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Groundbreaking Law in Cleveland Supports Sustainable Business

Cleveland’s ‘buy local and sustainable law’ is the first law in the U.S. providing advantages for sustainable companies bidding on City contracts.  According to CSRwire’s press release,  local companies can gain a 4% bid discount when pursuing contracts with the City of Cleveland by completing the first stage of Green Plus certification.  Can this law serve as a model for other U.S. cities?

Cleveland will use Green Plus certification through Green Plus™ as the business standard for triple bottom line sustainability    Green Plus is a non-profit that educates and certifies small and medium sized businesses in sustainability, helping businesses find an equilibrium in the areas of People, Planet, and Performance.  By granting a 4% bid discount on city contracts to companies completing the first stage of Green Plus Certification, Cleveland is sending a clear message to regional businesses, “we care about the triple bottom line.”

It will cost companies $550 to pursue Green Plus Certification (although there are possible association discounts and limited partial scholarships), but will give them a competitive advantage and economic break in the competition for city bids on a wide array of services needed by the local government.

Green Plus™ markets other benefits to companies pursuing certification:  Education Resources, Networking Opportunities and Recognition of Green Status.

So far two Cleveland area companies have achieved full Green Plus Certification™ (the Taylor Companies and Lubestop) and ten other area employers are working toward certification.  I am eager to see how many Cleveland companies follow in their footsteps.  Local governments and policymakers should pay attention to this model to see if it is possible to replicate in their own cities.

To learn more about the certification process visit Green Plus™ .

Image Credit:  Andrew Morrell Photography via Flickr under CC license.

Written by Emily DeMasi

Emily McKinin DeMasi is a 2011 MBA/ MA Public Policy candidate and Peace Corps Fellow at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Her thesis work concerns Corporate Social Responsibility in the United States. She also works as a Research Fellow at Bridgeway Capital, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in downtown Pittsburgh. Emily has worked as an Associate in a Private Equity Placement Firm in NY and as a Water and Sanitation Volunteer in Ivory Coast, West Africa. She hopes to combine her business background with her passion for development and inspire others in the fields of Sustainability and CSR.


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