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Wrapping an incredible week for sustainability in Cleveland

 |  09/26/10 @ 2:22pm

In this past week, there was an incredible amount of sustainability, energy efficiency and green building events and networking in Northeast Ohio.  From the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit to E4S event on Energy Efficiency to Corporate Sustainability Roundtable on Local Foods to the Advanced Energy Expo at Tower City on Friday and the Crain's Emerald Awards, it was an amazing week to be part of the sustainability community.  While I greatly enjoyed many of the events and news, the following were great examples of engaging stories and initiatives that can move the concepts of green building and energy efficiency forward.

The first was the tour of the IMG Building (900k sf commercial building which earned the Energy Star award in 2009 and is slated to achieve LEED Gold certification) on Tuesday sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the USGBC.  Building owner, Jim Breen spoke passionately about the business, marketing and investment motivations that led to his organization's pursuit of LEED EBOM Certification.  I must admit that this was the first time that I had heard an owner speak so bluntly on the business reasons driving the implementation of green building and energy efficiency principles.  If market transformation is to occur on a larger scale, the effort needs more honesty and, as Breen described, be "unapologetic" in its dialogue about market motivations in pursuing high performance solutions.

Secondly, I received a reminder from Green Energy Ohio about the upcoming Ohio Solar Tour.  While I covered the tour in the RHYTHM REPORT a few weeks ago, I continue to be amazed by its scope.  This was particularly true in the tour's latest communication:This FREE statewide event on October 2 & 3 provides the unique opportunityfor people to select from 243 Open Houses or 8 Organized Guided Tours in119 communities across 45 counties (a 44% growth from 2009).  This is an incredible amount of case studies and tangible examples of renewable energy in action. Markets transform when potential customers can identify and relate to evidence-based case studies that clear up the mystery and market perceptions. The growth of the tour, 44% in the last year, is bringing the message of renewables closer and closer home.  For more details

Lastly, the announcement of the Downtown Green Building Challenge: The Northeast Ohio Chapter of the USGBC is continuing its efforts to educate property owners on green and high performance building principles through its Downtown Green Building Challenge.  A joint effort with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance,the Challenge will engage property owners in examining their current building practices. The format for the Challenge will be the completion of a checklist of current practices which will then be revisited in Spring 2011 to determine the Challenge winner.  The challenge builds on an successful effort by the Chapter to reach out specifically to property owners and managers Downtown and in University Circle.  Local products and services, and a proclamation from Mayor Jackson will be bestowed upon the winner. An informational session will be held on October 25 from 12:00 to 1:00 at Sherwin Williams (101 Prospect Avenue) for more information contact: Michele Kilroy, NEOGBC 

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