This section is designed to help you take action and address your sustainability priorities. Recommendations are sorted by the four main themes of people, property, planet, and profit. Each theme contains three sub-categories to help guide you to the actions most relevant to your goals.

To help meet each association where they are at on their sustainability journey and address varying levels of capacity, there are both “Quick Start” and “Deep Dive” recommendations.

Quick Starts are intended to require less time, energy, or financial resources than some of the “deeper dives.” If you’re already experienced with the “Quick Start” recommendation or are ready for a more in-depth and intensive exercise, explore the “Deep Dives” within each category.



This section promotes growth by unlocking opportunities for health, equity, and well-being. It includes activities, initiatives, and events undertaken to engage employees, associations, members, and communities.

Examples of actions under this pillar include engagement opportunities, wellness, and climate equity.

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Engagement & Awareness

Quick Starts

  1. Host accessible opportunities such as lunch 'n' learns, happy hours, coffee talks, field experiences, etc. to identify individuals interested in the subject matter and start building a coalition to potentially form dedicated action groups.
  2. Create channels, such as Facebook groups, for people to share information and prompt discussion around sustainability to help connect and identify like-minded individuals to start building awareness and education.
  3. Host an electronic recycling event, a shred event, or an LED light bulb exchange for Earth Day (April 22).

Deeper Dives

  1. Work with GADs, field representatives, federal political coordinators, or advocacy committees to share links and information with members on city planning and zoning meetings, department of energy meetings, etc. to facilitate your members' understanding and engagement with local planning.
  2. Create a sustainability section/resource library on your website to host information and resources for members that is most relevant to your local association/market to bolster communications.
  3. Explore the opportunity to include sustainability as a criterion in any existing state and local association volunteer or community involvement awards and recognitions. Consider developing your own recognition for those who go above and beyond within your local market.
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Health & Well Being

Quick Starts

  1. Create signage/placards with information describing association green features, such as energy-efficient appliances, water-efficient landscaping, etc., and their potential returns on investment to spark interest and connections between environment and sustainability for members.
  2. Promote local, organic, healthy food options when possible; limit single-use plastics and prioritize an inclusive and locally-sourced approach to your event and menu planning by including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Deeper Dives

  1. Partner with local transit authorities, bikeshare companies, etc. to offset or reduce barriers to more environmentally friendly commutes for staff and/or members.
  2. Work with local builders to identify and schedule a high-performance homes tour for members to better understand and interact with high performance and efficiency upgrades and residential opportunities.
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Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Quick Starts

  1. Increase financial and environmental sustainability by enabling and advocating for accessible, mixed-use, and sustainable housing and land use.
  2. Consider your association's current policy positions on generating increased diversity, equity, and inclusivity and open discussion for ways to integrate sustainability into these policies when appropriate.

Deeper Dives

  1. Examine and offer disclosure tools comparing the 'true' cost of ownership, incorporating items such as utilities, or commuting, into a cost disclosure indicator to provide increased transparency.
  2. Encourage and advocate for housing affordability, accessibility, sustainability, and adequate supply of housing. Review development in your area, as well as building codes, energy codes, and zoning for opportunities to integrate sustainable solutions.


This section focuses on helping members and communities mitigate and adapt to current and future risks to the industry using short- and long-term goals and actions that help members and communities respond to and prepare for extreme weather and a changing climate.

Examples of resilience actions include grants and funding opportunities, strategic planning integration, extreme weather preparedness, and climate research.

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Quick Starts

  1. Develop a long-term association relationship development plan to deepen ongoing joint-efforts and communications with cross-industry partners.
  2. Share information on social media or build an awareness campaign to improve membership understanding of the relevancy and importance of Green MLS fields and bolster utilization to help recognize unrealized value in home sales.

Deeper Dives

  1. Use the NAR Association Disaster Preparedness Plan Checklist to strengthen your association’s resilience and reduce your vulnerabilities to a variety of risks.
  2. Work with volunteer leaders to identify best places to introduce or adapt sustainability integration in your association's Strategic Plan. Explore and examine the 2023-2025 NAR Strategic Plan and its integration for reference or ideas.
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Resiliency Financing


Quick Starts

  1. Apply for an NAR Sustainability Grant to help fund projects, plans, programs and more that improve sustainability awareness and integration at your state or local association.
  2. Use an NAR Placemaking Grant to transform unused or “eyesore” sites into positive environmentally friendly spaces useful to the community.
  3. Use an NAR Safety Grant to support your association’s development of a resilience or disaster preparedness plan to help minimize risk and reduce potential harms.
  4. Start or join a relief fund and raise financial support and awareness for local members or REALTORS affected by natural disasters around your local market. Explore the resources at NAR’s REALTOR Relief Foundation for opportunities and inspiration.
  5. Create education for members around green financing opportunities and products for homeowners. Explore how these routes can help facilitate efficient home improvements and help improve affordability and increase equity in homeownership.

Deeper Dives

  1. Work with local energy and utilities companies to identify existing local incentive programs that can help reduce costs and improve resilience for homeowners in your market.
  2. Host an educational session for members to better understand the ins, outs, and insurance implications of Risk Rating 2.0 from FEMA in your local market. Use this NAR “Myth-Busting” resource to find out more.
  3. Explore publicly and privately provided incentives, rebates, and other funding opportunities to offset costs of efficiency upgrades, electric vehicle chargers, renewable energy sources at the association, and more.
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Extreme Weather & Climate Risk

Quick Starts

  1. Understand the environmental risk of your marketplace. Consider utilizing tools like ClimateCheck or RiskFactor to assess the biggest risk to properties in your local area.
  2. Work with local experts to help educate members on the unique ecosystems that are at risk or provide value or environmental enrichment to homes and homeowners in your market.

Deeper Dives

  1. Aggregate existing resources from your municipality, or create a new resource for membership, on the current climate risk information for your region, state, and/or local community. Review these resources annually to stay up to date on the latest.
  2. Work with local Emergency Management Agencies and/or emergency responders to develop a resilience plan or disaster recovery plan for your association to help mitigate potential damages and adapt to future risk.


This pillar measures the impact of specific, positive actions or programs linked to the natural environment.

Examples of actions under this pillar include items with a focus on environmental sustainability, energy efficiency measures, or general education of members and stakeholders on sustainability.

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Environmental Initiatives

Quick Starts

  1. Host an environmental cleanup event in/with your local community such as a beach or park cleanup to collect and properly dispose of misplaced trash.
  2. Replace aging or leaking plumbing with low-flow fixtures at the association building to increase operational efficiency.
  3. Convert association office lighting to LED lighting to increase energy efficiency.

Deeper Dives

  1. Create a guide or timeline to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics, paper at meetings, and other waste streams at association functions and in the workplace.
  2. Consider installing water-efficient and pollinator-friendly landscaping at the association building and communicate to members how they may help improve efficiency, reduce operating costs, and support the local ecosystem and how similar improvements may be replicated by homeowners.
  3. Install electric vehicle chargers at the association office to facilitate accessibility, improve the local electric grid, and meet community trends in demand and growth.
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Research & Data

Quick Starts

  1. Conduct research on the environmental organizations, community groups, and leaders that may exist in your market and identify which may be subject-matter experts to lean on and learn from in future opportunities to become better environmental stewards.
  2. Audit or assess your MLS green fields to gain a better understanding of which information is being collected around energy efficiency and home performance and construct a plan to increase the utilization rate of Green MLS fields.

Deeper Dives

  1. Work with a professional to conduct an energy audit of the association office to determine top priorities that will improve efficiency and reduce operating costs.
  2. Study the carbon footprint of your association and implement steps towards carbon neutrality. Explore what potential Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions may fall under your operations umbrella.
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Member Education

Quick Starts

  1. Introduce members to why this is important to their businesses by encouraging, offering or creating time for them to take the free, one-hour online course Sustainability and Resiliency: What REALTORS® Need to Know on
  2. Refamiliarize your membership with the 2023-2025 NAR Strategic Plan and explore the strategic opportunities “Climate and Sustainability” and “Environment, Social, Governance, and Resilience (ESG+R) Practices.”
  3. Host education events around specific sustainability topics like energy improvements, home retrofit options, EVs, etc. as you begin to identify internal and external subject matter experts.

Deeper Dives

  1. Create opportunities for members to acquire the GREEN Designation (available in person or online) to improve member understanding of green home features and build their confidence in their responsibilities vs. liabilities as a “source of the source.”
  2. Start an association recycling program and/or organics collection with informational signage to promote better waste habits and educate staff and members on local disposal regulations and capacities.
  3. Host an educational event to introduce members to the MLS Green fields available in your market (see Research & Data, Quick Start #2) to bolster their ability to match appraiser considerations with buyer desires.


This pillar demonstrates leading forward on sustainability and focuses on introducing and implementing the concepts of sustainability to members, state, and local associations using an integrated approach that brings sustainability into all areas of an association.

Examples of governance efforts include pointed leadership support, data and reportingESG+R-minded operational decisions, and industry partnerships.

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Quick Starts

  1. Start a sustainability work group, committee, or task force at the association to drive awareness and action around sustainability within the association and local market.
  2. Encourage your volunteer leaders to complete the C2EX endorsement and identify the points of integration for sustainability throughout the C2EX program.
  3. Identify or elect a sustainability point-person on staff to help with communication and initiate awareness-building through routes like e-newsletters or social media channels.

Deeper Dives

  1. Develop internal cross-committee work groups between association governmental affairs and sustainability efforts/committees to monitor policy proposals and provide subject matter expertise.
  2. Explore opportunities to highlight member leaders as champions supporting the sustainability conversation in your market through related events, partnerships or speaking opportunities.
  3. Create a contact list of all cross-industry partners in your association’s marketplace (such as builders, architects, appraisers, energy-raters, etc.) for future engagements and build professional connections for members to support their businesses.
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Quick Starts

  1. Engage in discussions with state and local governments to advocate for action allowing the utilization and availability of funds from the Inflation Reduction Act for your local community.
  2. Host a networking event or mixer with a local chapter of a related industry or real estate organization to explore and identify areas of shared interest as they intersect with sustainability, resiliency, and real estate.
  3. Identify and connect with local organizations, non-profits, or environmental groups that are leading the sustainability conversation to build community connections that will benefit your members and their businesses.

Deeper Dives

  1. Work with your local chapters of the U.S. Green Building Council, Urban Land Institute, American Institute of Architects, home builders, appraisers, etc. to develop shared resources, projects, or programs for members, such as the NAR-NAHB joint-initiative Home Performance Counts.
  2. Explore the Sapling Program tree-planting campaign from the National Forest Foundation to support your local national forests.
  3. Host a summit meeting with cross-industry partners in your association’s marketplace to better develop areas of mutual interest and opportunity and build awareness in your larger community.
Reporting and performance metrics

Reporting & Performance Metrics

Quick Starts

  1. Create and provide up-to-date and relevant sustainability talking points for association leadership, FPCs, and GADs.
  2. Build a plan to track usage of the green fields in your MLS. Use this information to increase utilization of green fields or inform your education and engagement opportunities.

Deeper Dives

  1. Conduct annual ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) reporting at your association to highlight actions, strengths and future opportunities for growth, and measure association success in these areas.
  2. Identify opportunities to increase or introduce the usage of renewable energy at the association office to help reduce operational costs.