Sustainable Communities Group

About Us

Sustainability Strategies for Those Most Important to You

Sustainable Communities Group (SCG) promotes and implements sustainable and safer pest & weed management practices where people live, learn and play.

We work with pest management providers, facilities as well as park and school districts.



Our Approach

Our Sustainable Communities programs provide science-based education, training and technical support to individuals and organizations with responsibilities for ensuring safe and effective pest and weed management in communities.

Most of our programs identify, teach and implement sustainable pest and weed control.


Our Green Shield Certified (GSC) program identifies and promotes practitioners of effective, prevention-based pest and weed control. Organizations and companies that achieve GSC pass a rigorous on-site evaluation every three years conducted by an experienced evaluator in facility management, structural pest control or landscaping. GSC has received international recognition for identifying sustainable pest and weed management from green building standards of LEED, WELL and GRESB.


Our programs host many educational webinars, online courses and in-person workshops. For free, you can receive comprehensive pest management training in K-12 schools from Pest Defense for Healthy Schools. Landscaping professionals can attend Midwest Grows Green (MGG) Lawn & Land Forum sessions or review resources, interviews and graphics at Finally, our Tick IPM Working Group keeps the industry up-to-date on the latest tick-borne disease trends and prevention strategies.


Our staff and partners frequently provide their expertise to support and improve integrated pest management (IPM) programs, policies and strategies. MGG’s Technical Assistance Program contracts with soil and plant health scientists to develop three-year sustainable landscape management plans. All other Sustainable Communities programs support municipalities, organizations and companies write, implement and evaluate IPM programs.

Our Services

Working Together for a Better Community

IPM Training

We offer a variety of virtual and in-person IPM training opportunities for facility managers, pest management professionals, acarologists, landscapers, natural land managers and school staff.

IPM for Facility Managers Professional Development Training

Learn how to identify and effectively manage pests while minimizing pesticide and pest management hazards. Those that complete the training will learn about how to start a pest management program, identify key pest species and pest-conducive conditions. A certificate of completion is provided to those that complete the training.

Tick IPM

Through our Tick IPM Working Group, we offer free monthly webinars and an annual Tick Academy with the goal of sharing integrated tick management strategies and reducing the risk of exposure to infected ticks.

School IPM

Our Pest Defense for Healthy Schools offers both in-person, virtual and self-guided IPM training for K-12 employees to mitigate risks posed by pests and pesticides. Each training is tailed for specific school staff groups including custodians, nurses, landscapers, facility managers, administrators, maintenance, teachers and food service. There is also a module for pest management professionals to learn how to effectively implement IPM in schools.

IPM Walkthroughs

Facilities seeking guidance on creating, updating or reviewing IPM practices to prevent and solve pest problems using low-risk solutions can schedule an IPM walkthrough. The IPM Institute’s Green Shield Certified will develop a detailed report on the extent of the current pest problem(s) and IPM strategies that may be used to address the issue(s). Contact Green Shield Certified to schedule your IPM walkthrough

Pest Defense Workshops

If you would like to offer the Pest Defense training at your school district, In-Service Days or at an education conference please contact us (link to the contact us page). We work with a network of trainers across the country who are able to offer any of the Pest Defense training courses at your location.

Projects & Initiatives

Growing Sustainability in Communities

Midwest Grows Green

Educates & empowers citizens to take sustainable landscaping action that reduces harmful runoff into our waterways.

Green Shield Certified

Accredits providers of effective, prevention-based pest control while minimizing the use of pesticides.

Tick IPM Working Group

Organizes & expands the network working to reduce the risk of exposure to infected ticks through collaboration.

Pest Defense for Healthy Schools

Promotes risk-reduction and improvements in environmental health and safety in childcare facilities and schools.