In 2016, the year Public Square was redesigned into the beautiful space it is today, The Lubrizol Corporation made a significant gift to The Square and the Cleveland Community.
Since the original pledge four years ago, Lubrizol has made a gift each year to Group Plan Commission to support our work of operating, maintaining, and programming Public Square.
Recently we met with Elizabeth Grove, President of The Lubrizol Foundation, to talk about the foundation's interest and support of public spaces. The foundation focuses on giving in the following areas: good health and wellbeing, quality education, and protecting and preserving the natural environment.
Why was it important to Lubrizol to make such an impactful gift to the redesign of Public Square?
At Lubrizol, we are always thinking about how we can contribute towards improving our hometown. Cleveland is where we started. The Smith Brothers, who founded Lubrizol, are native to Cleveland and graduates of Case Western Reserve University. We know that we have benefited from the Cleveland community and we want to give back. Public Square is like the crown jewel of Cleveland and it was important to us to help beautify this historic space.
Do you have a story about Public Square from visiting or attending an event that you’d like to share?
Last November, Lubrizol hosted the annual Berkshire Hathaway Sustainability Summit. We wanted the Summit to be very Cleveland focused because we were bringing in guests from across the country.
We hosted the Summit in downtown Cleveland, and we were intentional in showcasing many local businesses doing great work in our town. We were walking distance from Public Square and we wanted to highlight The Square during the Summit.
When we visited The Square, we realized the Prismatica Art Exhibit was on display. Our guests were impressed with how Cleveland was leveraging this space itself, as well as the beautiful art installation. Our local employees were so proud of their hometown.
This experience really reflected who we are and why we invest in Cleveland.
Tell us about Lubrizol’s giving strategy?
We have a relatively new giving strategy that was developed at the beginning of 2020. The overall campaign is called Global Goals/Local Action. This new strategy encourages community engagement in over 60 communities where Lubrizol employees work and live. It also provides us the flexibility to apply our broader giving focus in a local way.
For example, during the COVID pandemic, we’ve been able to support food banks in the U.S. communities where we have plants and directly benefit our neighbors in those communities. Also, this strategy has allowed us to partner with the local Legal Aid Societies in the cities we have operations to support the work of equity and social justice.
We’ve selected broad giving strategies on purpose to give us the flexibility to serve local needs in the cities where we have operations, which allows nonprofits to plan programs that best serve their community. This approach gives us unity without dictating programming.
With this new strategy, we have some exciting and ambitious goals. In 2028, Lubrizol is going to be 100 years old. To celebrate 100 years of operating, we want our team to provide 80,000 hours of community service and we plan to donate a total of $20,280,000 to help local nonprofits in the cities we operate. Lubrizol has been so fortunate to be a part of so many wonderful communities, this is one way we can really give back!
Elizabeth Grove has worked for Lubrizol for 12 years. In January of 2020, she began her work as President of the Foundation. Thank you to Elizabeth and Lubrizol for being transformational partners. For more information on The Lubrizol Foundation visit their website.