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  • Submitted by: United States of America
  • Topic: Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication
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  • Location: State of Ohio, United States of America
  • Date of completion: 2005
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  • This voluntary initiative came from Green economy policies, practices and initiatives
Evergreen Cooperative Initiative (State of Ohio)
Description/achievement of initiative

The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative of Cleveland, Ohio, is an initiative launched to build capacity in Cleveland's low income areas.
Source: World Resources Institute (2011) A Compilation of Green Economy Policies, Programs, and Initiatives from Around the World. The Green Economy in Practice: Interactive Workshop 1, February 11th, 2011


The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative of Cleveland, Ohio, is an initiative launched to build capacity in Cleveland's low income areas. The Initiative is a partnership between the residents of six neighborhoods and some of Cleveland's most important anchor institutions the Cleveland Foundation, the City of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and many others. The Initiative aims to leverage the procurement and investment power of these local anchors to build a network of cooperatively-owned, community-based businesses that supply goods and services to the institutions. The mission of the Cooperatives is not only to create jobs in sustainable businesses, but also to generate wealth for low-income residents. The first Evergreen Cooperative businesses include Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, Ohio Cooperative Solar, and Green City Growers Cooperative.


The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative businesses' employees are recruited from economically distressed neighborhoods surrounding Cleveland's University Circle; Evergreen Cooperative Laundry recruits its workers through a community nonprofit called Towards Employment. The Initiative supports local businesses that promote sustainable development goals and create new jobs. Ohio Cooperative Solar has weatherized 62 houses in low-income communities through Cleveland's Home Weatherization Assistance Program, and its first solar panel installation job is underway at the Cleveland Clinic. In May, it will install solar panels on the rooftops of the University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve, and it has been contracted to install panels on the city hall building and library in the nearby city of Euclid.

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