Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program

About the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program is an education and certification program that helps organizations and businesses protect our environment while enhancing their bottom line. The "plan-do- check-act" approach of the program offers information and guidance to implement an environmental management plan that improves efficiency, conserves resources, and promotes conservation efforts. Audubon International awards certification to publicly recognize and reward the environmental achievements and leadership of program members.

For information about joining the
Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program
Please contact Jessica Latus at

Get Involved and Get Results

Getting involved is easy. After joining the program, your next step is to take stock of environmental resources and areas to improve, and then develop an environmental management plan that fits your unique setting, goals, staff, budget, and time. Audubon International provides a Site Assessment and Environmental Planning Form to provide guidance, as well as educational information to help you with:

  • Outreach and Education
  • Resource Management
  • Water Quality and Conservation
  • Wildlife and Habitat Management

Based on your site assessment, we provide a site-specific report and work with you to implement your plan. By implementing and documenting environmental management practices in these areas, a business is eligible for designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, improving its stature and reputation.

The final step for certification is a site visit by an Audubon International staff member to document that certification standards have been met. The travel expenses associated with this visit are not covered, and will be billed on an individual basis based upon actual expenses incurred

Members receive a copy of A Guide to Environmental Stewardship At Your Business, an attractive membership art print, a subscription to our newsletter, Stewardship News, and a Certification Handbook to help plan, organize, and document environmental efforts. Membership also includes certification review and Audubon International staff support and direct consultation via telephone and e-mail.

Most importantly, ACSP members get results. They improve environmental performance and community relations, reduce liability, save money, and contribute to the conservation of our environment. Recertification is required every three years.

Annual program membership fees are $300 (USD) for properties located in the United States and $350 (USD) for properties in all other countries.

“The ACSP has highlighted what we are currently doing as a company and motivates us to keep striving for even stronger environmental initiatives both on property and within our community.”

-Kate Renner, Agricultural Supervisor

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Benefits of Membership

Being a responsible environmental manager is a key part of running a successful business, but, if you are like many people, you may not have the time or expertise to investigate and plan environmental strategies suited to your business. Audubon International can help. We understand that in order for you to green your business it has to be done a way that greens your bottom line. Below are just a few of the ways you can do that.

As a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program you will receive:

  • The expertise of Audubon International’s staff
  • Step-by-step instructions to create or enhance your businesses sustainability effort
  • Tools for engaging and educating community members about sustainability
  • Subscriptions to Stewardship News, our quarterly newsletter
    Regular email updates with new resources
  • Fact sheets on common topics
    Access to a network of businesses facing similar issues
  • Assistance with promoting your successes

But what kind of return might you expect on that investment? In strict financial terms, some of your efforts will pay off immediately and start saving or earning you money. Other efforts will have an up-front cost, but will have a definite payback period. Others still will not be as easily measured in economic terms, but will pay off in other ways that are just as meaningful, tangible, and important.

In addition, by becoming a more sustainable businesses you can expect to see many of the following long-term results:

  • Improved Image and Reputation–Proven environmental performance can help a business differentiate itself from others in a crowded market and add value by improving public relations and marketing opportunities that attract new customers.
  • Customer/Employee Satisfaction-Enhancing the nature of your business can enrich customers' experience and employee attitudes.
  • Financial Performance-An effective environmental management program can result in reduced insurance premiums, as well as reduced costs for energy, water, pesticides, fertilizers, equipment wear, and labor.
  • Worker Safety and Reduced Liability-Best practices for chemical management reduce exposure and liability risks associated with storing, handling, and applying chemicals.
  • Improved Efficiency-Proper environmental management cuts down on waste and promotes efficient operations.
  • Environmental Quality-The environmental management practices required for certification help businesses to improve the quality of our land, water, and air, and to conserve natural resources for future generations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does certification take?

Most organizations achieve certification within one to three years, depending on how quickly they plan, organize, implement, and document their environmental practices.

How does Audubon International verify that the member is meeting certification standards?

Written and photographic documentation is required to achieve certification. If required information is missing or management practices are not in place, Audubon International places a “pending” status on the certification request. This enables the member to provide the needed documentation or further develop its management strategies.

On-site verification by an Audubon International staff member is required prior to certification. Recertification is required every three years to ensure that members continue to uphold certification standards. Members that do not submit the appropriate documentation or are no longer meeting program requirements are decertified.

Who can achieve certification?

Properties enrolled in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program may apply for certification. There are no restrictions on the types of organizations that are eligible.

Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary - Success Stories

We are proud of our certified members accomplishments and have highlighted their stories! Browse the featured Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary success stories by clicking on the link below to learn about the incredibly diverse environmental stewardship projects and activities that take place at Audubon International Certified Communities.

To see your success story featured here, please send an email and an overview of your story to Jessica Latus.