September 16th & 17th at Cleveland Public Auditorium

View the 2015 Sustainable Cleveland Summit Report here. 

Summit Keynotes


Naomi Davis, Blacks in Green
Naomi Davis is the Founder of Blacks in Green, an award-winning economic development organization based in West Woodlawn, Chicago with a national network. BIG serves as a bridge and catalyst among communities and their stakeholders in the design and development of “walk-to-work, walk-to-shop, walk-to-learn, walk-to-play villages” within black neighborhoods. BIG’s walkable villages are designed to increase household income, by increasing the rate at which neighbor-owned businesses are created and sustained, thus keeping resident money active locally, supporting community self-interests, and preserving the heritage of a place. These designs reduce pollution  and poverty and increase prosperity. View the keynote video here. 

marcus-eriksen-at-wendy-park-cleveland-ohio-july-25-2014Marcus Eriksen,Ph.D., 5 Gyres Institute
Marcus Eriksen received his Ph.D. in Science Education from University of Southern California in 2003, months before embarking on a 2,000-mile, 5-month journey down the Mississippi River on a homemade raft. His experience on the river led to a career studying the ecological impacts of plastic marine pollution, which has included expeditions sailing 35,000 miles through all 5 subtropical gyres to discover new garbage patches of plastic pollution in the Southern Hemisphere. His first book, titled “My River Home” chronicled his Mississippi River experience paralleled with his tour as a Marine in the 1991 Gulf War. The experience of war, sailing across the gyres with diverse crews, and long rafting voyages, have led to a strong conservation ethic worth fighting for. Marcus researches and educates on plastic pollution in our waterways, including in our own Lake Erie. View his keynote here. 

Innovation Sessions
Participants helped to shape Cleveland’s 7th annual Sustainability Summit by voting for a 2015 Summit Innovation Session during tregistration. The Innovation Sessions were interactive, 45-minute workshops developed and hosted by working groups, community members and organizations  looking to advance our transformation to a thriving green city on a blue lake. The Innovation sessions began the design portion of the summit and prepared participants for the action planning.

Participant Guide: The participant guide contains the agenda, information on working groups, Highlights from the year of Clean Water and more.

Worksheets: Summit participants used this worksheet to guide them through the summit’s 4D Appreciative Inquiry cycle.

Sustainable Cleveland Awards

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We announced ten winners of the 2015 Sustainable Cleveland Awards. Nominees were assessed in three main areas:

  • How projects from the last year have helped meet the goals of the Climate Action Plan
  • Social and community impact
  • Replicability

Winners were announced in the following categories: Individuals, Institutions & Government, Business, and Non-Profit.

The award plaques were produced by Rust Belt Reclamation are from salvaged southern yellow pine  from a former retail building in the Central Neighborhood of Cleveland.

Learn about all the awardees here. 


A special thank you to the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at Case Western Reserve University.





Green City Sponsors
Cleveland Airport System

Blue Lake Sponsors
Cleveland Clinic
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Insulator Sponsors
Key Bank
University Hospitals
Sherwin Williams

Conserver Sponsors
Fairmount Santrol
Parker Hannifin
Cleveland Water
Cleveland Thermal
The Davey Resource Group
Whole Foods Market

Additional Sponsors & Partners
Enterprise Community Partners
Cleveland Water Alliance
Cleveland Cavaliers
Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District
Cuyahoga County Community College
Brown Flynn
Trinity Cathedral
Cleveland Water Pollution Control
Cleveland State University Monte Ahuja College of Business, Center for Sustainable Business Practices
Door to Door Organics