Cincinnati Launches Sustainability District with Grant from Duke Class Benefit Fund

September 10, 2018 1:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

CINCINNATI, OH – The Duke Class Benefit Fund has committed $300,000 over 3 years to support Green Umbrella as it launches Cincinnati’s 2030 District. 2030 Districts  - a national model for urban sustainability - are made up of property owners who make a collective commitment to reduce their buildings’ energy use, water consumption and transportation emissions by the year 2030. The Cincinnati 2030 District is a collaborative effort to create a network of healthy, high-performing buildings in Cincinnati’s central business district. Property owners will achieve the goals of the District collectively through collaboration, shared resources and innovative solutions that will lead to cost savings, healthier buildings and a more livable, desirable city. This, in turn, helps Cincinnati attract and retain a high caliber workforce and new entrepreneurial talent, while also promoting economic development.

There are 20 active 2030 Districts in the US, with Cincinnati seeking to become the 21st. The City of Cincinnati’s Green Cincinnati Plan ranks the creation of a 2030 District as one of the largest opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city’s built environment. “Cincinnati is a leader in sustainability and innovation, due largely to the strong partnerships between the public and private sectors,” says Larry Falkin, Director of the City of Cincinnati’s Office of Environment and Sustainability. “The Cincinnati 2030 District presents another great opportunity for business and government to move our City forward by working together.”  

Efforts to start the Cincinnati District have been led by a working group of leaders from business, government and non-profit sectors. Green Umbrella, Greater Cincinnati’s sustainability alliance, has adopted the 2030 District as a new initiative and will hire a full-time Director to oversee the success of the collaborative. "The Duke Class Benefit Fund is proud to support Green Umbrella's 2030 District initiative,” says Brewster Rhoads, Board Chair of the CBF. “It is an exciting project that has the potential to make downtown buildings more energy efficient, reduce the utility bills for participating businesses and help Cincinnati reach its ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions." The Pittsburgh 2030 District has seen tremendous success since its founding in 2012, including 12% reductions in energy and 14.5% in water use and $85.4M in cost savings to building owners.

The Cincinnati 2030 District is recruiting 10 Founding Members by the end of the year. These early adopters will be developers, building owners and facility managers who are ready to use their property to advance the bold sustainability goals of the 2030 Network. In addition to Members, the 2030 District has opportunities for engagement by Sponsors (who contribute financially) and Partners (who provide services to buildings). “The Cincinnati 2030 District is an opportunity for the region’s corporations to translate their impressive social responsibility initiatives into the way they design and use their buildings,” says Ryan Mooney-Bullock, executive director of Green Umbrella. “By working collectively, we prove that Cincinnati is a place where talented professionals want to work and innovative companies want to locate.”  

This fall is a great time to learn more about the Cincinnati 2030 District. The 7th Annual PEDCO High Performance Buildings Seminar on October 4 will feature a panel made up of 2030 leaders from Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh and a presentation about the Cincinnati 2030 District. Additional informational and design sessions will be scheduled throughout the fall. Interested real estate owners, facility managers, developers, industry professionals, and community stakeholders in the downtown core (see map) should visit or email to learn more about the benefits of 2030 membership and how to get involved. Tenants of downtown buildings can advocate for their property managers to sign on as Members in order to enjoy the benefits provided through the District.


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