Creating a smarter, more sustainable region takes both commitment and collaboration across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Smart Columbus is empowering the region’s lead employers to advance Columbus in vital areas like sustainability and digital transformation.
Launched in 2021, the Acceleration Partner Program was co-created with employers to tackle community challenges that in turn strengthen common employer goals such as securing top talent, increasing competitiveness, and optimizing operational efficiency.
Smart Columbus has identified nine key goals that support sustainability and digital transformation. Our Acceleration Partners pledge to meet at least 75% of these goals while helping to build an ecosystem of advocates, action-oriented leaders, and skilled volunteers.
From renewable energy to more efficient buildings and workplaces, the Columbus Region, Smart Columbus, and our collaborators are putting us on a path to carbon neutrality.
- Procure 75% of electricity from renewable sources.
- Increase building efficiency by 25% and meet LEED Gold or WELL Gold standards.*
- Lead a campaign on climate action and sustainable energy education.
*The energy efficiency goal will be met once buildings reach the equivalent of a 75 Energy Star score; Certification not required, only applies to new builds/major renovations, integrate into leases as applicable.
Smart Columbus and our collaborators are leading a shift to electric vehicles and fleets while also promoting multi-modal transportation options.
- Electrifying Fleets with a 50% increase in light-duty EVs and a 10% increase and medium/heavy duty EVs.*
- Host annual EV education programs to promote Employee EV Adoption while also providing charging access across all major sites.**
- Encourage 2%-10% of employees to utilize a Commuter Benefits Program.
*Integrate electrification requirements into leases.
**Charging considered accessible if use <70% of day. Leased worksites encouraged to coordinate dialogue with property mgmt, ‘major sites’ serves 200+ people.
3. Digital Transformation
Creating a more connected region starts with ensuring every resident has reliable internet access along with the devices and training to use it.
- Create a policy to donate digital devices at the end of their use.
- Champion an annual community innovation project.*
- Identify and engage a Community Data Steward.
*Skilled volunteering, adoption or funding
**American Community Survey, “Table B28003: Presence of a computer and type of Internet subscription in household,” U.S. Census Bureau, 17 March 2021.
Want to help us create a more sustainable, connected, and competitive region? Through collaboration and sharing of best practices, Smart Columbus can help you engage and make strides to meet our core challenges while also improving regional prosperity.
Acceleration Partner Program
Over 30 lead employers have already taken the pledge to work towards common goals that will lead to a sustainable, inclusive, and technology-driven future. Take the pledge—become an Acceleration Partner today for a prosperous future tomorrow.
Sustainability Leaders Groups & Labs
Made up of over 70 senior Sustainability and ESG leaders from the Columbus Partnership member companies and Smart Columbus’ Acceleration Partners, the Sustainability Leaders Group meets quarterly with a rotating focus on topics designed to advance sustainability in our region.
Sustainability Labs are sprint working groups designed to engineer solutions to pressing sustainability challenges. Labs consist of 5-8 Sustainability Leaders Group members exploring a sustainability topic and developing resources that can be shared with their peers.
Sustainability IT Group
Made up of technology and data experts from private, public and community organizations, the Sustainable IT Group is working to make the Columbus Region a national leader in sustainable technology practices and with the goal of creating the world’s first “Green IT Zone”.
As a data infrastructure initiative, Columbus Information Exchange faces many technical and security challenges. Through a series of workshops with volunteer advisors, we’re drawing from the expertise of professionals who have faced similar situations in the private sector in hopes of solving key technical and data challenges.
To learn more about these initiatives or to attend an upcoming meeting, get in touch.