The Aids Task Force of Greater Cleveland has distributed re-usable canvas grocery bags to food pantry clients, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District has adopted an anti-idling policy for school buses and Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity has expanded its Re-Store which diverts more than 500 tons of construction material from landfills each year while providing the public with low-cost materials for home renovation and repair.
These are just a few of the projects that have been reported in the climate change statements that have been required of all George Gund Foundation grant applicants since September 2007.
“Our intent was to raise awareness about this important issue and help people understand that each one of us has a responsibility to help ameliorate the impact of climate change,” said David Abbott, the Foundation’s executive director. “We are pleased to report that our grantees have been thoughtful, pro-active and entrepreneurial in finding ways to reduce their personal and organizational carbon footprints.”
He said many organizations have instituted recycling programs, eliminated the use of disposable plates and cups, mandated double-sided printing, installed energy-saving light bulbs and started purchasing green office supplies.
The Foundation, which completed the Entrepreneurs for Sustainability’s Sustainability Implementation Training Program, also is continuing to monitor its own progress on internal goals.
“Climate change is a very serious problem that impacts all of us, and we see implementation of our internal green team’s recommendations as a way both to decrease our carbon footprint and also to set an example for our grantees,” said Abbott.
He said the Foundation also will begin highlighting, on its website and in its e-newsletter, grantees that have made significant strides in going green.