Cleveland, Gund Foundations to Restrict Capital Grants to Green Building Projects

Policy aims to promote sustainability, limit impact of new buildings on the environment

Release Date: 04.03.2007

Cleveland’s two largest foundations hope to make Cleveland a more environmentally conscious community by awarding capital grants only to projects that adopt “green building” principles.

Trustees of The Cleveland Foundation and The George Gund Foundation recently adopted policies limiting capital grants to construction or renovation projects that seek U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification. LEED represents the most widely accepted national standard for green building.

“This new policy is a logical extension of our ongoing environmental grantmaking, which has focused on issues related to climate change, energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and conservation of natural resources,” said David Abbott, Gund Foundation executive director. “We think this new policy will also help educate our community about ways in which they can make their organizations more sustainable.”

“This new policy should help significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of new buildings on the environment and on the buildings’ occupants,” added Ronn Richard, president and chief executive officer of The Cleveland Foundation.

Green building design and construction practices address issues such as site planning, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and conservation of materials and resources.

Cleveland has several LEED-certified buildings, including the Cleveland Foodbank and the Ideacenter at Playhouse Square.


Established in 1914, The Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and the nation’s third-largest today, with assets of $1.7 billion and annual grants surpassing $80 million. The Foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders in perpetuity by building community endowments, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. Currently the Foundation proactively directs two-thirds of its flexible grant dollars to the community’s greatest needs: economic transformation, public school improvement, globalization, early childhood and youth development, neighborhoods and housing, and arts advancement.

For more information on The Cleveland Foundation, please visit


The George Gund Foundation was established in 1952 by George Gund, former chairman of the Cleveland Trust Company. The Foundation funds programs that enhance our understanding of the physical and social environment in which we live and increase our ability to cope with its changing requirements. Grants are made quarterly in the areas of education, human services, economic and community development, environment and arts. Foundation commitments to date have totaled almost $487 million.

For more information on The George Gund Foundation, please visit