Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change

Sustainability Leaders Collaborative


The Sustainability Leaders Collaborative (SLC) is a partnership of cities, towns, villages, and school districts across the county focused on climate change. The purpose is to facilitate collaboration, enabling all Dane County communities to achieve their sustainability goals by sharing resources and working together to reduce emissions and increase resiliency. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway created the SLC in 2019.

Initiallly, the SLC's priorities were largely focused on internal operations at each municipality--adding solar, greening fleets, energy efficiency for facilities and green infrastructure.

In 2023 SLC members updated their priorities based on the progress members had made in their own operations as well a2019 Sustainable Leaders Collaborative meetings
the substantive opportunities associated with new federal funding. The updated priorities are:

  1. Building energy efficiency, electrification and renewable energy
  2. Reducing community-wide emissions associated with transportation
  3. Increasing climate resilience
  4. Mobilizing action across all sectors of the economy


The SLC holds virtual and in-person events on topics of interest to local communities. If you are part of a local government and have a topic you would like to see addressed, let us know.


SLC Accomplishments

Already SLC members have made enormous strides in their sustainability and resiliency efforts and are are actively working together to meet their emissions and resiliency goals. Accomplishments include:

All of these accomplishments illustrate how local school districts and municipalities are leading by example. 

Learn more about what SLC members have accomplished across Dane County via the annual meeting summaries for 2021 and 2022

SLC Activities

SLC members join together formally and informally to collaborate on climate action. The Office of Energy & Climate Change produces a monthly newsletter to keep members informed about upcoming activities and links to resources. In addition, some area municipal staff with sustainability-related job responsibilities convene monthly to share informal updates. 

Past SLC activities include:


Resources for SLC Members

  • SolSmart resources: The Office of Energy & Climate Change partnered with the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC) to pursue SolSmart designations for both organizations and interested local municipalities.
    • OECC and CARPC hosted an Introduction to SolSmart webinar that featured SolSmart staff as well as Phil Grupe from Fitchburg (a SolSmart community).
    • CARPC hosted a training on solar-friendly planning and zoning. See the video of the solar-friendly planning and zoning workshop or the slide deck for more details.
    • OECC will host webinars on permitting and inspections in early 2024.
    • Currently McFarland, Middleton, Mount Horeb, and Sun Prairie are pursuing designation in addition to OECC and CARPC
    • Fitchburg and Madison are already SolSmart communities.
    • Email us to learn more about joining the local municipalities pursuing SolSmart. 
  • Federal Funding Opportunities: With the passage of both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, local municipalities have unprecedented opportunities to pursue climate action and clean energy projects in their operations and across their communities. Learn more about how your community can leverage federal funding to accelerate action. 
  • School District Sustainability Profiles: The Office of Energy & Climate Change created these profiles of sustainability efforts at local school districts in response to requests from students and other climate activists. 
  • Clean Energy Plans: With funding from the Office of Energy Innovation, seven Dane County communities collaborated with Slipstream to conduct clean energy planning; review the final report as a starting point for other communities interested in clean energy planning. 
  • Solar Group Buys: The MadiSUN Group Buy is available to all Dane County residents. Learn more about how local communities can leverage group buy resources to grow accelerate solar installations.