Sustainable Cleveland 2021 Virtual Summit

Recap from the Sustainable Cleveland 2021 Virtual Summit

The City of Cleveland, Mayor's Office of Sustainability sends a big and humble thank you to all who joined us for the two-day Sustainable Cleveland 2021 Virtual Summit from October 20th-21st. Over 600 local residents, business owners, and sustainability leaders around the world participated in this continuing effort to develop a thriving and resilient Cleveland region.


Since 2009 the Sustainable Cleveland initiative has engaged more than 15,000 people from all walks of life, working together to design and develop a thriving and resilient Cleveland region. For more than a decade, Sustainable Cleveland has supported collaboration and action to make Cleveland a greener, cleaner place to live, work and play for all. From improved water and air quality to increases in bike infrastructure and clean energy, Cleveland has come a long way... but there is still much more work to be done.


At the Sustainable Cleveland 2021 Virtual Summit, we will celebrate the work of the many people and organizations that have gotten us this far, and build off this foundation for even greater progress and momentum moving forward. The Summit will include:


  • Remarks from Mayor Frank G. Jackson
  • State of Sustainable Cleveland address from Chief of Sustainability, Jason Wood.
  • Keynote presentation from a nationally recognized speaker, Clarence E. Anthony.
  • NOACA Commuter Choice Awards and Recognitions 
  • Presentations and facilitated discussions on key priorities 
  • And more!


Watch the Recordings

*To access recordings, please click the above link




State of Sustainable Cleveland | Presentation Slides
The City of Cleveland's Chief of Sustainability, Jason Wood, provides an update on sustainability progress in Cleveland and opportunities to scale up success.


Keynote Presentation: Clarence E. Anthony

Clarence E. Anthony is CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities. Throughout his career, Mr. Anthony has worked to advance policies which promote local authority and provide funding for programs related to safety, infrastructure, transportation, and sustainability in communities. His presentation focused on the critical role cities play in building a more sustainable future for all, including citizen engagement strategies that build a “sense of community.


Mr. Anthony was briefly introduced by Matt Zone, former Cleveland City Councilman (Ward 15) and current Senior Vice President for the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.


2021 NEO Commuter Choice Awards

The 8th annual Gohio Commute competition recognizes organizations in Northeast Ohio who encourage employees to choose alternatives to driving alone for daily work commutes. Businesses, agencies, and non-profit organizations in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina Counties.


NOACA and sponsors announced the winning Gold, Silver, or Bronze rated employers. Grand prizes recognize top-performers in four categories: Large Business, Small Business, Large Non Profit/Government, and Small Non-Profit/Government.


Session Summaries and Resources

Below are the breakout sessions from our 2-day Summit. Any resources shared in those presentations are linked to the session.


The Circular Economy and Food Waste in NE Ohio

Food is essential for our well-being & a valuable resource yet, 40% of landfill waste is food. Present

ers showcase ways we can better divert food waste.


Generating Tech Solutions for Lake Erie’s Greatest Challenges

Join Erie Hackers past and present as we learn about their innovations, hear how Erie Hack impacted them, & discuss the importance of water.


An Equitable Clean Energy Future: Pathways for Implementation in Cleveland

Learn how clean energy strategies are helping support Cleveland's transition to 100% clean energy by 2050.


Racism is a Public Health Crisis: Prioritizing Health Outcomes through Environmental Justice

Hear from the City of Cleveland’s new Commissioner of Health, Equity & Social Justice on her strategic approach to prioritizing equity.


In this session we will hear from the City of Cleveland’s new Commissioner of Health, Equity, and Social Justice on her Division’s strategic approach to ensure health equity is prioritized throughout City departments. SeMia Bray from Black Environmental Leaders (BEL) will share how they are working to engage more people of color in stewardship of the natural and built environment- advocating, incubating, and informing environmental and economic justice in Cleveland. Spotlights on projects from the Cleveland Department of Aging and the Greater Cleveland Environmental Justice Local Journalism Collaborative will help illustrate how efforts to elevate equity and environmental justice are being put into practice.


An Area of Concern: Removing Beneficial Use Impairments from the Cuyahoga River

Cuyahoga River AOC advisory committee members provide a status of the BUI removal and the path forward to delisting the river.


Biochar: A Hot Topic to Help Cool Our Planet

Learn about biochar and how it can help communities meet climate action goals, while supporting healthy local soils and economic growth.


Vision Zero Cleveland: Safe, Sustainable Streets for All

Vision Zero Cleveland will share efforts currently underway, including their upcoming Action Plan, to support safe & sustainable transport.


From the Ground Up: Good Communities Start with Good Soil

Learn about the potential contaminants that may be found in your soil and recommendations from experts on how to correct these problems.


LEED for Cities and Communities: An Overview of Cleveland’s Certification

An overview of the LEED for Cities certification platform and Cleveland’s performance scores in each of the certification categories. This session is part of a three-part series on Cleveland’s LEED for Cities certification and the Sustainable Cleveland Dashboard, which will explore our ongoing sustainability tracking and reporting efforts, and help collaboratively identify priority metrics to drive climate action.


Cleveland's Vacant Land: A Resident's Guide To Land Acquisition

Explore some of the options available for residents to acquire a vacant plot of land from the City of Cleveland.


LEED for Cities: Planning for Platinum

Presentations and interactive discussion on how Cleveland can scale up efforts in select LEED for Cities impact categories. This session is part of a three-part series on Cleveland’s LEED for Cities certification and the Sustainable Cleveland Dashboard, which will explore our ongoing sustainability tracking and reporting efforts, and help collaboratively identify priority metrics to drive climate action.


Plug in to Evs: What's New Locally, Regionally, and Across the State

Learn about what is new with electric vehicles and EV charging stations in Ohio, Cuyahoga County, and Cleveland.


Engaging the Community in Cleveland’s Park Investments

Presenters will share creative and user-focused community engagement strategies for Cleveland’s park investments.


Residential Energy Efficiency Programs: There’s Something in it for Everyone

Learn about the many residential energy efficiency & utility assistance programs, and the positive impact they have in the community.


Air Quality in Cleveland: A Panel Discussion

Gain a better understanding of Cleveland's "airshed" and compare data to EPA to identify areas of environmental justice needs.


Circular Cleveland in our Neighborhoods

Cleveland is transitioning from a linear to a circular economy. Discover projects already practicing the circular economy in Cleveland.


The Prevalence of Plastics in Our Waters: Freshwater, Bottled and Tap

Plastic has been found in freshwater & in the water we drink. Hear the research & solutions focused on the sources of plastics in our water.


Sustainable Cleveland Dashboard: Measuring Our Progress in Becoming a Green City on a Blue Lake

In this interactive session, participants will get an overview of the existing Sustainable Cleveland dashboard, an introduction to the proposed updates to the dashboard, and an opportunity to provide input on the types and level of sustainability metrics they would like to see reported out. This session is part of a three-part series on Cleveland’s LEED for Cities certification and the Sustainable Cleveland Dashboard, which will explore our ongoing sustainability tracking and reporting efforts, and help collaboratively identify priority metrics to drive climate action.


An Equitable Tree Canopy in Cleveland

Chief of Sustainability, Jason wood and fellow Cleveland Tree Coalition members for an overview of the updated tree equity score & Cleveland's equitable tree planting plan.


Circular Economy & Industry: How the Private Sector is Supporting a Circular Cleveland

Hear from industry leaders about how they are practicing the circular economy and the benefits to their bottom line and consumers.




Media coverage: 

Cleveland, Ohio Anticipates Return of Curbside Recycling By End of 2021 - Waste 360

Employers lauded for creative incentives to get workers to ride bikes, share rides and take public transit -

Annual Sustainable Cleveland Summit addresses environmental issues facing Northeast Ohio region - Ideastream

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  • Brittany Montgomery