About the Monadnock Sustainability Network

The Monadnock Sustainability Network is a group of business and community leaders who support sustainable living practices through education, outreach, and collective action. Our vision is to help make the Monadnock region a recognized model and imitated example for sustainable living including increased energy efficiency and reliance on renewable energy; greater self sufficiency in food production; healthier citizens and conservation of our pristine natural and scenic resources.

In January, 2008 a group of local green minded business people got together to discuss how to promote sustainability in the Monadnock region. The consensus was to focus on educating our neighbors and developing a network of like minded individuals, businesses, organizations and institutions in our area.  From this has grown the Monadnock Sustainability Network.  In November, 2009 MSN merged with the Monadnock Institute for Community Advancement and Sustainability (MICAS) a 501 c3 organization. MICAS began in 2003 and conducted forums and innovative programs on topics from agriculture to energy in an effort to bring various constituencies together in pursuit of sustainability.

MSN activities include:

  • Keeper of the Monadnock Sustainability Plan. Based on a 2005 regional energy assessment, the Monadnock region spends approximately $350,000,000 on energy in our buildings and transportation needs, if we reduced our energy use by 30% through simple no to low cost strategies, we could reduce our energy bills and avoid exporting $105MN a year.  Since New Hampshire ranks high for the cost of energy, the savings are worth our effort. The Monadnock Sustainability Action Plan has been developed as a basis to advance the work of municipalities, businesses, non-profits, institutions, and citizens in the Monadnock Region toward reducing dependence on imported fossil fuels for energy and improve the environment and human health in the region. MSN encourages you to please review this practical guide created by your fellow citizens for opportunities to be part of the solution.
  • Sponsor of the Monadnock Energy Hub (MEH) pursues effective and achievable initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy and improve energy security and resilience. We promote and organize actions that strengthen the locl economy during the urgent transition to renewables and we aspire to meet all of our electricity requirements with renewable energy by 2030 and our heating and transportation needs by 2050.
  • Sponsor of the Monadnock Community Solar initiative (MCSi).  MSN collaborated with students from Antioch University New England to bring community solar to the Monadnock region.  This yielded a comprehensive evaluation of community solar; a public presentation and the formation of the Monadnock Community Solar Initiative (MCSi) steering committee. The MCSi steering committee worked to install the first MCSi system on the Monadnock Food Co-op which produced over 42 MW hours of clean electricity in the first year. MSN supported the formation of the steering committee for the initial project with the understanding that it would develop a guidebook the NH Community Supported Solar Guide that can be used by others to pursue a locally owned, clean, renewable energy system in their community.
  • Sponsor of the Business Energy Efficiency Rally (BEER) formerly the 10% Challenge. The program was started in 2007 to support and encourage local businesses to make voluntary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce and the City of Keene were among the original sponsors.
  • Co Sponsor of the Green Business of the Year Award. This award recognizes leaders in the effort to bring sustainable practices to their organizations. Nominations are accepted during the winter and the award is made on Earth Day in April.
  • Workshops are held on a variety of topics including sustainability initiatives, local activities including Button Up NH workshops on energy conservation options.
  • Our web site offers postings to local organizations to share their activities.
  • Organizer of Monadnock (formerly Keene) Green Drinks a fun social networking event  which often includes a guest speaker on relevant,  interesting topics. Join us for good cheer, information and interesting conversations.
  • Contributors to the Green Monadnock Column in the Monadnock Shopper News and our blog.

As a non-profit 501 c3 you may make a charitable contribution to support our efforts, you can make a general contribution or support a specific initiative. We welcome those willing and interested in committing time, energy and their talents to join either our board of directors or the committee or group active in one of our initiatives.

Monadnock Sustainability Network (MSN) Board Member Description

MSN Mission

The Monadnock Sustainability Network (MSN) is a group of business and community members who support sustainable practices through education, outreach, and collective action. Our vision is to make the Monadnock region a recognized model and imitated example for sustainable living.

Board member function

An appointed board member is to provide leadership, direction, and support to MSN, implement the MSN strategic plan, activities and programs and encourage collaboration with other sustainable activities and programs. Board members represent MSN throughout the region.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities include:

-Participate in MSN management, policy setting, and program development

  • Assist with developing and/or implementing programs that fulfill its mission and vision
  • Participate in monthly board meetings
  • Participate on Board Subcommittee – Finance, Fundraising, Program/Membership, etc.
  • Carefully prepare for meetings in advance

-Provide financial direction

  • Responsible for the proper expenditure and management of funding
  • Develop, review and approve annual budget and financial statements
  • Approve monthly treasurer reports
  • Maintain a working knowledge of the budgetary process
  • Assess funding needs and actively pursue funding to implement programs

-Participate in public and community relation activities/programs as needed

  • Stay informed and inform others about issues which affect local sustainability
  • Develop partnerships with a wide variety of agencies and organizations to build collaborative approaches to resource needs
  • Be well versed with local issues, the stakeholders and interested in local sustainability issues

Ethical Standards

MSN board members are obligated to uphold high ethical standards. They must avoid any personal conflict of interest when carrying out their duties. Even the possible appearance of a conflict of interest can be damaging to MSN and should be avoided.

Terms of Service

Three years. Member can serve more than one three-year session but may take time off in between.


Board Members are appointed volunteers & receive no compensation other than preapproved reimbursement for actual expenses of mileage, registration, meals and other associated expenses when conducting the work of the MSN.


-Interest and understanding of the importance of building a more sustainable region that enhances the health, well being and resilience of the community,

-Knowledge of some or all the following: (advantageous for the board as a whole to have knowledge/expertise in all the areas)

  • Knowledge of and/or experience with building  sustainable organizations and communities
  • Cultivating community action and building collaboration to implement effective programs, projects, and policies.
  • Strategic planning processes
  • Fundraising and Development experience
  • Grant Writing
  • Business practices such as accounting, financial, web site and/or personnel management
  • Outreach and Education experience as well as communications and marketing skills including social networking

Commitment Requested

-Approximately 3-10 hours monthly (average over the course of the year), possible ways this time is committed:

  • Meeting attendance: two hours
  • Preparation for and follow-up on monthly meetings: one to two hours
  • Committee and or project work or individual tasks:  one to six hours

Training Opportunities

-Review the working documents of MSN

-Actively participate in the following:

  • Attend workshops, seminars, and events related to building sustainable communities
  • Keep informed on current issues