2023 Green Umbrella Sustainability Awards
Green Umbrella will honor two organizations and three individuals for their impact, innovation, and leadership at the 10th annual Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit, on May 12, 2023 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati. The conference brings together hundreds of visionary leaders to share inspiring, forward-thinking, and solution-oriented ideas that propel us toward a healthier, more resilient, sustainable, and equitable future.
The Sustainability IMPACT Award recognizes significant and measurable sustainability impact that increases natural resource conservation with/for diverse audiences within its facilities operations, organizational structure, and/or community.
Since 2014, Sustainergy Cooperative has offered residential energy efficiency and solar power services in Greater Cincinnati, reducing the carbon footprint of residents and creating a more sustainable urban area. Over the past decade, they have conducted more than 6,000 free residential energy audits, installed more than 1 million pounds of recycled paper insulation in over 1,300 homes, and reduced carbon emissions by more than 1,000 metric tons. As a worker owned business, Sustainergy Cooperative also advances inclusive capitalism, racial equity, and equitable human resource policies that help empower their staff to become homeowners.
The Sustainability INNOVATION Award recognizes an innovative program that promotes, practices, and/or encourages sustainability included in but not limited to successful education programs, facilities operations, public campaigns, and inclusive strategies.
Your Store of the Queen City
Your Store of the Queen City uses a hyper-local focus to grow food sovereignty, job opportunities and sustainability in the Lower Price Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati through neighbor-led initiatives that prioritize resident, woman, and minority entrepreneurship and leadership. Your Store of the Queen City designed and opened a unique concept in our area: Meiser’s Fresh Grocery and Deli, a public, community-driven, social enterprise grocery store in Lower Price Hill. Meiser’s employs neighbors to offer free and competitively priced fresh, packaged, and ready-to-eat foods that the community wants. In order to do so, they work with food rescue organizations in the area to redistribute good, healthy food for free, alongside affordable options in an environment that ensures dignity and full participation in the community. Your Store of the Queen City also facilitates the Lower Price Hill Collective Goods Farmers Market, supporting regional and local producers and lowering the neighborhood’s carbon footprint.
The Sustainability LEADERSHIP Award recognizes individuals that serve as strong and inspiring leaders in support of sustainability for their region, staff, students, customers, company, or community.
Chris Clements, the Executive Director of Imago, is a passionate leader for sustainability in the Cincinnati region. Imago is a non-profit rooted in the concept that living in harmony with the natural world is not only good for the planet, but good for ourselves, our families, and our communities. Chris has been interwoven in the Imago fabric for over 20 years, serving in nearly every capacity. Through Chris’ work, Imago has served tens of thousands of young people, led countless hours of outdoor exploration, and expanded Imago’s urban nature preserve. He is responsible for creating innovative programming, organizing upcycling & repair events, and developing education programs that take a deep dive into sustainable living. He has been a key voice in regional collaborative efforts to increase access to quality greenspace and green schoolyards for people of all ages.
In her year and a half as the Sustainability Specialist in the City of Dayton Office of Sustainability, Meg Maloney has been a driving force for local sustainability initiatives. Through her work on the City’s electrical aggregation program, she helped save Dayton residents an estimated $10.5 million (about $350 per household) while providing the city with $100,000 in grants for sustainability projects. This program diverted 2,119,554 metric tons of CO2 though renewable energy credits. Meg has reached over 7,000 residents through public presentations, and also started the Dayton Sprouts program, which helps kids learn about food, water, and energy sustainability as a part of their summer camp experience at City of Dayton Recreation Centers.
Educator Aaron Parker has created a truly “out of the classroom” experience for students through the development of Aiken High School’s agriculture campus. An English as a Second Language teacher, Aaron has developed a rigorous agriculture and entrepreneurship program for his students from dozens of countries. The stunning outdoor learning laboratory they work in features a huge raised-bed garden, orchards, livestock, pollinator gardens, hiking trails, and a high tunnel. Aaron brings unmatched energy and dedication to both his students and the farm, where he seems to be most of the time.