Center for Resource Solutions III

Spring-Summer 2015
Project Type
Full team
Project Focus
Strategic Planning
Organization Type


A national nonprofit with global impact, the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) creates policy and consumer-protection mechanisms to advance sustainable energy. Founded in 1997, CRS develops expert responses to climate change issues in renewable energy, greenhouse gas reductions, and energy efficiency. Its largest program, Green-e, is North America’s leading independent, consumer-protection certification program for renewable energy and carbon offsets offered by utilities and other energy sellers.


After ACT’s previous two projects with CRS—which explored program-level growth strategies for CRS’ Green-e program, identified a series of steps to grow income significantly, and defined and focused the organization’s mission statement in light of expected changes in renewable energy marketplace—CRS asked ACT to work with the board and staff to develop a 10-year strategic plan for the organization, establishing its strategic posture, direction, and priorities.

Project Objectives

  • Identify programs adapted to changes in the renewable energy landscape
  • Develop a stronger and broader reputation and standing for the organization
  • Continue to improve CRS’s financial security
  • Develop a staffing/organization plan to facilitate anticipated growth

Project Overview

The ACT team conducted the project in four steps. First, the team sought to understand CRS’ situation, ambitions/mission, and likely future environment. The results of the CRS II ACT project were used to supplement this research. Second, the team identified and explored key strategic issues, as well as generated opportunities for resolving the issues. The team then formed several plausible alternative strategies for the organization and selected the most promising. Finally, the ACT team detailed the chosen strategy, including consideration of financial resources required, capabilities needed, staffing and organization, and time-phasing of key action steps.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that the organization evolves in line with changes in the renewable energy marketplace
  • Refocus and strengthen CRS’s policy and market-protection efforts
  • Over the course of the next 10 years, implement ACT’s six proposed new program initiatives, including extensions of current efforts as well as all-new initiatives that respond to emerging trends in renewable energy
  • Reorganize and re-prioritize CRS’s ongoing “base case” work

Final Report Outline

  • Project objectives and work plan
  • Review of materials from the interim presentation
  • Strategy generation and selection
  • Strategy detailing