Strategic Plan 2030

ELM will set Massachusetts on course to achieve a net-zero economy by 2050 through policy advocacy and strategic partnerships.

Hear from Leadership

This is the foundation from which we fight to ensure Massachusetts leads the nation in building a prosperous clean energy future. 2030 will be here before we know it, so let’s get to work. So much is within our reach, and it will require all of us to work together.

Elizabeth Turnbull Henry President, Environmental League of Massachusetts

ELM combines strong leadership, policy expertise, a deep understanding of Beacon Hill, and partnerships with the public and private sectors to help drive sustainable change.

I know that, with our generous supporters, we will achieve our ambitious goals. The actions we take in the next few years will make a profound impact on future generations.

Gordon Burnes Board Chair, Environmental League of Massachusetts


We think systemically and plan for the future.
We are driven by the potential of our work to impact future generations. We see the connection between all things: people and planet, policy and social justice, environmental and economic health. We think critically about intersectionality and the complexities of cause and effect.
We are strategic and ambitious.
We are motivated by the enormity of the challenges we face and by Massachusetts’ potential to lead the world. We are science-based, data-driven, and results-oriented. We choose priorities based on their impact on the Commonwealth and their potential to be adapted and scaled.
We prioritize equity, inclusion, and environmental justice.
We recognize that bias, racism, classism, and privilege determine who has power. We use our influence to help remedy the harm caused by centuries of environmental racism and to build a more equitable future. We are dedicated to anti-racism and to reckoning with our own biases.
Partnerships are at the heart of how we work.
We believe that trust is the foundation for progress. Our strength is rooted in our relationships. We convene varied stakeholders to forge common ground. If we disagree, it is with respect. We listen carefully, consider divergent perspectives, and operate with integrity.

The Environmental League of Massachusetts advocates for policy that meets the scale and urgency of our environmental challenges.

Our Work

ELM’s policy advocacy will set Massachusetts on a course to be a net-zero economy by 2050. Our policy priorities endeavor to build a Commonwealth that is decarbonized and equitable, where our residents, economy, and natural world all thrive.

Our Priorities

  1. Build an equitable green economy

  2. Reduce emissions

    Clean Energy
  3. Protect natural resources

  4. Advance environmental justice & public health

Our Approach

  1. Advocacy
  2. Strategic partnerships

Our Drivers of Success

  1. Investing in our people
  2. Expanding our reputation & brand
  3. Growing sustained financial resources

Our Vision for 2030

The Environmental League of Massachusetts is committed to creating an inclusive and prosperous clean energy future in which our communities and our natural world thrive.


We envision a future in which Massachusetts is powered by clean energy. Networked offshore wind farms and responsibly sited solar arrays connect to robust and efficient regional transmission and energy storage systems that deliver affordable electricity where and when it is needed. The clean energy economy creates tens of thousands of high-quality jobs and economic opportunities across the Commonwealth, particularly for women and minority-owned businesses and historically under-resourced communities.

Powered by affordable and abundant clean energy, homes and businesses are heated and cooled without fossil fuels. The transition to decarbonized buildings is enabled by readily available financing and incentives, and driven by a large, diverse workforce earning family-sustaining wages.

Gone are the days of slow, unreliable and polluting public transportation. Electrified, accessible and reliable trains and buses are the preferred modes for travel. For those who need to drive, electric vehicles are the first choice thanks to their affordability and a robust EV charging infrastructure powered by clean energy. Electrified transportation is complemented by abundant and safe options for biking and walking. Our air is cleaner, roadways less crowded, and communities healthier – with the Massachusetts transportation system widely recognized as a model for the nation.

Decarbonization has been fueled by the Commonwealth’s unprecedented investment – leveraging historic federal funding and attracting private capital. Just as we became a global leader in health care, education and life sciences, Massachusetts is among the best places in the world to start, staff, and grow ideas, companies and technologies that address environmental challenges. Workforce development programs effectively connect employers with diverse talent state-wide. Clean technologies are regulated, permitted, and deployed at the speed the climate crisis requires. As a result, the Massachusetts model for a thriving, inclusive green economy is being replicated around the world.

As we built our green economy, we also enhanced the quality, abundance, and resiliency of our natural resources. More land is protected for the benefit of people and nature. We have dramatically reduced pollution from solid waste and toxic chemicals. Our air and water are cleaner, and communities are healthier and more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Public parks and open space are a valued part of Massachusetts life, and our tourism, agriculture, outdoor recreation, fishing, and clean energy industries are thriving.

Thanks to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental pollutants, the health of Massachusetts residents has improved, especially in communities that previously suffered the worst impacts from air and water pollution. Environmental justice is advancing along with improved economic opportunities for those who were historically left out of economic growth.

Collaborative partnerships span across industries, facilitating conscious and effective solution-building and advocacy. Businesses, nonprofits, policymakers, labor associations, and philanthropists work together in support of climate progress.

Please join us in helping to achieve this vision for people and nature in Massachusetts – and for generations to come. We succeed with the support and partnership of those who share a similar vision, with businesses, nonprofits, policymakers, labor, and philanthropists working together. We have already made significant progress. Together, tremendous opportunities are within our reach.

Our Priorities

Clean Energy

A net-zero future depends on a rapid transition away from fossil fuel energy, with an upgraded transmission system that delivers clean electricity where and when it is needed. Currently, Massachusetts is not on track to reach the goals stated in the Commonwealth’s 2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan. These include deploying 24 gigawatts of renewable energy; building an 85% clean electricity grid; reducing energy sector emissions by 80%; and constructing and permitting sufficient regional transmission. ELM is committed to helping Massachusetts exceed the 2030 goals and be on pace for net-zero by 2050, while driving equitable economic growth and advancing environmental justice.

To achieve these 2030 goals, ELM will:

  • Drive rapid and responsible development of offshore wind through regional collaboration, communications campaigns, and driving action among key partners through the New England for Offshore Wind coalition;
  • Reform solar, storage, and transmission siting and permitting through an incentives program that integrates energy storage, accelerates interconnection, and incentivizes development on built and disturbed land;
  • Build strong community support in towns that will host key infrastructure for offshore wind, transmission, and distributed renewable resources; and
  • Drive regional collaboration and cost allocation to develop regional transmission solutions.

Green Buildings

Roughly 30% of Massachusetts’ emissions come from the built environment and buildings are the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Boston. The necessary scale of deep retrofits and new construction is staggering – by 2050, more than two million buildings across our state must be made energy efficient and electrified. Many of these also face significant climate resilience needs. The Commonwealth’s 2030 goals include electrifying 38% of buildings; installing one million heat pumps; retrofitting 25% of homes; and reducing 50% overall emissions. Achieving these goals grows our workforce, reduces emissions, lowers building operating costs, creates jobs, and improves public health.

ELM will:

  • Decarbonize buildings by creating new funding streams, reforming state programs to increase access for underserved communities, and driving policies to achieve a coordinated, smooth transition from natural gas;
  • Improve standards in existing buildings, prioritizing rental properties and public housing;
  • Support net-zero construction by advocating for widespread adoption of building codes that incentivize fossil fuel free new construction;
  • Advance funding and innovation by advocating for easily accessible and equitable financing to decarbonize buildings and improve efficiency; and
  • Expand the green workforce by advocating for increased support for key education and workforce training programs and streamlining state certification processes.

Electrified and Reliable Transportation

ransportation generates approximately 37% of emissions in Massachusetts – the largest source in the state. Decades of underfunding has left the MBTA unreliable and underutilized. The Commonwealth’s 2030 goals include: registering 900,000 zero-emissions vehicles; installing 75,000 charging stations; increasing annual MBTA ridership to 400,000; electrifying 50% of buses; electrifying the commuter rail in environmental justice communities; and reducing overall emissions by 34%. By achieving these goals, we can reduce emissions, make communities healthier, and drive our state’s competitiveness.

ELM will:

  • Lead advocacy for public and private financing for decarbonized public transit, electric vehicles, and EV charging infrastructure, prioritizing environmental justice communities;
  • Advocate for grid, road, and transit modernization necessary to enable electrification of trains and vehicles;
  • Partner with business leaders to demand reliable, decarbonized transportation; and
  • Empower municipalities to decarbonize their fleets and improve planning to encourage transit use, walking, and cycling.

Equitable Green Economy

Massachusetts has the potential to be among the world’s leaders in clean technology start-ups and private investment in environmental and climate innovation. ELM is committed to helping Massachusetts become one of the best places to start, staff, and grow ideas, companies and technologies that address environmental challenges. We advocate for robust and effective programs to support entrepreneurs, attract and retain companies, develop a strong and diverse workforce, pilot innovations, and ensure that women, minority, veteran, disabled, and LGBTQ+-owned companies have equal access to contracts.

ELM will:

  • Significantly increase funding for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center 
  • Secure passage of a multi-billion-dollar state bond to drive investment in renewable energy and decarbonize buildings and transportation;
  • Advocate for policies that develop a strong green workforce and partner with businesses and business associations to elevate workforce development priorities with lawmakers;
  • Promote equal access to jobs and contracts through economic inclusion policies in clean energy laws and procurements; and
  • Incentivize private sector investment in climate, water, and waste solutions by advocating for streamlined siting and permitting for new technologies addressing environmental challenges.

Protecting Natural Resources

Massachusetts has ambitious 2030 goals to protect natural resources, including protecting 30% of undeveloped land; planting 20,000 new urban and riparian trees; and reducing solid waste by 30%. Over recent years, however, our state agencies have suffered from significant underfunding. Today, the Commonwealth is spending less per capita on parks and recreation than any other state. ELM is committed to helping Massachusetts meet or exceed these 2030 goals.

ELM will:

  • Lead the Green Budget coalition to increase and sustain public funding for environmental agencies, with a goal of at least 1.5% of the state’s operating budget dedicated to Energy and Environmental Affairs programs;
  • Reduce waste by advancing legislation that places the cost burden on packaging producers;
  • Increase climate preparedness and resiliency by incorporating preparations in all state-wide plans, procurements, and regulations;
  • Improve air and water quality by ensuring that air quality permitting takes disproportionate impacts on environmental justice communities into account, and environmental protection programs increase resiliency of water resources; and
  • Protect land for people and nature by advocating for increased conservation funding in state capital plans and prioritizing building renewable energy infrastructure on disturbed land.

Enviromental Justice and Public Health

Currently, environmental degradation and the climate crisis have an outsized impact on people of color and marginalized communities. ELM is committed to ensuring that the transition to clean energy is prioritized in communities with poor environmental quality and that have been overburdened by energy infrastructure. We will work toward permitting and siting processes that are inclusive; economic benefits that are shared equitably; and decarbonization in environmental justice communities that drives improvements in public health.

ELM will:

  • Implement policies that drive equitable access to decarbonization, such as electrified housing, zero emissions vehicle, and reliable public transit;
  • Secure siting and permitting reforms that accelerate clean energy development while improving health and economic opportunity in environmental justice communities;
  • Pass legislation banning products using PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances);
  • Advocate for financing to electrify Commuter Rail lines, starting with those serving and traveling through environmental justice communities; and
  • Ensure that air quality impacts within environmental justice communities are monitored and considered alongside cumulative impacts during permitting processes.

Our Approach

ELM helps set the direction and content of climate policy discourse in Massachusetts. We ensure that our policy advocacy and partnerships are mutually reinforcing, elevating our impact on our Commonwealth and beyond.

Advocacy: Educating & Mobilizing Beacon Hill

ELM has the policy expertise and State House insider understanding to propel our vision forward. Over years of collaboration, ELM has earned a reputation as a trusted and inclusive convener. ELM has built trusted relationships with policymakers who are well-equipped and committed to promoting strategic environmental policy solutions.

Strategic Partnerships: Building Broad Coalition Support for Pressing Environmental Issues

ELM’s strength comes in part from equipping leaders across sectors to act with us. By building effective coalitions like New England for Offshore Wind and the Green Budget coalition, we unite diverse voices and effectively drive a shared agenda. We use our influence to elevate marginalized stakeholders and prioritize environmental justice. Through our Corporate Council and our deep working alliances with business associations, we prepare private sector leaders to champion ambitious environmental policy. Our advocacy and lobbying leadership builds cohesion across stakeholders and shapes how influential institutions integrate environmental issues into their policy agendas.

Key Drivers of Success

ELM’s strategy for 2030 relies on world-class talent, building our brand, and growing our base of financial support.

Investing in Our People
Attracting, nurturing, and retaining top talent.
To achieve our goals, ELM intends to expand our staff and build our subject-matter expertise across key policy areas. We are committed to being the ‘employer of choice’ in the environmental advocacy sector with employees reporting high levels of satisfaction, sense of belonging, and growth. We will work to attract the strongest talent and provide opportunities for each to thrive as they maximize our impact.
Expanding Our Brand & Reputation
Strengthening our media engagement and events to achieve ambitious goals and increase our impact.
We strive to position ELM as the go-to authority for press, lawmakers, and donors on environmental policy issues. ELM has made great strides in defining our brand and broadcasting our mission, vision, values and policy priorities. We will continue to raise our profile and celebrate our reputation to maximize the impact of our advocacy and electoral work. We will invest to ensure our messages reach key policy influencers and expand our commitment to strategic events.
Growing Sustained Financial Resources
Increasing the scale, diversity, and reliability of philanthropic support.
ELM has long held the reputation for maximizing the impact of the philanthropic investment of our committed and passionate supporters; as our funding has grown, so has our state’s commitment to equitable climate and environmental action. To match the scale of the opportunity in front of us and meet our ambitious 2030 goals, we seek to further increase and diversify our financial resources. We will expand and deepen relationships with individuals and institutions and continue to responsibly steward the precious resources with which we are entrusted. Our vision for the future of Massachusetts is achievable only with your leadership and generous support.


Board of Directors

  • Gordon Burnes, Board Chair 
  • Bethany Patten, Treasurer & Clerk 
  • Alicia Barton 
  • Hank Bell 
  • Mark Bilbe 
  • JocCole “JC” Burton 
  • William “Buzz” Constable
  • Ben Downing 
  • Robert Fishman 
  • Isabel Grantham Rappoport 
  • Elizabeth Turnbull Henry 
  • Seth Jaffe 
  • Namrita Kapur 
  • Anne Kelly 
  • Ken Kimmell 
  • Ginger Lawrence 
  • Bradley McLean 
  • Dhiraj Malkani 
  • Sandhya Murali
  • Pete Pedersen 
  • Emily Reichert 
  • Gwen Ruta 
  • Tedd Saunders

Advisory Council

  • Dr. Gaurab Basu
  • Geoffrey Chasin
  • William “Buzz” G. Constable
  • Rodney Dowell
  • Sam Fleming
  • Dave Forbes
  • Dr. Aisha Francis
  • Bracken Hendricks
  • Anne Kelly
  • Janet Kraus
  • Tedd Ladd
  • Dr. Bill Lundberg
  • Nicole Obi
  • Matt Patsky
  • Bob Taylor
  • Katie Theoharides
  • Rob Tuchmann
  • Ann Wallace

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