprehensive document demystifies climate data, presenting an unambiguous snapshot of our current global scenario.
  • Overcoming Human Hesitations: By addressing the psychological impediments to climate action, the paper paves the way for decisive action.
  • A Call for Adaptability: Advocating resilience, the paper emphasizes and provides examples of adaptive strategies in today’s climate landscape.

Rich with case studies from organisations like the American Association of Geographers, this White Paper transcends data. Its exploration of climate change’s impact on national security, with examples of uplifting real-world change, ensures you’re informed and inspired.

Join the Movement & Stay Informed

Beyond their actionable strategies, the Association Climate Action Coalition is fostering a dynamic community. This space is envisioned as a melting pot where associations, with or without experience in climate action, can exchange ideas, learn, and co-create solutions.

The Coalition’s partnership with SDG Align brings an added layer of depth to their initiatives. Rooted in the values of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, it underlines the potential of partnership-driven change.

The Coalition’s mission poses a promising shift, supporting the significant role businesses and industries play in scripting a sustainable future. The call to action is clear, and the time is now to collaborate.

Stay connected and updated by visiting the Coalition’s website, or reach out to us at to learn more and join our efforts.


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