Full-spectrum services

We combine creative collaboration and cutting-edge expertise to solve today's toughest social and environmental challenges.

Data you can trust. Plans you will use. Change you can measure.
Cascadia’s interdisciplinary team provides a holistic blend of services that bridge areas of expertise, connect social and environmental initiatives, and generate enthusiasm across sectors. Below are a few examples of how we apply research, planning, and engagement in our work. 

Community Engagement Services

Cascadia’s diverse staff delivers multicultural outreach, engagement, communications and behavior change rooted in social science research and co-design principles. Through listening, documenting, elevating, and engaging, Cascadia facilitates community ownership of resilience planning processes, adoption of best practices, and advocacy for more just, sustainable systems.

Community Co-Design
Collaborating with communities to shape a shared future

Cascadia advises government workgroups and planners on how to invite and actively include communities at the outset of planning processes–particularly frontline and BIPOC communities that have not often benefited from capital improvement, transportation, green infrastructure, or other place-based projects. We help to build functional partnerships, trust and understanding, design community agreements, shape inclusive agendas, and facilitate technical or contentious discussions to help build trust and support transparency.

Social Marketing and Behavior Change
Educating, empowering, and inspiring communities with proven best practices

Cascadia is supporting clients in their planning and development processes to include more input from the communities most affected by change–especially frontline and BIPOC communities that have historically been left out of the conversation. Cascadia brings a social marketing approach to help planners design, implement, and–importantly–evaluate the success of inclusive engagement processes by identifying the critical communication channels, messages, incentives, and partners to invite engagement and inspire trust.

Market Research and Evaluation
Consolidating feedback and findings into actionable paths forward

Cascadia’s market research and evaluation services draw from social marketing best practices to uncover the motivations and barriers driving social and environmental action–or lack thereof. We leverage our deep communications experience along with research and analytical expertise to invite, manage, and analyze meaningful qualitative and quantitative data across languages and cultures, through surveys and interviews, focus groups, and charrettes. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and we take creative, innovative, and equitable research approaches when necessary. Our reports break down findings into clear and actionable recommendations.

Technical Assistance Programs
Removing barriers to action with powerful, purposeful programs

We love designing and managing large-scale programs that deliver not only information and outreach but resources, recommendations, and hands-on technical assistance to businesses and multifamily properties. Cascadia’s multilingual outreach specialists and technical experts work site-by-site to remove barriers and uncover benefits to green growth initiatives, such as waste prevention, recycling and composting, edible food recovery, energy efficiency, water conservation, pollution prevention, sustainable transportation, and more.

Creative Services
Making content more attractive and accessible for more meaningful reach and impact

Cascadia brings creative expertise to projects of all types–from large-scale community engagement programs to research summaries and action plans. We apply visual design, transcreation, and creative multimedia to make data and science-based information more accessible to more people. Our featured services include graphic design for print and digital formats along with digital illustration, video editing, photography, website design, and GIS mapping.

Equity and Inclusion Services

We work alongside the communities most impacted by social and environmental health and justice challenges to shape inclusive, innovative, and effective solutions. Our team works internally and with clients and partners to elevate racial equity across projects through intentional training, power-sharing, and community co-design.

Community Co-Design
Elevating community voices for a Just Transition

Cascadia advises government workgroups and planners on how to invite and actively include communities at the outset of planning processes–particularly frontline and BIPOC communities that have not often benefited from capital improvement, transportation, green infrastructure, or other place-based projects and investments. We help to build functional and reciprocal partnerships, design community agreements, shape inclusive agendas, and facilitate technical or contentious discussions to help build trust and support transparency.

Anti-Racist Project Management
Building equity and inclusion into every task on every project

Cascadia’s Anti-Racist Project Management cohorts bring together project managers across areas of specialization to examine and improve project management practices by centering racial equity. These learning cohorts are dedicated to improving power-sharing with DBE and WBE partners; supporting team members working in cross-cultural contexts; and leveraging lived experience in ways that improve community engagement outcomes and build trust.

Environmental and Social Justice
Building a future that works for everyone

Across different types of projects, from pollution prevention programs to affordable housing plans to transit-oriented development projects, Cascadia implements approaches that elevate community experiences, priorities, and needs. When delivering larger campaigns and programs, we apply targeted universalism rather than a “mainstream-suits-all” approach to promote engagement where it’s most needed. We conduct community-based research and co-design–including in-language surveys and focus groups, listening sessions, and workshops–and build in fair compensation for community partners, ambassadors, and other participants to ensure that the most impacted communities gain proportional and redistributed benefits.  

Technical Assistance Programs
Removing barriers to action with powerful, purposeful programs

Cascadia designs and manages large-scale technical assistance programs that deliver tailored recommendations, multilingual resources, and hands-on technical assistance to small and BIPOC-owned businesses and multifamily properties that face additional barriers to adopting sustainability practices or complying with local requirements. Our technical assistance team offers cross-sector expertise in waste, water, energy, and transportation and is equipped to provide full-spectrum support, from initial goal setting through implementation and beyond.

Connecting authentically with community-centered content

Transcreation–a creative process that considers cultural relevancy and nuances in addition to translation–is a powerful tool for cross-cultural communication and engagement. Cascadia works with clients to define transcreation needs in relation to project goals, design thoughtful transcreation processes, and  work with partners to develop clear, accessible, and visually appealing materials. Our intentional approach to this work creates opportunities to deepen relationships with priority communities even in advance of outreach or engagement campaigns.

Climate Change Services

Cascadia specializes in working with public, private, and tribal agencies to create strategic climate action plans. Our climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience planning processes incorporate robust impact and vulnerability assessments, greenhouse gas inventories, and inclusive stakeholder engagement.

Greenhouse Gas Inventories
Understanding the environmental impacts of human-centered systems

GHG inventories set the stage for developing high-impact climate strategies and serve as the key indicator for monitoring and assessing progress over time. Cascadia has extensive experience applying global best practices to local-level inventories, estimating consumption-based emissions based on localized data and preparing wedge analyses and online dashboards that incorporate innovative tools such as ICLEI’s contribution analysis tool to help planners clearly see where the greatest opportunities for emissions reduction can be found, as well as communicate the measurable risks of inaction.

Climate Vulnerability Assessments
Mapping and mitigating climate related threats

Cascadia works alongside small and large cities and tribal communities to identify the most significant climate-related threats on the horizon, forecast short and long-term planning scenarios, and develop practical, equitable resilience strategies. Our approach is unique in that we keep the community itself centered throughout research, planning, and implementation. We make the science accessible for broader understanding, share strategies that incorporate both jurisdictional and individual action, and emphasize not only the direct environmental and economic impacts of action, but the community co-benefits as well.

Climate Action and Adaptation Planning
Applying science to build resilience for communities and ecosystems

Cascadia has worked with dozens of cities, counties, tribes, and state agencies along the west coast and across the country to create action strategies and implementation plans that meet client climate goals and address greenhouse gas emissions and climate impacts within a hyper local context. We ground our planning work in sound and transparent analysis and technical expertise—drawing from greenhouse gas emissions forecasts and models, vulnerability assessments, and emerging research and technology—to arrive at a strategic path toward meeting climate goals. Our process involves robust stakeholder engagement—including community members—to prioritize the specific strategies and actions that address the community’s greatest threats, protect its most vulnerable residents, and deliver the most compelling co-benefits for social, environmental, and economic resilience. Our plans are accessible to diverse audiences, visually engaging, and designed for use in day-to-day planning and prioritization.

Climate Outreach and Engagement
Fostering climate awareness and action

In the early stages of climate action and adaptation planning, Cascadia supports agencies in shaping highly inclusive community engagement processes that invite diverse perspectives, build a shared science-based understanding, and drive toward policies that reflect and support community priorities. Later, as jurisdictions launch into implementation, Cascadia creates tailored educational programs and behavior change campaigns that center climate change messaging in local values and keep communities feeling engaged and empowered. We combine tactics ranging from high-touch multicultural marketing campaigns to small, volunteer-based sustainability academies that equip participants to become ambassadors for community resilience.

Decision Support Tools
Make sustainable, equitable, and economical decisions with a little help from technology

Cascadia creates and deploys custom interactive tools that support climate action, from basic GHG accounting to long-range climate action and adaptation scenario modeling. We work closely with our clients to understand their planning processes and needs, and then tailor a product that balances social, economic, and environmental priorities while also addressing key uncertainties and concerns. Our full-service delivery includes customized user guides, user and administrator trainings, and stakeholder engagement support to build awareness and capacity for collaborative, data-driven climate planning.

Waste, Recycling and Reuse Services

Cascadia is an industry leader for data-driven analyses, practical strategies, and on-the-ground assistance to prevent waste, increase diversion, and drive toward a circular economy. Our services cover the full materials management life cycle, from downstream characterization studies and technical assistance to upstream planning and behavior change initiatives.

Waste Characterization Research
Uncovering the stories hiding in waste

Since the late 1980s Cascadia has specialized in designing and conducting waste characterization studies. From nationwide litter studies to back-of-house generator audits, Cascadia’s expert team is adept at shaping studies that deliver reliable, representative data about the materials we use, and where they end up. Our methodologies include mobile and centralized sampling, hand sorts and visual estimations, and analyses that break down streams by generator, by geography, or by material type. Cascadia is continually advancing the state-of-the-art in waste characterization. We are currently working with key partners on training and improving the artificial neural networks employed by robotic sorting equipment.

Strategic Planning
Creating a future free from waste

Cascadia offers a full suite of services providing support and strategic guidance during each phase of materials management policy development and planning, from research and stakeholder engagement to data collection, analysis, program design, and implementation. We have worked with clients throughout the U.S. and globally to develop solid waste management plans, research and draft policy related to extended producer responsibility, support for edible food recovery programs, and conduct research on end-of-life management approaches for materials that advance the circular economy for municipal, corporate, and institutional clients.

Waste Prevention and Resource Recovery Programs
Making it easier to reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost

Cascadia has deep roots in waste prevention and resource recovery and nearly 30 years of experience designing and implementing broad-based assistance programs that deliver site-specific recommendations and hands-on technical support to businesses and multifamily properties that are setting up programs for the first time or boosting their sustainability to the next level. Cascadia’s multilingual outreach specialists and technical experts work alongside program customers–from CEOs and managers to custodians and staff–to realize benefits like customer engagement, bottom-line savings, and a measurable reduction of waste to landfill.

Community Engagement
Turning community intention into action

Recyclable materials markets are continuously changing, locally and worldwide, and communities can have a hard time keeping up. Cascadia works with cities and counties to create tailored educational programs and behavior change campaigns that center waste prevention and recycling messages in a local context, and keep communities feeling informed and empowered. We combine tactics ranging from high-touch multicultural marketing campaigns to small, volunteer-based recycling and composting courses that turn passionate community members into informed champions for waste reduction.

Decision Support Tools
Make sustainable, equitable, and economical decisions with a little help from technology

Cascadia prepares sophisticated, configurable modeling and decision-making tools to support communities in managing waste and recycling and growing a circular economy. Our tool development team works flexibly across platforms–including Power BI, Google Forms, ArcGIS, Quickbase, and others to collect and manage data from a variety of sources and in a variety of formats. Our tools are designed to reveal both big-picture trends and unique insights that support planners in maximizing diversion, minimizing costs, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the whole product lifecycle.

Sustainable Transportation Services

Cascadia works with local and regional transportation and transit agencies to plan and implement transportation solutions that are practical, equitable, and sustainable. Our team supports planning and impact assessment, multi-modal capital improvement projects, and community outreach and engagement campaigns.

Transportation Demand Management
Providing outreach, engagement, and technical assistance where the rubber meets the road

Growing communities face major challenges when transportation infrastructure lags behind demand. As our nation and world trend toward smarter urban transit solutions, many local governments are considering innovative alternatives to “more lanes on more roads.” Cascadia supports this work by designing and delivering campaigns that promote and incentivize alternatives to single-occupancy vehicle trips, working with commuters and their employers, local businesses, community groups, schools, and other partners to clarify the individual and community wide benefits of greener transportation–and make it easier to take part in the shift.

Multimodal Outreach and Engagement
Helping communities realize the benefits of multimodal traveld

Reducing single-occupancy vehicle travel is one of the highest impact, lowest cost options for reducing carbon emissions, protecting air and water quality, and improving human health in densely-populated areas. Cascadia works with governments and transit agencies to identify the primary barriers to adoption of multimodal transportation options in a community, design incentives and messaging to help overcome those barriers, and engage communities in adopting lifestyle changes that support local and global resilience.

Inclusive Public Involvement
Providing an inclusive framework for community conversations

Cascadia’s passionate public involvement team specializes in delivering place-based, multicultural outreach and engagement around transit development projects, roadway construction, and other capital improvement initiatives. This team has served as the conduit for communications planning, marketing, outreach, and stakeholder engagement on over 100 transportation and capital improvement projects throughout Western Washington. Our multilingual team delivers inclusive outreach and communications efforts across virtually every imaginable channel—from neighborhood block parties to social media campaigns.

Sustainable Transportation Planning
Providing technical expertise, facilitation, and coordination to move transit initiatives forward

Cascadia provides expert facilitation and stakeholder engagement support to transportation and transit agencies navigating intensive–and sometimes contentious–policy and plan development processes. From electrification to decarbonization to transit-oriented-development, we work with planning teams to connect planning priorities to on-the-ground impacts, build strategic partnerships with critical stakeholders, and link up planning outcomes with community and environmental benefits.

Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Services

Cascadia designs and delivers audience-centered outreach, education, and training around water quality and conservation. We work alongside city planners and developers to promote low impact development, natural drainage systems, sustainable land care, and compliance with state and federal stormwater requirements.

Inclusive Public Involvement
Providing an inclusive framework for community conversations

Cascadia specializes in leading inclusive public involvement for green infrastructure and other capital improvement projects. In communities throughout Western Washington and–increasingly–in the Bay Area, we have developed a strong understanding of how to invite and actively include communities at the outset of planning processes–particularly frontline and BIPOC communities that are often the most impacted by development efforts. We help to build functional partnerships, design community agreements, shape inclusive agendas, and facilitate technical or contentious discussions to help build trust and support transparency.

Outreach and Engagement
Inspiring everyday actions that protect water resources and ecosystems

Cascadia takes an upstream approach to protecting water resources–way upstream. We support local governments and tribes in combating non-point source pollution by designing and delivering education and behavior change programs focused on keeping harmful substances off the ground and out of drains–and installing natural drainage systems that divert stormwater away from problem areas. Our work connects with residents and businesses across industries and cultures and includes topics like used motor oil recycling, vehicle maintenance, onsite spill kits, litter prevention, natural yard care, and more.

Training and Certification Programs
Promoting best practices among planners, practitioners, and consumers

Planners, designers, developers, contractors, and land care professionals are responsible for implementing policies and guidelines related to green infrastructure, and they are also well positioned to go above and beyond the minimum requirements. Cascadia helps to grow industry awareness, understanding, and support for sustainability policies through incentivized training and certification programs that make green infrastructure innovation more accessible and rewarding, inspiring “above and beyond” approaches that make a real difference for communities.

Watershed Resilience Planning
Working with multi-stakeholder teams to manage water resources equitably and sustainably

Cascadia has a long history of facilitating successful and inclusive watershed protection, restoration, and planning processes.  We have supported local, regional and watershed-level stakeholder groups for state and regional agencies, tribes, and local jurisdictions to provide neutral, third-party facilitation, inclusive engagement, evaluation, analysis, strategic planning, and process coordination.

Energy and Water Services

Cascadia designs and manages on-the-ground energy and water efficiency programs that lead to measurable environmental, economic, and equity benefits. Our multilingual teams engage community members, businesses, and organizations to adopt best practices, pursue certifications, or serve as ambassadors for environmental action.

Outreach and Engagement
Educating, empowering, and inspiring communities with proven best practices

As jurisdictions begin implementing long-range climate action plans, community members are being asked to make big and little changes in their day-to-day lives. Cascadia works with governments and utilities to create tailored educational programs and behavior change campaigns that center energy, water, waste, and transportation messaging in local values and keep communities feeling engaged and empowered. We combine tactics ranging from high-touch multicultural marketing campaigns to small, volunteer-based sustainability academies that deliver tools and resources where they’re needed most, and equip participants to become ambassadors for resilience in their own communities.

Energy and Water Strategic Planning
Planning for a resource-resilient future

Cascadia blends specialized expertise leading strategic planning efforts with an up-to-date understanding of energy and water resource markets and drivers spanning the local government and commercial sectors, utility programs, and across state and federal policies. We work with multi-stakeholder partnerships and planning groups to distill these complex market and policy pressures and opportunities into clear focus, and use engaging facilitation to develop compelling visions, strategies, and implementation plans to drive local and regional change.

Clean, Green Development Support
Facilitating partnerships to promote sustainable and equitable urban development

Cascadia brings together stakeholders across public and private interests to shape long-range resource efficiency and renewable energy plans that are progressive but practical, supported by communities and industry, and that will achieve the energy savings and emissions reductions that are required to meet mitigation and adaptation goals. Our projects have included green building programs, electrification strategies, deep-decarbonization plans, and other cross-cutting initiatives at regional, state, and local levels.

Technical Assistance and Direct Install Programs
Removing barriers to action with powerful, purposeful programs

Even though reducing energy and water use is known to lower utility bills, many residents and businesses find it difficult to make the small upgrades and operational changes that are required to produce measurable benefits. Cascadia works with governments and utilities to develop community-focused programs that remove the primary barriers to action–with education, rebates, incentives, and sometimes direct installation of fixtures–with in-person, in-language outreach and technical assistance. Our programs serve stakeholders across commercial and residential sectors, prioritizing historically underserved communities.

Natural Resource Services

Providing stakeholder engagement, facilitation, and subject matter expertise around a range of natural resource challenges, Cascadia specializes in partnering with governments and organizations to develop robust, forward-thinking strategies that protect and restore key natural resources.

Outreach and Engagement
Growing awareness and understanding of natural resource challenges and opportunities

Everywhere that human and natural systems intersect, there is an opportunity for community members to become better stewards of their environment. Cascadia works on behalf of natural resource agencies, fish and wildlife divisions, parks and recreation districts, and tribes to develop tailored educational programs and behavior change campaigns that help communities feel more connected to–and appreciative of–the complex natural systems around them. We combine tactics ranging from high-touch multicultural marketing campaigns to youth programs, volunteer workshops, and community events.

Facilitation and Strategic Planning
Working with multi-stakeholder teams to manage natural resources equitably and sustainably

Cascadia’s facilitators thrive on designing and facilitating high-profile, complex, and contentious stakeholder engagement and decision-making processes around natural resource management goals–ranging from salmon and orca recovery initiatives to wildfire planning, water rights, land use, and shoreline armoring. We work to build trust and transparency while facilitating productive, consensus-based processes that drive toward solutions. Our talented writers and designers help make complex technical concepts accessible with compelling resources and presentations that meet stakeholders where they are.

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