The Cleveland 2030 District is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that engages commercial property owners, professional partners and community stakeholders in a collaborative effort to create a dramatically efficient built environment in Cleveland. Our mission is to substantially reduce the environmental impacts of building construction and operations, to increase Cleveland's competitiveness in the business environment, and to create a healthier, more resilient city.
Our goal is to reduce building energy and water consumption, as well as CO2 emissions from transportation, 50% by the year 2030.
More than 65% of the buildings in our District include government, educational institutions, hospitals, worship facilities and other non-profits, and the money they save through energy and water efficiency is better used supporting their mission of serving the community.
The Cleveland 2030 District began as a working group of Cleveland’s Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit. Cleveland's Office of Sustainability has been holding this annual summit since 2010. In 2011, a summit working group was tasked with engaging commercial buildings to reduce their environmental footprint. The group discovered that the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Planning aligned with its goals, and in 2012, Cleveland became the second established District in the country. There are now 22 established Districts across North America and several more emerging.
Commercial buildings have a substantial impact on the environment. The reasons for 2030 Districts concentrating on energy, water and commuter transportation emissions are clear:
· According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial buildings use almost half of the energy consumed in the United States. Energystar.gov estimates that 30% of that energy is wasted. It is critically important to address energy used by the commercial building sector as a major contributor to climate change.
· The Great Lakes are one of the largest freshwater resources left on the planet. As a Great Lakes city, Cleveland holds a special responsibility to conserve and properly manage this valuable resource. The city struggles with combined sewer overflow events that pollute the lake. The commercial building sector can help mitigate these events by reducing water use and wastewater output.
· The EPA states that in 2013, transportation accounted for 27% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and of that, 60% was from light duty vehicles (commuter vehicles). Furthermore, according to the American Lung Association, Northeast Ohio is one of the worst regions for air quality in the country. Educating building owners about alternative transportation will lead to reducing emissions and creating a healthier, more pleasant and accessible downtown.
· The Cleveland Clinic cites that environmental health is linked with several diseases, including respiratory and pulmonary diseases, cancer, heatstroke, water-borne diseases, malnutrition, obesity, and diabetes. Furthermore, low-income families are disproportionately affected.