Attracting A Renewable Energy Economy To Cleveland

Cleveland has experienced many transitions in its long history—from booming industrial city to center of technology, culture, and innovation. Now, it is growing as one of America’s sustainable cities. 

As part of a “green city” initiative, Cleveland aims to only use clean and renewable energy sources by 2050. Clean and renewable energy comes from natural resources such as solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, and others. These sources and the processes associated with them typically have low or zero carbon emissions, which is why they are considered clean energy.

Cleveland will see many benefits by going green. The main benefit is cleaner air—using renewable energy reduces air pollution. Another benefit is access to an unlimited supply of energy because “renewable” means we cannot run out of it. Importantly, renewable energy will grow Cleveland’s economy in a way that benefits individuals, businesses, and communities. 

Renewable energy offers huge business opportunities. Therefore, business leaders should prepare for the future sustainable energy world by developing their leadership skills today. One way is through education from a master’s in business administration (MBA) program focused on innovative and impactful practices for business.

Background: Making Cleveland a “Green City”

Cleveland is among several cities and towns in the U.S. that are now committed to combating climate change. The city launched its sustainability initiative in 2013 and revised the plan in 2018. Cleveland’s recent Climate Action Plan details 28 sustainability objectives across the following focus areas:

  • energy efficiency and green building
  • clean energy
  • sustainable transportation
  • clean water and vibrant green space
  • more local food, less waste
  • cost-cutting priorities

Objectives include promoting energy efficiency in homes and businesses; reducing commercial and industrial emissions; increasing use of public transportation, efficient vehicles, and biking; improving water quality and conservation; enhancing the local food system; and engaging with residents to advance equity in climate action.

The transition to renewables involves buildings, transportation, industry, and utilities. The green initiative specifically requires Cleveland make better use of clean energy—wind turbines and solar installations. It also calls for a change in culture in Cleveland. The city has engaged in extensive outreach efforts to show Cleveland’s citizens how they can be more efficient with energy use in their homes, which in turn saves them money.

Economic Impact of Renewable Energy

The economic benefits of using renewable energy reaches beyond individuals’ wallets. Renewable energy creates jobs. The renewable energy sector provides many jobs in manufacturing, engineering, sales, and marketing, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the solar energy occupation to grow 105 percent by 2026.

Cleveland also connects climate policy and social equity. Improvements to public transportation, neighborhood parks and open spaces, and certainly increased employment opportunities, may help level the playing field for all residents of the metropolitan area. Cleveland’s Clean and Equitable Energy Future report offers specific equity goals that the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability prioritizes, including:

  • promote the creation of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to empower communities;
  • mitigate environmental factors leading to health disparities;
  • promote investments in energy efficiency for housing that will make them safer, more comfortable, and affordable;
  • include communities of color and under-represented populations in the climate action process; and
  • guide decision-makers through the process of recognizing inequities, the conditions under which they thrive, and the possible solutions and environments that would mitigate negative effects and enhance positive results.

Pursuing Your Passions

If you are passionate about sustainability and social issues and want to make an impact through business leadership, choose John Carroll University. We offer Master’s of Business Administration programs for professionals seeking to lead inspired businesses. Acquire the skills needed to support businesses economically, environmentally, and socially through one of our innovative MBA programs. Discover the Boler College of Business difference.

JCU is a private Jesuit university located in University Heights, Ohio, near Cleveland.