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.


Acceleration Partner Program event


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.


1. Energy

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.
Each $1 invested in energy efficiency avoids more than $2 on energy supply spending.
Each $1 invested in energy efficiency avoids more than $2 on energy supply spending.
— World Resources Institute

*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.

2. Transportation

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.

transportation goal

*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.
Franklin County households with Internet statistic
Over 80,000 Franklin County households (10%), do not have an Internet subscription.**

*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.


Triple A Ohio logo
Advanced Drainage Systems logo
AEP logo
ARC Industries logo
Bread Financial logo
Cameron Mitchell Restaurants logo
Cardinal Health logo
CAS logo
CCAD logo
CRAA logo
Columbus State Community College logo
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium logo
Cover My Meds logo
Daimler logo
Denison logo
DMG logo
Fahlgren Mortine logo
Fifth Third Bank logo
GBQ logo
Goodwill Columbus logo
Grange Insurance
Hexion logo
HFI logo
Hikma logo
Huntington logo
I am Boundless logo
Jones Day logo
Kaufman Development logo
Land Grant logo
LOEB Electric logo
Ohio Energy Project logo
OhioHealth logo
State Auto logo
Steiner logo
Thrive logo
VORYS logo
White Castle logo


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.

6 people sitting at a conference table at a Acceleration Partner Program event

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. 

Several people listening to a speaker

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

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”.

Tech Advisors

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.