The Sustainability InstituteThe Sustainability Institute

Our Mission

Empowering South Carolinians to Conserve Energy & Reduce Our Environmental Footprint Where We Live & Work.

Our Programs

Energy Conservation Corps (ECC)









Charleston RISES

Not Your Gramma’s Certification Program: Built for Our Generation AND the Next.

Our Goal? Buildings that are TRULY high-performing.

The RISES Certification promotes new construction projects that are at least 30% more energy and water efficient and constructed using materials that do not adversely affect the health and well-being of the building occupants.

Developed to address the specific green building priorities of the Charleston, South Carolina region.

This certification is designed by industry leaders and people with technical know-how, RISES provides 6 tangible values to your project: (1) Expert Advice; (2) Measurable Results; (3) Relevant Strategies; (4) Convenience/ Ease of Use; (5) Affordability; and (6) Lightning Fast Process.

The RISES tag is an acronym for the building ingredients that industry-leading and responsible projects focus on and adhere to: Resilient; Innovative; Sustainable; Efficient; and Safe.


Charleston WISE

Your one-stop-shop for home energy upgrades.

Our certified experts offer trusted advice, personalized services and best-in-class workmanship to ensure complete satisfaction through every step of your home improvement. Whether your goal is to reduce utility bills or to diagnose and fix comfort or moisture problems — we have you covered!

As a fully licensed and insured contracting company with the most experience in the industry, our objective is to help homeowners make smart investments that offer a great return, while simplifying and taking the headache out of the renovation process.

Whole house assessments • Home performance contracting • Code compliance testing • Moisture investigation • Performance testing • Certification • Design consultation • And much more!

The WISE tag is an acronym for “Worthwhile Investments Save Energy.

Charleston Upper Peninsula Initiative

An innovative, community planning and urban redevelopment effort focused on the Upper Eastside of the Charleston peninsula.

8 strategies designed to combine existing community assets with innovative planning techniques and new projects.

Our vision is for the Upper Peninsula area to become a progressive model for sustainable urbanism – that is, a vibrant place where people want to live, work and play because of its unique local character and strong emphasis on smart development, sustainability, resiliency, affordability, community and mobility.

Energy Conservation Corps (ECC)

Energy Conservation Corps

A Nationally Recognized and Award-Winning Program Affiliated with AmeriCorps.

Two Goals:

  1. Produce qualified and certified industry leaders that are job-ready to meet the regional demand for professionals that can perform specialized energy upgrades on both new and existing homes.
  2. Significantly impact housing affordability by performing direct energy efficiency retrofits on low income homes suffering from inefficiencies and high/ unaffordable energy costs.

This innovative program is powered by two important and underserved groups in our community – military service veterans, and at-risk young adults – and has produced two national AmeriCorps “Member of the Year” award winners (out of more than 22,000 members nation wide).

Visionary Sponsors

First Citizens
Pathfinder Foundation
The Corps Network


  • 113 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401
  • 843.529.3421