Cleveland: A Sustainable City for Your Startup

Aug 22, 2015 by

A street in downtown Cleveland Ohio's trendy Warehouse District, with the Justice Center rising behind

A street in downtown Cleveland Ohio’s trendy Warehouse District, with the Justice Center rising behind

Cleveland is home to more than 1.6 million people, many of whom are taking a green stance when it comes to sustainability. Although our Midwestern city doesn’t get as much press as other sustainable American cities such as San Francisco or Portland, Oregon, Cleveland is a rising star and a leading destination for business owners who want to set up shop in a green city. It was named one of the “World’s Most Visionary Cities” in 2011 by Travel and Leisure Magazine for its urban farming initiative and earlier, in 2008, Cleveland was ranked second nationally by Sustain Lane for its range of local foods.

What Makes Cleveland Sustainable

According to the Sustainable Cities Institute, Cleveland is at the halfway mark of its 10-year, community-wide initiative, a program that engages citizens to come together to develop and design a better city. Since its inception in 2009, Sustainable Cleveland 2019 has been the catalyst for a range of the city’s sustainability programs.

The city is also making a concerted effort to make the region both greener and more pedestrian-friendly with the Complete and Green Streets Ordinance. The policy helps develop the city into a more walking, biking and public transportation-friendly place and helps to reduce negative impacts associated with construction by incorporating green infrastructure.

Not only have city officials taken action to make the city more green, community members have shown their sustainable side via social media through the Sustainable Cleveland Photo Contest and the “I Am Sustainable, Cleveland” Poster Campaign. Additionally, through the Community Choice Aggregation, a community-wide purchasing program, 65,000 of Cleveland residents have received a 21 percent electric bill savings, and residents are assured that their energy comes directly from green energy sources.

Why It’s Good for Business

In addition to saving residents money on their electric bills, Cleveland’s Community Choice Aggregation benefits small business owners, as well.

Green Plus also operates in the Cleveland area. The Green Plus program gives small business owners a 2 percent bid discount when pursuing work with the city. By becoming a certified sustainable business, you’ll be able to take advantage of such green perks, and each certification comes with a comprehensive energy audit, which provides your company with a snapshot of sorts detailing energy consumption and how you can decrease your energy use and bills. Point to Point, Inc. and Sustainable Rhythm are just two of the companies participating in the program.

According to Cleveland’s first chief of sustainability, Andrew Watterson, the city’s Sustainable Cleveland 2019 initiative has transformed the industry in Cleveland as well as the job market by creating a larger number of sustainability-related jobs and more green businesses.

When It’s Time to Move

Moving to a new location is exciting. But when it comes to packing up your business and moving it across the country, it’s normal to have feelings of doubt or uneasiness. If you’re ready to take your sustainable business to Cleveland, first check out this helpful article from Dish Insider’s Guide. Not only will it help you calm your pre-move jitters, it will help you achieve a stress-free move. Then, contact the city’s Office of Sustainability for more information about the benefits of being green in Cleveland.

Cleveland’s emerging as a shiny new, sustainable city and shedding its reputation as a worn out region in the Rust Belt. See for yourself.

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