Strategic Sustainability: A Framework for Community Planning

Sustainable decisions lead to new opportunities, reduced costs,
and dramatically reduced ecological and social impacts

Complimenting their skills with humor, lively discussion and engaging hands-on exercises,
Bert and Heidi are delighted to share the potential of strategic sustainability

           The Natural Step Framework is a practical approach to strategic planning which helps groups:
    v  Define Sustainability and use  a common language to communicate effectively
    v  Explain our current situation and why we need to incorporate new ways of doing things
    v  Create compelling visions and set clear goals
    v  Set a baseline and identify opportunities for success using the 4 system conditions
    vUtilize tools to integrate environmental and social considerations into daily operations

Making decisions based on people, planet and profit, Portsmouth, NH
is moving towards a sustainable future with countless others worldwide


With Hands on exercises & lively discussion you will learn to:
 v Apply The Natural Step Framework to personal and professional life
 v Use The ABCD strategic planning process

 v   Build Community using the 3 R’s Relationship, Reality and Responsibility

 v   Review how Portsmouth, NH is implementing strategic sustainability
 v   Explore next steps to moving towards Sustainability

The Natural Step
is an international non-profit helping individuals, organizations and communities take meaningful steps toward sustainability

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is an international association of local, regional and national government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development.


For more information call Heidi Spinella   978-462-9775

Strategic Sustainability Facilitators

Bert Cohen is currently Adjunct Faculty at the University of New Hampshire in the Department of Natural Resources where he has co taught classes in Sustainable Living and Systems Thinking for Sustainable Living for over 16 years.  

Over the last 10 years Bert has been a driving force in Portsmouth’s Sustainability movement and one of the central figures in promoting Portsmouth’s to become the first eco municipality on the east coast.  He has been a member of the mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Sustainability since its inception in 2006 and has been one of the champions of Portsmouth’s successful sustainability fair now in its third year.

During his forty plus years as an educator and consultant, Bert has leveraged his expertise in experiential education by forming learning communities that support the well-being of the individual, society, and the environment. 

Mr. Cohen is cofounder of the Piscataqua Sustainable Initiative (PSI), which is building a community of citizens who uses The Natural Step process to bring sustainability to Portsmouth and the seacoast. 

Bert also founded the Belize-UNH Teacher Program and is one of the three founders of The Geocommons Study Abroad Program which gives college students the chance to live in sustainable communities in India, Scotland, and France.   

Mr. Cohen has an MA and MFA  from UCLA where he was a University Fellow in the Arts. He is a contributing author to the recently published Advancing Sustainability in Higher Education Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.  


Heidi Spinella, PMP is currently Adjunct Faculty at ESI International/George Washington University School of Business where she has presented more than 400 management seminars throughout North America and Europe over the last 14 years. 

As a consultant, Heidi has more than twenty four years experience helping Fortune 500 organizations and government agencies enhance communication, increase efficiency and embrace continuous improvement.  Heidi’s industry experience includes engineering, government, finance, health care, high tech, insurance, manufacturing and retail. Her client list includes GE, HP, MBTA, New England Medical Center, Northeastern University, Raytheon, UMass Medical School, Unisys and World Bank.

Heidi has been an avid environmentalist for over thirty years and has gained experience in a myriad of environmental initiatives including database manager for the largest Acid Rain monitoring project in the nation, establishing Newburyport's first Earth Day Celebration which grew to a 10 day event in 2009, to being a founding member of the
Greater Newburyport Eco Collaborative.

Heidi sees strategic sustainability as a way to move towards a prosperous, sustainable future by integrating environmental and social stewardship with economic management best practices.

Ms. Spinella is certified as a Project Management Professional by the Project Management Institute, has completed The Natural Step Strategic Sustainability for Leaders training and holds a Environmental Science Education.