oin hundreds of business, nonprofit, government, and community leaders at Xavier University’s Cintas Center on Thursday, June 16 for the 2022 Midwest Sustainability Summit, hosted by Green Umbrella. Whether you’re passionate about enhancing sustainability at your workplace or in your neighborhood, there are topics for everyone. The Summit will cover a variety of issues from creating healthier buildings, outdoor learning gardens at schools, and community composting programs, to learning how Cincinnati and other cities are creating a climate-conscious future. You’ll walk away feeling inspired, with tools to help influence change and innovation.
“Anybody who cares about the health of our communities and the innovative things that are happening in the region around sustainability would want to come,” says Charlie Gonzalez, member relations and events manager for Green Umbrella. “Food, infrastructure, energy, healthy communities, climate action—there’s something for everyone.” Much of the Summit will focus on environmental justice, including programs to plant more trees in underserved communities to improve air quality, reduce heat, and lower energy bills. In neighborhoods like Lower Price Hill, Bond Hill, and Roselawn, residents were empowered to be climate advisors as part of a community engagement process to develop climate strategies for their neighborhood that will inform the Green Cincinnati Plan. The project’s success, and plans to expand the program to other neighborhoods, represent an example initiative that will be highlighted at the Summit.
Keynote speaker Kristin Baja, director of direct support and innovation with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, will share insights from her work helping cities across the nation identify effective climate strategies. She will join Cincinnati mayor Aftab Pureval, Dayton mayor Jeffrey Mims, and Limamayor Sharetta Smith to discuss how Midwest cities can enhance their climate resilience in equitable ways and work together to make the region a national leader of sustainability.
Additional talks and sessions throughout the day include:
- Your Vision – the Future of the Green Cincinnati Plan (an interactive workshop)
- Equitable Data-Driven Decision Making for Environmental Justice Initiatives in Greater Cincinnati
- How to Start a Green Team in Your Congregation
- Revolutionary Strategies for a Climate Safe Region
- Accelerating Climate Action Through Democracy
- Resilient Composting: A Story of Collaboration in Cincinnati
- Are Aviation and Sustainability Mutually Exclusive?
- Strengths-Based Stories for Resilient Communities
- Sustainability Action in Appalachian Ohio
- Buildings as Medicine: How Better Design Removes Environmental Stressors
- Calm Climate Anxiety: Connect & Balance Emotions, Spirit, and Action
- Charting a Sustainable Course: How to Create a Local Climate Action Strategy
- Innovation in StartupCincy for an Equitable, Climate-Prepared Region
- A Food Secure Community: Resilience Through Relationships, Trust, and Local Solutions
- Better Housing: Equitable Decarbonization through Collaboration
- Better Building: Driving the Triple Bottom Line with Design
- Success Through Collaboration: The Rockdale Urban Learning Garden
- Wasted Food Stops with Us
- Benchmarking for Better Communities
- Introduction to the Cincinnati Recycling & Reuse Hub
- Decarbonizing Existing Buildings – A Historic Opportunity
- Explore Cincinnati’s Foodshed
The event is in person, and the main stage will be live streamed to allow for virtual attendance. For the full schedule and to register, visit midwestregionalsustainability.org.
Field trips across Greater Cincinnati
The day after the conference, on Friday June 17, Green Umbrella partners will host a series of field trips and community activities. Even if you aren’t registered for the Summit, you can attend any of the field trips for free. Sign up at midwestregionalsustainability.org.
Ready to learn more about sustainability and attend the conference?
Green Umbrella is grateful for the generous support of the event’s main sponsors, who are invested in helping create a more sustainable and climate-prepared region:
“Fifth Third Bank is committed to reducing our environmental footprint, managing our climate-related risk, and to helping our customers and communities transition to a more sustainable and inclusive future. We are proud to again sponsor the Midwest Sustainability Summit to engage with this community to further our shared vision.” –Thomas Neltner, senior vice president, director of enterprise workplace services and chief security officer
“Verizon believes this is a breakthrough moment for business action on climate change, which is why we’ve strengthened our commitment to sustainability and have set a goal to reach net-zero operational emissions by 2035. Verizon has become one of the largest corporate buyers of U.S. renewable energy, entering into long-term renewable energy purchase agreements for substantial renewable energy capacity and has issued four $1 billion green bonds. Supporting local sustainability efforts like the Summit is part of our overall mission to make our networks and the communities we serve more climate resilient. These donations and programs align with Verizon’s goal to help move the world forward through our Citizen Verizon initiative, which centers on Digital Inclusion, Climate Protection and Human Prosperity.” —Jessica Cohen, Director of community engagement, Verizon
“The Brueggeman Center for Dialogue at Xavier University is thrilled to be a top sponsor of the 2022 Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit because of its broad and inclusive approach to sustainability, recognizing that the environmental, the human, and the social are interconnected. In the spirit of Pope Francis, Xavier is committed to this kind of an “integral ecological” approach to sustainability.” —Bill Madges, faculty director The Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue