Our history

Starting March 4, 2003, the core organizing committee met every two weeks to
formulate a mission, vision, business plan and structure for a broad-based
coalition of sustainability advocates. Born in the design and construction
industry, it was always envisioned that every facet of “community” would be

Since 2003, GreeningUSA has staffed information tables at a multitude of events;
co-sponsored a number of important documentary film screenings; presented at
multiple meetings, training sessions and conferences; organized and hosted
Green Drinks networking events for several years; sponsored events of like-
minded organizations; held a long list of Green Bag Lunch panel discussions;
provided several summer internships for students; participated in three Youth
Climate Summits; and signed on to countless initiatives from advocacy groups.

For a full list of GreeningUSA’s activities, advocacy and accomplishments since
2003, please contact us.


March 4, 2003​
The organizing committee first met.
October, 2003​
First public meeting. Attendees included a County Legislator and a broad-base of professionals.
May 21, 2004
A Certificate of Incorporation was issued to GreeningUSA, Inc. by New York State as a perpetual Not-for-Profit corporation.
June 15, 2004​
The first board of directors was nominated and elected at an organizational meeting.
October, 2004​
The first edition of the electronic newsletter was sent containing sustainability events hosted by GreeningUSA and like-minded organizations, as well as sustainability news.
Nov 19, 2004​
A public meeting was held to introduce a Sustainable Communities Rating System, that would eventually become the 12 Traits of Sustainable Communities.
March 24, 2005
First annual meeting.
Feb. 13, 2006
Played a key role in facilitating the application that successfully brought the AIA Sustainable Design Assessment Team to Syracuse as one of the eight cities selected
May 24, 2007
First “Sustaining Our Communities Awards” presented at the Annual Meeting.
Oct. 16, 2008
First “Sustainability Academy” event held at the Blodgett School in Syracuse.
April 2009
First exhibited at the “Party for the Planet” at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse. GreeningUSA would, starting in 2015, partner with the Zoo to recruit exhibitors, to this day.
May 12, 2009
Invited to team with the Onondaga Citizen’s League for their study titled, “What does it mean to be a green community?”
May 12, 2009
Invited to team with the Onondaga Citizen’s League for their study titled, “What does it mean to be a green community?”
June 17, 2009
First Mayoral Candidate Forum, hosted in partnership with 3 like-minded organizations. GreeningUSA would go on to co- host several more.
March 2010
First participation in and sponsorship of the NYS Green Building Conference, continuing to present day.
March 22, 2011
Named to the I-81 Community Liaison Committee.
May 4, 2011
Presented first “Sustainable Community” award to the City of Syracuse at the Annual Meeting.
May 30, 2012
The City of Syracuse revealed their “Draft Sustainability Plan”, informed by GreeningUSA’s 12 Traits of Sustainable Communities.
October 11, 2012
First Green Bag Lunch panel discussion.
March 7, 2017
Finalized the 12 Traits Position Papers after a review and comment period, and made them available to the public.
March, 2019
First in-person and virtual Green Bag Lunch event. Launched a YouTube channel with recordings of Green Bag Lunches and Annual Meetings.
April 2019
Joined NYRenews, a coalition of environmental justice, labor, faith and community organizations across New York State.
May 2020
Green Bag Lunches and Annual Meetings continued virtually during the pandemic.
May 2023
New Website Launched!

Some mission related organizations that we have allied with.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

GreeningUSA is incorporated in New York State as a nonprofit organization that meets the requirements of a Federal 501c3 tax-exempt entity.
GreeningUSA is based in Syracuse, NY with members organizing and participating in events and activities throughout the Central New York region. GreeningUSA also participates with other organizations around New York State to advocate for responsible legislation and government leadership related issues on sustainability. GreeningUSA members, including some members of the Board of Directors, are located in other states in the nation and are actively involved in sustainable community work. GreeningUSA publications, such as Policies for Sustainable Communities, based on the GreeningUSA 12 Traits of Sustainable Communities, are available nationwide. Any one, regardless of location, has access to GreeningUSA social media including our YouTube channel which chronicles many events, meetings, and programs for on-demand viewing.
Anyone with an interest in the mission and goals of GreeningUSA is eligible and encouraged to become a member. Dues are kept to a minimum to allow for the greatest number of members.
Since GreeningUSA qualifies as a 501c3 organization, any donation is eligible for an income tax deduction. However, consultation with a tax advisor is recommended for individual tax computations and deductions.