Lucas County and the Greater Toledo region have been recognized as the most sustainable United States metropolitan area by Site Selection Magazine, edging out neighboring communities such as Grand Rapids, Michigan and Cincinnati, Ohio for the top spot.
The Lucas County Commissioners are proud that Site Selection has taken notice of the community efforts to become more sustainable. Among the elements that set Greater Toledo apart for 2021 are First Solar’s announcement that it would expand its Perrysburg solar module manufacturing campus that will increase its total annual capacity to 6 gigawatts, making it the leading solar manufacturing complex in the western world. The Lucas County Commissioners also played a key role in the ranking. Also cited was the Lucas County Commissioners’ collaboration with the Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission to introduce the Toledo-Lucas County Green Map, an online platform connecting residents to community assets that can enhance not only their economic well-being, but their social and physical health as well.
“We began the Lucas County Sustainability Commission in 2009 with like-minded entities such as the University of Toledo, several non-profits, and area businesses,” Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak said. “With increased heat, flooding, and extreme weather in communities across the globe and toxic algal blooms on our own Lake Erie every summer, it is more important than ever to take steps toward a more sustainable future.”
“Economic prosperity and good jobs are compatible with environmental stewardship,” Commissioner Pete Gerken added. “To be recognized both as the top mid-sized metro for investment and the country’s most sustainable metro area in the same year in the country is proof-positive of that.”
“The Toledo Region has abundant natural features that set us apart,” Commissioner Gary Byers said. “The fact that Site Selection has recognized our efforts to showcase and protect these assets while also being strongly focused on economic growth is extremely gratifying and is a testament to the cooperation that has brought us to this moment.”
The publication has taken a comprehensive view in its rankings, taking into consideration factors that transcend more conventional measures. Not only is the use of solar power taken into account, but the incidence of solar power manufacturing plants are tallied as well. Site Selection also totals the presence of LEED-certified buildings, brownfield redevelopment that returns formerly contaminated land to productive use, and the occurrence of businesses engaged in corporate social responsibility activities as they establish their annual rankings.
Toledo and Lucas County have been recognized by Site Selection for several consecutive years as among the most lucrative regions for new business locations in its annual Governor’s Cup rankings, earning first place for mid-sized metros in 2021. Now, in addition holding the status as an important economic development region, it has been lauded by the magazine for its efforts to shepherd a more ecologically-friendly economy.
Site Selection Magazine has a readership that includes CEOs, corporate real estate executives, human resource managers, and consultants. The Lucas County Commissioners are proud that the publication has acknowledged the efforts to grow the regional economy in a responsible manner.