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Institute for Sustainable Solutions

Collaboration for a more sustainable world.

The Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS) empowers effective community-university collaboration for a more livable, resilient, and sustainable future. 

With a specific focus on addressing climate change, ISS serves as a link between the city and PSU—working across campus and in the community to provide valuable educational experiences while advancing sustainability efforts in our city and region.

Featured Project: Small Backyard Homes

We're spearheading an initiative to make it easier and more affordable for Portland homeowners to construct a second house on their property—increasing housing options in a city with some of the fastest rising rents and lowest vacancy rates in the nation.

Called “accessory dwelling units” or ADUs, these small backyard homes provide more affordable housing options while reducing pollutants that cause climate change. 


About our programs:

Portland Climate Action Collaborative 

A partnership between the city and ISS to advance goals outlined in the Portland and Multnomah County Climate Action Plan.

Living Lab Program

Matching motivated faculty and students with University staff to work on projects that support PSU’s campus sustainability and climate action goals.

Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative 

Connecting PSU students and faculty with community organizations in long-term partnerships to advance neighborhood-scale efforts.

Sustainability Internship Program 

Providing students real-world experience through paid internships in professional fields that focus on resilience.

Faculty Fellows and 
Student Fellows 

Over 400 faculty and students from dozens of departments at PSU pursue sustainability research, teaching, learning, and action.

Urban Sustainability Accelerator 

Helping urban areas across the U.S. implement their sustainability projects—moving plans, concepts, and policies to reality.



Learn more in our 2016 Impact Report

Meet Institute staff and Advisory CouncilSubscribe to our e-newsletter.

The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation has provided generous support since 2008 to catalyze the work of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions and its partners across campus and beyond. Help build a better future by investing in education and supporting the Institute for Sustainable Solutions' work.