SITES in 10: New SITES Advocacy Tool Available

SITES in 10 pitch presentation developed by the Sustainable Design & Development PPN leadership team

ASLA’s Sustainable Design and Development Professional Practice Network (SDD PPN) is continually seeking to advance sustainable design in ways that are innovative, feasible, and impactful. One specific tool towards achieving this goal is the implementation of the Sustainable SITES Initiative® (SITES®) rating system. The SITES Rating System is a set of comprehensive, voluntary guidelines that inform and asses the sustainable design, construction, and maintenance of landscapes.

As a PPN, we support SITES through education, professional outreach, and the creation of tools to assist landscape architecture practitioners. SITES provides an excellent professional framework for landscape architecture design, but one implementation stumbling block can be getting client buy-in. As more practitioners make the case for SITES, we want to empower you with the tools to advocate for certification. Thus, the SDD PPN leadership team has developed a “SITES in 10” presentation, an elevator pitch slide deck highlighting the reasons why clients should pursue SITES project certification.

SITES brings the construction and maintenance trades to the table early. / image: SITES in 10 presentation

The original version of this presentation, focusing on the SITES v2 framework, client incentives, and case studies, was presented at the 2019 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture during the annual PPN meeting on the EXPO floor. The presentation includes PPT slides and speaking notes to accompany each slide, providing a 10-minute summary designed to help practitioners make the pitch. While there are some overview slides, this deck is not intended to be a SITES 101 presentation. It focuses on the rating system’s return on investment, impact, and achievability. The slide deck is intended to be customized based on the audience, region, and project type.

During the PPN meeting presentation, we received thoughtful questions, constructive feedback, and insightful suggestions for additions to the slide deck. We heard from the audience that there is a need for:

  • more data to use when pitching SITES to potential project teams,
  • more detailed talking points in the speaker notes, and
  • options to personalize the content.

A recording of the presentation is posted here. This recording walks through the evolution of the slides, development of talking points, and options for customization. The PPT file itself can be found here.

For general SITES information, project directories, and updates please visit the Sustainable SITES Initiative website. SITES APs can earn SITES-specific continuing education through a number of ASLA on-demand webinars—learn more at

Have you been an advocate of the SITES Rating System in a pitch to your clients or stakeholder groups? The SDD PPN wants to hear from practitioners like you who have been a part of those conversations and can share how the SITES rating system leads to achieving your project sustainability goals and to higher returns on investment. Do you have a project that you are willing to share with us to help deepen the bench of data? Do you have any anecdotal information to share, or quotes on how the rating system helped you create a successful project? We hope to gather information from project teams in order to build a central location of resources for practitioners and owners.

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