Every year leading up to 2019, Cleveland will focus on one of the key areas fundamental to a sustainable economy. The Sustainable Cleveland Celebration Points are designed to be accessible to all members of the community — households, neighborhoods, businesses, and institutions can all participate, either in collaboration or independently.
2011: Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency can be defined as simply “using less energy to provide the same level of energy service. The need to improve energy efficiency is not simply an environmental issue, but also an enabling factor and basic premise of a competitive and sustainable economy. Energy efficiency offers a two-fold opportunity for Cleveland’s economy. First, new business opportunities for Cleveland are born out of the need for an environmentally sustainable economy, allowing Cleveland both to retain jobs and create new employment opportunities in traditional sectors such as construction, building and manufacturing. Second, energy efficiency can decrease input and operating costs for the City and Cleveland businesses, while allowing individuals to reduce their expenditures on a household level. This provides an opportunity to increase businesses’ profit margin, free up money for reducing deficit while retaining the government’s public spending allowance, and increase wealth in Cleveland communities.
2012: Local Foods
Local food is the production, process, distribution and consumption of food within a specific region, usually 100 miles from farm to fork. A focus on local food is essential for a sustainable economy in Cleveland because of its environmental benefits and because it is an economic driver. Local Food:
- Creates Jobs
- Grows Community Health and Wealth
- Crosses cultural and Class Barriers
- Grows Communities
- Produces Healthier Families
- Encourages Healthier Living
- Supports Local Businesses
- Improves Relationships
2013: Advanced and Renewable Energy
Substantial job growth for Cleveland can result from a focus on renewable energy, as renewable energy creates four times as many jobs per megawatt of installed capacity as natural gas and creates 40% more jobs per dollar invested than coal-fired plants.
A continued focus on traditional, non-renewable energy sources not only ensures high economic and environmental costs for Cleveland, it also represents a missed opportunity for innovation, economic growth, and renewed competitiveness. Advanced sources of energy — wind, solar, biomass and fuel cells — leverage Cleveland’s competitive advantage in manufacturing and respond to the strong local demand, a perfect context in which to develop new business and employment opportunities, as well as cut costs, enhance sector productivity and increase community wealth.