Sustainability Research Institute

About SRI

SRI was initiated and funded by the employees of The Sky Factory, LC in 2008 to focus the energy of our corporate success on issues important to the sustainability of the greater global community. We recognized many worthwhile developmental goals and projects, both local and global, but Sky Factory established SRI and its mission as a way to bring attention and community development resources to specific issues of sustainability that we believe are fundamental and practically achievable. Initial funding and volunteer support for SRI has come from The Sky Factory, LC and Sky Factory staff. We invite others who share our vision of service to the creation of a sustainable future to join with us in doing so.

Mission Statement

Sustainability Research Institute, Inc. (SRI) was created and will operate exclusively for scientific and educational purposes as defined in IRC ยง 501(c)(3).

The mission of SRI is to initiate and support the development, research and implementation of sustainable systems that are locally and globally relevant. SRI will support individual and public education programs that further its mission.

The activities of SRI are to advance scientific research into the many aspects of sustainable living and, on the basis of the practical knowledge thereby gained, to provide ongoing educational programs for the general public for the purpose of widely promoting life-supporting practices in all areas of life.

Specifically, SRI will accomplish its purposes by the following activities:

Conducting and sponsoring scientific research into sustainability practices in the following areas (with percentages of total time allocated to each):

  • Agriculture — production and distribution of food and fibers in a manner that is healthy for consumers and animals, conserves resources and does not harm the environment, is humane and respectful toward workers and animals, provides fair wages for farmers, and enhances rural communities (30%);
  • Business — creation of socially sustainable enterprises that establish sustainable cultures, produce products and services that fulfill society's needs while contributing to the well-being of all earth's inhabitants (20%);
  • Design — development of the "built environment" in greater accord and integration with nature and natural systems (20%);
  • Social Ecology — understanding the foundations of ecology as a model for sustainability in a changing world (20%).
  • Energy — utilization of energy sources that do not deplete natural resources or destroy natural environments or systems (10%);

Providing and promoting educational programs in the above areas through the following activities (with percentages of total time allocated to each):

  • Preparation and distribution of relevant monographs, books, articles, videos and films (25%);
  • Participatory studies in our organic greenhouse, farm, orchard and beekeeping operations (20%);
  • Community and webinar lectures by both our research staff and invited experts (20%);
  • Seminars, workshops and field trips for general public (15%);
  • Apprenticeships and internships at our research facility and in conjunction with our local university (10%);
  • Public resource library at our facility and on our website (5%);
  • Newsletters and press releases (5%).

The above research and educational activities are conducted by the President of SRI with the assistance of qualified and interested individuals and community volunteers. SRI operates in coordination with groups and organizations which share its visions to foster exchanges of information and encourage networking. The activities of SRI are conducted in an ongoing manner on our grounds and from our facilities located in Fairfield, Iowa, in lecture halls of our local university, and in the community room of our city's public library. SRI also plans to utilize its website to further promote its activities and provide links to other relevant resources. SRI is currently funded by contributions and plans to seek grants for future funding.

The background photograph for this page is by Carl Kurtz, a renowned Iowa photographer and prairie cultivator. For information about his prairie photos and prairie seed resources, contact him at