Evergreen Cooperative Laundry

This summer the Evergreen Cooperative Laundry opened in Cleveland, a 50 member democratic firm capitalized by $5.8 million of grants and loans from the City of Cleveland, the Cleveland Foundation, and local banks.  The laundry is the first in a network of green cooperatives planned to help create a new geography around anchor university and hospital institutions in the city along with other investments.  


Organizers, including the Ohio Employee Ownership Center and the Democracy Collaborative, strategized around three concepts:

  • local purchasing by the anchor institutions (ppt)
  • getting local residents into owning the enterprises that employed them, and
  • taking advantage of emerging business opportunities to produce in a more energy efficient, green economy.

More cooperative developments are planned, including OhioSolar, which would bid for solar panel installations on municipal buildings and Green City Growers Cooperative, and urban greenhouse for food production.  Each of the businesses created will dedicate at least 10% of their pre-tax profits to the fund for future cooperative development.