S4S: Small Business Educational Programs

Education is an essential element of any effective sustainability or energy efficiency program. S4S has created tried and tested small business educational programs (Sustainable Profits) that can be run by your staff or local consultants via on-site sessions or on-line webinars. NCS provides you with the curriculum, slide decks, facilitator handbook, and training to run the program.

Sustainable Profits programs use a pragmatic approach to educate businesses on the profit-enhancing attributes of sustainability, while providing them with tools and resources that drive action. Each program includes content on low-cost building upgrades, no-cost behavioral change and how to build an efficiency culture that sustains what might otherwise be short-term savings.

Sustainable Profits programs have been run in almost a dozen communities across the country, providing substantial energy, water, and waste reductions to all participating businesses.

What the Sustainable Profits program includes: 

The Sustainable Profits program is focused on action. Each program leads participants through the creation of a tactical plan that identifies what efficiency and sustainability measures the business will complete in the next few months or years (the business decides on the appropriate time frame). The program enables businesses to identify which actions to implement first, while calculating the potential ROI for each measure. All of this happens in tandem with education on the business case for sustainability, cost-saving opportunities, non-energy benefits like productivity and brand enhancement, and the creation of an efficiency culture to ensure long-term savings.
Choose from one of the pre-formatted workshop structures, or work with NCS to customize your program.

An intensive, three-month program for mid-sized businesses (four full day seminars)solid, systemic approaches to implementing sustainable business practices that culminates in presentation of a tactical action plan. Includes lots of exercises and builds peer community. A deep dive into energy efficiency, resource and materials efficiency, employee engagement, benchmarking and funding. In addition, the program covers broad-based corporate considerations such as external stakeholder engagement, branding, purchasing, innovation and product development.

A six-week introductory workshop series for small businesses (four half-day workshops):a quick-start approach to moving small businesses down the path of sustainability. Most topics from the intensive four-month program (above) are covered, but in less depth. Similar to the intensive program, this program culminates in participants presenting a tactical plan.

Six-session webinar program for small businesses: 
an introductory program for small businesses, appropriate when drawing participants from a large geographic area and/or a small business community that prefers to meet online. This program can be delivered live, or offered pre-recorded to allow participants to learn at their own place. Content typically focuses on energy efficiency. When paired with one-on-one consulting, participants may also develop and present a tactical action plan.

Sustainable Profits can be a stand-alone program or be paired with existing efficiency programming. 

As a stand-alone offering, Sustainable Profits can provide all the tools and resources a business needs to implement efficiency. Whether a business is just starting out with energy efficiency, or looking for ways to enhance existing sustainability initiatives, Sustainable Profits provides a structure to get them to their goals.

When paired with audit and direct install programming, Sustainable Profits will achieve greater energy reductions with relatively minimal time/resource allocation. This cost-effective program helps maximize investments in efficiency programming. enabling businesses to integrate more efficient practices into their operations, sustaining what might otherwise be short-term gains.



NCS' Philosophy: "NCS is a non-profit. We work with organizations that are authentic in their pursuit of sustainability as a way of fulfilling our mission. This doesn’t mean altruism – businesses should pursue sustainability because it increases profitability and manages risks. It does mean that we choose clients because they are committed to implementing sustainability and not just talking about it."
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