Almost every U.S. city has some kind of special program when it comes to bidding on lucrative government contracts. Most of these initiatives are geared towards giving female and minority owned companies as well as local businesses a slight advantage in this arena. These efforts are supposed to offset discrimination and encourage participation from companies that fall within any of these categories.
But today the city of Cleveland, Ohio took a giant leap forward when it launched the first incentive plan dedicated to local, green businesses. The city’s mayor, Frank Jackson, is a long time environmental advocate and promoter of sustainable technologies. Back in 2009, the mayor set himself and his city apart from the crowd by creating the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 project. The “buy local and sustainable” bill follows the agenda Jackson put forward last year and marks true progress on the march towards an energy efficient economy. This law rewards local companies that have completed the beginning stage of Green Plus certification process with a 4% discount on bids for city contracts. Green Plus utilizes the same standards as the United Nations when it comes to measuring a business’s ecological, social, and commercial impact as well as their performance. These criteria, referred to as triple bottom line sustainability, develop a well rounded picture of a company’s relationship with its neighboring community and the world at large. In other words, this organization doesn’t certify candidates unless they are truly worthy of this distinction.
Cleveland isn’t alone in its efforts because Ohio’s Department of Energy will be supplementing the certification procedure with reduced rates and grants for businesses interested in participating in this venture. However, these awards and advantages will be administered to small and medium sized firms; large corporations need not apply. For additional information or to sign up for this excellent opportunity, please visit the Green Plus website here. Remember, only businesses operating in the Cleveland area and other parts of Northern Ohio are eligible. Hopefully, Cleveland’s actions will inspire other U.S. cities to adopt similar policies.