In Their Own Words
For nearly 10 years E4S has helped business and organizational leaders in Northeast Ohio discover the possibilities and put sustainability to work.
Over that time we have demonstrated our abilities as community-builders, subject-matter experts, and project catalysts. As a result, E4S has become the go-to place for business and organizational leaders to learn the how-to of sustainability.
At the heart of E4S is our “Connect, Learn, Do Sustainability” change strategy, which has resulted in a growing network of leaders from all sectors, implementing sustainable business practices and creating a culture of sustainability in Northeast Ohio.
E4S the Economic Development Organization
E4S is an economic development organization whose mission is to grow a sustainable regional economy that affirms and sustains life for all. We are driven by the belief that sustainability principles are drivers for new business opportunities and tools to improve our quality of life.Learn more about how E4S serves the region>>
E4S the Network of Networks
E4S is also a network of over 8,000 entrepreneurial leaders from business, government and non-profit organizations who are taking action. The E4S Network serves as a “commons” where participants can connect with collaborators, learn new ideas and be inspired to put sustainability to work. Recently, E4S launched specialized networks to increase action and momentum. Using what we have learned about growing networks over the last 10 years, we have launched three action networks that work together to grow a sustainable economy. Learn more about E4S Action Networks >>
E4S the Sustainable Business Strategies Expert
With nearly 10 years experience in helping businesses discover and implement sustainability strategies, E4S has developed an expertise in putting sustainable business practices to work. From one on one consultations with leaders at individual companies to workshops and tours or through our signature E4S Sustainability Implementation (SI) Group Program, we have experience working with organizations of all sizes, sectors and industries. To date, over 50 businesses and organizations have graduated from our E4S SI Group program. Learn more about E4S services >>
E4S the Project Catalyst
E4S has been an action network from day one. With the goal of “more leaders doing more projects”, we have provided the critical connections and learning that have inspired hundreds of sustainable business projects and collaborations over the past 10 years. For E4S, growing networks and providing the knowledge and tools for implementing sustainable business practices have always been in service of action. Learn more about the impact of E4S >>
E4S the Regional Change Strategist
How do we inspire, engage and prepare more leaders from all sectors to put sustainable business strategies to work? How can we create economic, environmental and social benefits for both businesses and the region? How do we organize to radically grow the number of projects and their combined impact on the region over the next 10 years? E4S has developed and advanced two change strategies that work on the individual, organizational and network levels.
1. Connect, Learn, Do Sustainability While working with manufacturing leaders at WIRE-Net in the mid-90’s, E4S Founder Holly Harlan observed how these leaders made the decision to change a process or product or start a new business strategy. The process moves from awareness of the opportunity, learning more about the benefits and challenges, discussing the change with trusted advisers and peers, then hiring consultants or empowering staff to implement the change and then ends in a full circle in celebration and sharing their successes and challenges with others. The most important step of this process is making the decision to change with the insights of trusted peers. At E4S we share this change process as “Connect, Learn, Do Sustainability”.
2. Regional Action Networks How do you spread a new idea or speed the time to market of a new idea within a region? Organizational Development professionals around the world are starting to discover the power of networks to increase learning and action within a company or region. E4S was one of the earliest examples of network strategy within a region. Applying our “Connect, Learn, Do Sustainability” strategy seemed to naturally create a network. As we were discovering the power of what was naturally occurring, we worked with network development experts Valdis Krebs, June Holley and Jack Richutto and later George Por. As we experiment with launching new networks – Local Food Cleveland, Zero Waste NEO and Biomimicry NEO – we will continue to advance the global learning of about the power of networks.
The Institute for Sustainable Development / Green Plus