Northeast Ohio nonprofits create new online tool providing racial equity scores for regional job sites

By Steven Litt, cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Corporations and nonprofit organizations flooded their websites two summers ago with statements advocating racial justice following the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. But the question remained: How could they turn such statements into action?

A trio of nonprofits has created a new answer to that question for Northeast Ohio through a new digital online tool enabling companies to measure racial equity and environmental factors when deciding where to locate offices, factories, or other facilities.

Team NEO and the Fund for Our Economic Future, aided by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced Tuesday that they recently launched the tool, “ESG to the Power of Place.’’ The tool is available at wherematters.teamneo.org.

Combining data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources with mapping technology, the tool provides demographic, workforce, and commuting data for the 18 Northeast Ohio counties served by Team NEO, the region’s leading economic development agency.

Advocates likened the tool to the popular Walk Score and Bike Score websites, which provide comparative measurements of bike- and pedestrian-friendliness on an address-by-address basis across the U.S.

They also believe the new tool is the first of its kind in the U.S. designed to enable companies to compare real estate locations according to factors related to racial equity, climate change, and access to talent.

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