The former City of Akron Mayor, Don Plusquellic, introduced a sustainability plan on Earth Day, April 22, 2009. This living document was called the Greenprint for Akron and intended to create an environmental partnership to foster a sustainable, eco-friendly community through education and leadership.

A Green Ribbon Panel of City Managers met monthly to learn new operational alternatives for making better sustainable decisions for the future of the greater Akron area. Eight Smart areas were assigned goals and strategies (see 2009 Greenprint*).

The City of Akron had finished its second greenhouse gas survey for 2009 to compare community and city emissions against a baseline survey from 2005. As a former member of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA, the city committed to the 5 Milestone process and utilized the CACP 2009 software to determine greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in terms of carbon dioxide unites, or CO2e.

This year-long effort culminated in an update to the original Greenprint for Akron plan (see 2012 Greenprint Akron Executive Summary**) by adding a Community Climate Action Plan, using ICLEI's Climate and Air Pollution Planning Assistant (CAPPA) tool. Affinity Consultants assisted in this effort as part of the EECBG funds provided in the 2009 ARRA allocation.

Following the departure of Mayor Plusquellic, the Green Ribbon Panel disbanded and the city focused their resources to the Combined Sewer Overflow, yet each city department continue to align yearly goals with the original action areas

The Summit of Sustainability (SOSA) was born from the Smart Community Education and Promotion of Progress goal below. The program ran for four years and recognized several businesses and people. In the meantime, Mayor Horrigan has taken over for the retired Plusquellic. The SOSA committee in 2018 is now making a Request for Proposals to continue SOSA programming.

The Greenprint for Akron

Comparison from 2009 to 2012 Community Wide Summary Report- Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Press Release

*2009 Greenprint

**2012 Greenprint Akron Executive Summary


Original Action Areas

Short & long-term strategies to implement the vision. Any questions can be directed to the person listed under each Smart Area:

Smart Energy & Emissions

Air Quality, Alternative Energy, Energy Efficiency, Green Rooftops, Green Build (LEEDS Certification Program), Energy Star, Advocating for Energy Audits, Employee Incentive Programs for Reducing Energy


Press Release: City Research Agreement with U.S. EPA on Steam System

For more information, contact Brad Beckert


Smart Water & Wastewater Management

Water Quality, Water and Wastewater Systems, Methane Recovery for Energy Production, Waste Sludge to Energy Production, Storm Water Pollution Prevention and Water Conservation


Press Release: Akron Water Reclamation Facility Receives a $108,000 Rebate

Press Release: City Moving Forward with CSO Project

Press Release: City of Akron Breaks Ground on Cascade Village Storage Basin Project

Press Release: City of Akron Water Reclamation Service Manager Wins Statewide Award

For more information contact Brian Gresser


Smart Materials & Solid Waste Management

Environmental Purchasing, Commercial and School Recycling, Curbside Recycling, Reducing Consumption of Natural Resources, Composting


City of Akron Recycling page

Press Release: Green Fair and Clean & Green Converge in Downtown Akron

For more information, contact Daniel Dempsey


Smart Transit

Mass/Rapid Transit, Promotion of Bicycle Lanes/Trails, Green Map, Carpooling, Conversion of Municipal Fleets, Efficient Traffic Control


Press Release: New Bicycle Friendly Communities Announced

For more information, contact Michelle DiFiore


Smart Development

Neighborhood Revitalization, Brownfield Recapture, Reduce Urban Sprawl, Creating Walkable Urban Neighborhoods, Land Banking, Adaptive Reuse, and Green Job Growth


Press Release: Akron Property Survey to Begin May 19

For more information, contact Nancy Cook 


Smart Conservation Of Natural Resources

Urban Forestry, Preserving Streams/Watersheds, Preserving Open Spaces, Park Systems

For more information, contact Bill Hahn or Jon Malish 


Smart Community Education and Promotion of Progress

Educating Youth, City Staff Training, Greenprint Reporting, Clearinghouse for Climate Change and Community Engagement to Reach Goals, Summit of Sustainablity Awards.

Combines resources of Keep Akron Beautiful, ReWorks, and multiple city departments like the Watershed (Akron Waterways Renewed)

For more information, contact or Jacqui Flaherty-Ricchiuti


The Summit of Sustainability:

SOSA Vision

To create a sustainable community throughout Summit County.

SOSA Mission Statement:

To provide educational resources and training in sustainability planning and recognize leadership in businesses and organizations who successfully implement those plans.


2017 Summit of Sustainability

As Akron continues to focus on the Combined Sewer Overflow, The Summit of Sustainability will support CSO projects as well as efforts to expand greenspace in our City of Akron. If you would like to tour CSO projects in the city, there are trolley tours planned through the year. Reserve your seat through Akron Waterways Renewed!


2016 SOSA Events

In place of awards in 2016, the SOSA committee planned three events, which consisted of a series of sustainability workshops hosted by SOSA sponsors Akron Zoo, Waste Management and the City of Akron. The workshops, respectively, were: Jenita McGowan Speaks on Cleveland's Sustainability, Sustainable Grant Workshop with James Skora of GT Environmental and Smart Water Use 101 at the Akron Water Supply.

All workshops allowed likeminded individuals to network and share sustainability challenges and strategies.

The Akron Water Supply in Kent continues and encourages workshops for people who want to take an oppportunity to learn more about the Watershed and Akron water treatment. Contact the Akron Waterways Renewed! for more information.

Interested in learning more about water quality in Akron? Visit the Akron Global Water Alliance website to read how their efforts work to improve water quality in Northeast Ohio


Past (2012-2015) Summit of Sustainability Awards

All of our SOSA winners videos can be found on our SOSA12 YouTube Channel, along with awards breakfast highlights and keynote addresses. Visit SOSAward12 on YouTube today. Skip below to go straight to winners' YouTube playlists.


Thank you to our Sustainable Champion Supporters. See their sustainability videos:

2012-16 Sustainable Champion- Sterling Jewelers

2012-16 Sustainable Champion- METRO RTA

2013-16 Sustainable Champion- Akron Zoological Park


Winners Playlists on YouTube:

2015 Individual Sustainability Changemaker Videos

2014 Winners of the Summit of Sustainability Awards

2013 Winners of the Summit of Sustainability Awards

2012 Winners of the Summit of Sustainability Awards


Effectively Implementing Sustainabilty:

Jacqui Ricchiuti, - KAB Executive Director, Facilitator for SOSA

Recognizing Sustainability:

Nicole Koharik - GOJO

Demand for Change:

Nicholas Zingale - Cleveland State University

Real Results:

Doug Piekarz - Akron Zoo


Recycling information:

Let's Reycle Akron on What and How to Recycle in Akron

Recycle Tag Example


Recycling Video


Pharmaceutical Collection Disposal Program

The Akron Police Department, in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration and Summit County Health Department, has initiated a Pharmaceutical Collection Disposal Program, D.U.M.P.

The program has been initiated to provide a safe, legal and environmentally friendly means of destroying unused prescription medications.  This is not to be used for illegal drugs such as marijuana.

A pharmaceutical collection box has been placed in the lobby of the Harold K. Stubbs Justice Center.  You are encouraged to dispose of your unused pharmaceuticals at this drop site.  There are no forms to be completed or special packaging to be used.  All that is necessary is to drop your unused prescription medication in their original container or some other secured method such as a sealable sandwich bag. 

Personnel from the Akron Police Department will retrieve these discarded pharmaceuticals and have them properly destroyed in accordance with state and federal guidelines. 


Summit County Public Health - DUMP Info & Cell Phone for Soldiers Info

Behavior Change and Community Engagement

70% of greenhouse gas emissions come from out citizen's carbon footprint.

The best behavior change methodology to reduce carbon footprints in our commuities is using neighborhood empowerment groups. Get Green Columbus (Ohio) has already used this system of Cool Cities planning. If you are a community activist hoping for a greener, more livable city, check out the material created through a lifetime research by David Gershon, Founder/ CEO of the Empowerment institute, at




Green Websites


Empowerment Institute


U.S. Green Building Council- LEED

The Forum for Sustainable & Responsible Investment

Greenhouse Gas Protocol

EPA- Corporate Climate Leadership

American Chemistry Council- Plastics Division

Biomimicry 3.8

Rain Barrel Information- Do's and Don'ts In The City of Akron

ICLEI Local Government for Sustainability