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BLUE EARTH CONSULTANTS
A Division of ERG
Creating Sustainable Solutions

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Our mission is to provide services for governments, businesses, investors, philanthropists, academic institutions, foundations, and inter- and non-governmental organizations to improve resource management, sustainable practices, and environmental and social resiliency.

Services

  • Strategic and Business Planning

    Strategic and Business Planning

  • Strategic and Business Planning

    Strategic and Business Planning

    An effective organization, government program, or initiative needs vision, resources, and the capacity to act. We help our clients build strategies and implementation plans that align organizational objectives, market realities, and available resources.

    • Perform competitive market analyses
    • Develop feasibility and needs assessments
    • Conduct systems and landscape assessments
    • Build integration schemes for multi-sector, bilateral, and multilateral initiatives
    • Develop financial forecasting models and budgets
    • Execute political and demographic trend analyses, including power mapping
    • Design and facilitate strategic planning meetings and retreats
    • Develop comprehensive strategic plans
    • Design programmatic and sector exit strategies
    • Develop and improve climate change adaptation and mitigation programs
    • Build sustainable fisheries and protected areas plans
    • Develop partnership and joint venture strategies and agreements
    • Build innovation pipelines within organizations and help future proof programs
  • Organizational Design, Governance, and Institutional Arrangements

    Organizational Design, Governance, and Institutional Arrangements

  • Organizational Design, Governance, and Institutional Arrangements

    Organizational Design, Governance, and Institutional Arrangements

    Highly functional organizations need effective organizational designs, systems, and policies. We help our clients research, design, and implement organizational models that maximize utilization, efficiency, and impact.

    • Assess feasibility and alignment of organizational structures and institutional arrangements
    • Design governance structures, policies, and organizational frameworks
    • Develop operational plans to facilitate growth, enhance capacity, and prioritize needs
    • Conduct analysis and develop tools to support information and data-based decision-making
    • Facilitate executive and board transitions
    • Assess and improve performance and workflow
    • Create and implement human capital management tools, processes, and systems
    • Support organizational recruiting, training, and professional development
    • Facilitate mergers and organizational restructuring, including for-profit, nonprofit, and hybrid structures
    • Connect information from diverse sources and distill lessons learned to identify opportunities, needs, and generate solutions
  • MEL

    Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

    MEL

    Organizations must continue to learn and evolve to create lasting success. We design and execute monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) frameworks to build organizational cultures of continuous improvement and evaluate programmatic impact.

    • Develop frameworks, plans, and tools to assess and measure contribution, causality, and success/impact
    • Design MEL costing plans from local to global scales
    • Develop SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) metrics
    • Collect baseline and routine monitoring data
    • Coordinate learning sessions for staff, funders, and partners on progress, best practices, and lessons learned
    • Design methods for improving performance and enhancing success through adaptive management
    • Define and assess economic, social, and environmental return on investment
    • Conduct developmental, formative, real-time, and summative evaluations of organizations, portfolios, programs, and projects
  • Funding, Long-Term Financing, and Economic Analysis

    Funding, Long-Term Financing, and Economic Analysis

  • Funding, Long-Term Financing, and Economic Analysis

    Funding, Long-Term Financing, and Economic Analysis

    Organizations need diversified and scalable funding to achieve long-term goals and build resiliency against dynamic markets. We evaluate and develop sustainable funding models for varied organizations and goals.

    • Identify legacy and innovative funding sources
    • Design sustainable financing mechanisms
    • Conduct feasibility analyses of alternative revenue streams
    • Design philanthropic fundraising strategies
    • Formulate concept and cultivation strategies to connect with donors and funding streams
    • Provide training and technical assistance to enhance funding and financing strategies
    • Design institutional arrangements, effective governance models, and operational controls to maximize utilization of funding
    • Conduct natural resource and ecosystem service valuations
    • Assess program costing, willingness to pay, and financial feasibility
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Strategic Communications

    Stakeholder Engagement and Strategic Communications

  • Stakeholder Engagement and Strategic Communications

    Stakeholder Engagement and Strategic Communications

    To create lasting impact, leaders in government, academic institutions, nonprofits, and businesses provide forums for decision-makers and stakeholders to provide input and seek influence. We use subject matter expertise, experience in change management, and facilitation skills to help build trust and lasting partnerships.

    • Develop strategies to build buy-in and foster productive relationships
    • Facilitate and design meetings
    • Elicit and clarify stakeholder priorities
    • Reach out to unengaged stakeholder groups
    • Support partner identification and recruitment
    • Build consensus, including conducting stakeholder situational analyses and developing consensus documents
    • Support joint fact-finding processes
    • Develop public-private partnerships
    • Support federal and state partnership programs
    • Design branding and strategic communications materials
    • Develop communications plans that are tailored to meet goals and internal capacities
    • Draft and create outreach materials and marketing collateral that reflect branding voice and visual style
    • Provide logistical outreach support and website and social media management
    • Synthesize and translate complex information to meet plain English requirements
    • Bridge gaps between scientists and consumers of science to improve science-based decision-making
    • Draft and execute integrated print and digital marketing campaigns, outreach materials, and social media strategies
  • Intermediary Services

    Intermediary Services

  • Intermediary Services

    Intermediary Services

    To scale great ideas, we work with diverse parties to build organizations, facilitate transactions, and bridge resource gaps. We bring concepts and strategies to life by building systems to support pilot programs, bring organizations to scale, and support indefinite-duration projects. We help evaluate and identify the best practices from government, nonprofits, academia, and business to create effective organizations that are prepared for the challenges of tomorrow and today.

    • Design and manage RFP processes
    • Conduct due diligence and manage peer and committee review
    • Develop capacity building initiatives and provide technical assistance
    • Facilitate public-private partnerships
    • Conduct ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and learning of grant programs
    • Provide technical capacity and organizational support to nonprofit and foundation startups
    • Build operational and legal frameworks
    • Conduct research, identify, and distill key standards for success
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Projects

Development of the California Biodiversity Initiative PilotSupport of the California State Wildlife Action Plan

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Support of the California State Wildlife Action Plan

Development of the California Biodiversity Initiative PilotChallenge

California’s State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) ensures a sustainable future for the state’s diverse plant and animal species. The plan’s success hinges on support from partners and on properly applying extensive institutional resources.

Solutions

Blue Earth Consultants helped the California Department of Fish and Wildlife draft SWAP and develop collaborative frameworks for working with partners and an operations strategy for implementing the plan. We produced nine sector-specific Companion Plans, facilitated meetings within each sector to align priorities and strategies for implementation, then built buy-in across stakeholder groups by managing an expert and public review process. We also developed a new, innovative operations strategy that specified project objectives, governance and staffing arrangements, an assessment of potential donor partners, and a plan for pilot testing a new implementation approach for SWAP and the Companion Plans.

Results

SWAP is the top guiding document for the California Biodiversity Initiative (PDF), a September 2018 executive order signed by former Governor Jerry Brown.

Client

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Related Publication

Partnership Strategy for a Sustainable African Forestry FundPartnership Strategy for a Sustainable African Forestry Fund

Global Environment Fund

Partnership Strategy for a Sustainable African Forestry Fund

Partnership Strategy for a Sustainable African Forestry FundChallenge

The Global Environment Fund invests in companies and endeavors that return measurable social and environmental benefits in addition to financial ones. To help maximize the impact of its sustainable forestry fund, GEF called on Blue Earth Consultants to identify, reach, and engage partners across nine African countries.

Solution

Blue Earth Consultants conducted market research and audience analysis to identify strategic partner organizations, then built a database to categorize each organization by country and by sector (e.g., biodiversity and conservation, health, etc.). We then worked closely with GEF to craft an outreach strategy and marketing materials for recruiting target partners and drafted a best practices document for building strong partnerships. We also drafted a document that outlined best practices and recommended next steps to build strong partnerships.

Results

GEF launched the Africa Sustainable Forestry Fund, a 12-year investment fund targeting $150 million in commitments for investment in Sub-Saharan Africa and formed partnerships to address the most significant environmental and social issues in the region.

Client

Global Environment Fund

Related Publications

Giant Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) underwater with the sun on the surface casting light rays down.Enhancing Management of California's Marine Protected Area Network

California Ocean Protection Council

Enhancing Management of California's Marine Protected Area Network

Giant Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) underwater with the sun on the surface casting light rays down.Challenge

In 2012, California officials and nonprofit partners completed an ambitious redesign of the state’s marine protected area (MPA) network. The California Ocean Protection Council asked Blue Earth Consultants to develop guidance and governance to help the state’s resource managers, funders, and stakeholders make the most effective use of the multifaceted network.

Solution

Our team played a crucial role in both the design and implementation of the state’s strategic plan for its MPAs. We interviewed and surveyed program participants and stakeholders to develop a shared vision and goals for the partnership between the state, MPA Collaborative Network, member collaboratives, and MPA Statewide Leadership Team. We managed the MPA Network’s small grants program, which helps fund member collaboratives. We worked with a state-appointed grant review committee to develop a request for proposals, review and approve grant requests, document project results lessons learned from grants, conduct technical assistance, and monitor the effectiveness of the program.

Results

Twenty-six entities formally signed on to the shared vision for advancing management of California’s MPA Network. In addition, MPA Collaborative Network Small Grants Program awarded $210,000 in grants ($140,000 in state funding and $70,000 in match from anonymous foundation).

Client

California Ocean Protection Council

Related Publications

Strategic Business Plan and Revenue Model for a New Marine Sciences InitiativeStrategic Business Plan and Revenue Model for a New Marine Sciences Initiative

University of California, Davis - Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute and Bodega Marine Laboratory

Strategic Business Plan and Revenue Model for a New Marine Sciences Initiative

Strategic Business Plan and Revenue Model for a New Marine Sciences InitiativeChallenge

The Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute and Bodega Marine Lab at the University of California, Davis support world-class research and teaching in coastal and marine sciences and policy. When CMSI and BML decided to create a collaborative initiative to address the economic, ecological, and social challenges of the rapidly changing land-sea interface in California, they turned to Blue Earth Consultants to chart the way forward.

Solution

We conducted extensive research on existing university institute and lab partnership models, documenting both the competitive landscape of multi/interdisciplinary degree programs and the market for such efforts. In addition, we compiled a database of potential donors to the partnership, combing through our existing academic and donor databases, and gathered insights and buy-in on governance and strategy through focus groups, online surveys, and individual phone interviews. Finally, we combined this information into a strategic business plan that included both a 30-year vision and a 5-year strategic business plan.

Results

CMSI and BML officially merged and launched this year with a new website, logo, and approval for three new academic hires. They now have over 150 students and this academic year received a $3 million graduate training grant from the National Science Foundation.

Client

University of California, Davis - Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute and Bodega Marine Laboratory

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News & Publications

FINAL_Public_Report_Builders_Initiative_Landscape_Analysis_coverAugust 10, 2020

Workforce Development in Aquaculture & Fisheries: Landscape Analysis of Ocean-Related Career Pathways for Leadership & Career Development

Workforce Development in Aquaculture & Fisheries: Landscape Analysis of Ocean-Related Career Pathways for Leadership & Career Development

FINAL_Public_Report_Builders_Initiative_Landscape_Analysis_coverAugust 10, 2020

An educated and trained workforce is critical to ensuring that the aquaculture and fisheries sectors can sustainably adapt to ongoing changes and increasing demand. This workforce must be able to tackle emerging challenges and possess the requisite knowledge and skills to enhance industry sustainability. To better understand career pathway options for the aquaculture and fisheries sectors, the Builders Initiative hired Blue Earth Consultants, a Division of ERG, to complete a landscape assessment of North American (including the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Greater Caribbean) aquaculture and fisheries education and training programs. Blue Earth conducted web-based research and qualitative interviews with representatives from ocean-related businesses and developed recommendations the Builders Initiative could use to strengthen training and career development opportunities. This report, “Workforce Development in Aquaculture & Fisheries,” summarizes findings from the assessment.

Client

The Builders Initiative

Alameda CityApril 13, 2020

NEWS: ERG Supports Award-Winning Climate Action and Resiliency Plan

NEWS: ERG Supports Award-Winning Climate Action and Resiliency Plan

Alameda CityApril 13, 2020

ERG recently helped the City of Alameda, California, develop its Climate Action and Resiliency Plan (CARP) to increase Alameda’s resilience to climate change and ensure a sustainable and healthy environment, society, and economy. The CARP is one of the few adopted climate action plans in the United States to include a social vulnerability analysis. To develop the plan, several ERG offices combined their expertise in geographic information systems; economics; greenhouse gas mitigation; and adaptation to sea level rise, wildfire smoke, heat, drought, and street flooding across all city sectors. Impressed with ERG’s work, the City submitted the CARP for the American Public Works Association (APWA) Northern California Chapter to consider for its 2020 Sustainability Practices Project Award. The CARP won first place and has now been entered into the APWA national awards competition.

Original Publication Name

Climate Action and Resiliency Plan (CARP)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Evaluation of the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants ProgramSeptember 16, 2019

Program Evaluation and Assessment of Small Watershed Grants Program

Program Evaluation and Assessment of Small Watershed Grants Program

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Evaluation of the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants ProgramSeptember 16, 2019

Our evaluation assessed program performance of the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants Program (SWG) for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Blue Earth Consultants used social, organizational, and biophysical data and measures to investigate potential changes in grantee capacity for project implementation, regional partnerships, and overall project impacts to the Chesapeake Bay bioregion. A final comprehensive report included recommendations for NFWF, the Environmental Protection Agency, and SWG program partners with insights regarding potential changes of grantees’ technical capacity to implement conservation and restoration projects in relation to the recommendations and actions since 2007.

Client

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

2018 Coastal Resilience Workshop at UC IrvineOctober 15, 2018

NEWS: 2018 Coastal Resilience Workshop at UC Irvine

NEWS: 2018 Coastal Resilience Workshop at UC Irvine

2018 Coastal Resilience Workshop at UC IrvineOctober 15, 2018

Blue Earth Consultants helped organize the fourth annual UC Irvine coastal resilience workshop, Strengthening Coasts for a Resilient Future, in July 2018. The workshop provided opportunities to learn and make new connections with people doing work related to coastal resilience.

UC Irvine has prepared video recordings of the Wednesday evening event and Thursday workshop, which are available on YouTube here:

Full playlist: video link

Individual videos:

  • An Evening with Gary Griggs: Coasts in Crisis–Toward a Sustainable 21st Century (video link)
  • Welcoming remarks from Associate Chancellor Wendell Brase and Thursday keynote presentation by Dr. Charles Lester (video link)
  • Case Studies: Planning for Resilient Coasts (video link): Tinya Hoang, Liam Garland, Chris Helmer, and Dr. Tiffany Wise-West
  • Tools for Coastal Resilience (video link): Eric Berman, Dr. Walter Heady, and Eric Hartge
  • Case Studies: Implementation in Action (video link): Danielle Boudreau, Carrie Grassi, and Victoria Elema
  • Green Infrastructure Solutions (video link): John Rozum, Mary Small, and Dr. Robert Young
  • Closing Remarks from Jennifer Phillips (video link)

Original Publication Name

Coastal Resilience 2018

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About Us

We specialize in developing sustainable solutions to complex, multi-faceted marine and terrestrial issues. We help our clients build institutions, programs, and projects that realize significant returns for the environment and social resiliency.

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