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Akron, Ohio

2nd Annual Summit of Sustainability Awards


Calling on Local Companies to Compete

City of Akron Press Release
Published: 08-15-2013

August 15, 2013 (Akron, Ohio)-There is still time for companies to apply for the 2nd Annual Summit of Sustainability Awards, a program that will showcase the best examples of commercial energy efficiency, waste reduction and employee participation.    The Summit of Sustainability Awards program will culminate in a “zero-waste” breakfast on Thursday, October 24th at The University of Akron’s Quaker Station, showcasing the five winners.  Applications for the awards are due by September 1, 2013.  Companies seeking to apply must be located within Summit County.  Applications and more information are online at

This year’s program will feature a keynote presentation from Robert Buchanan, founder and former CEO/President of Polar Bears International, the world’s leading polar bear conservation group, with a focus on polar bear research and proactive conservation education.  Funding from PBI has supported research that led to the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species by the U.S. government and has memorandums of understanding with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  Buchanan’s keynote address will focus on putting corporate sustainability into perspective by demonstrating its positive potential impact on our world.  “No single sustainability action goes unaccounted for in this ‘big picture’ view.  It is the impact of millions, if not billions, of seemingly small actions that will create a better future for our world,” says Buchanan.

Based on the success and feedback of last year’s program, two additional categories have been added to the awards lineup. 

“Last year we engaged the community-at-large in creating and implementing sustainability plans, and the event was very successful,” said Mayor Plusquellic.  “This year two new categories were added in order to boost awareness and sustainability efforts throughout  our entire community.  I think our local business and community leaders are beginning to truly understand that to be sustainable is to balance economic, environmental and social concerns. We all need to  think about how our actions today will affect future generations.”

This year’s award categories will include: Small Business (25 employees or less), Medium Business (26 to 249 employees), Large Business (250 employees or more), Non-Profit/Community, and Public Sector (Governmental/Schools).  This is change from last year’s program which saw only two categories for business and none for the public sector.

The Founding Members of the Summit of Sustainability Awards program are the City of Akron, County of Summit, Keep Akron Beautiful, Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce and ReWorks, formerly known as the Summit Akron Solid Waste Management Authority.  Many generous sponsors have also stepped forward to launch this awards program that will provide local sustainable best practices and mentors for businesses as the community works together to be more responsible stewards of its shared environment. 

“The response to last year’s program was outstanding,” noted Summit County Executive Russ Pry.  “By adding two new categories to this year’s program, we have created an opportunity for more businesses, community and nonprofit groups, and public sector partners, such as schools, to be recognized for their commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.”

Sponsors of the Summit of Sustainability Awards Program include:

Sustainable Champions- Metro RTA, Sterling Jewelers, Inc., and the Akron Zoological Park

 Conservation Leaders- Dominion Foundation, FirstEnergy Foundation, The University of Akron, River Valley Paper Company, Hasenstab Architects, and Waste Management’s Greenstar Recycling

 Resource Guardians- Affinity Consultants, Bridgestone Americas, and Visual Marking Systems

 Media Sponsors- The Summit, 91.3FM, Smart Business Network and Lockett Media


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