Supporting Urban Sustainability – A Business Perspective
by Andrew Watterson, BrownFlynn
I am often asked by business leaders how to support sustainability in Cleveland. My response is not very different than how I might respond to an individual asking the same question. Businesses and business leaders play an important role in shaping the public dialogue, as well as defining what gets done. When it comes to supporting the creation of a green city on a blue lake, it can boil down to three things:
- Set an Example – If you want a sustainable community, it’s a good idea to walk the talk. It is within your control, and is something that creates positive results for your business, your employees and your relationships with your stakeholders.
- Become a Cheerleader – Yes, this is probably the most important one for us Clevelanders. A friend of mine was interviewed by a journalist who was in town developing a story on the music scene in Cleveland. My friend told the journalist how he sees Cleveland on a similar path that a City like Portland, OR was on 10 years ago. The journalist said Portland hasn’t got anything on Cleveland. Cleveland is an amazing City: great food, great music, great people and an amazing lake. Cleveland also has a rich history and legacy that younger cities lack. One thing that can sometimes hold us back is not sharing our passion for Cleveland with everyone we meet. Become a cheerleader of Cleveland, and others will also see the beauty the City has to offer.
- Get involved – Instead of sitting on the sidelines and waiting for change to happen in the community, get in the arena. Cleveland is a community that provides the opportunity for anyone that is interested in taking a leadership role to get engaged and participate in the change we wish to see.
By taking these initial steps you can participate in shaping Cleveland and our region into a sustainable community, transforming into a bright green city on a blue lake.
Looking for a simple, local action step to start? Check out this How-To guide on e-Cycling electronics from EPA.gov.