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Sustainability at Work hosted its popular Problem Solved networking event on Wednesday, February 12. Local green team leaders and sustainability champions from more than 30 local businesses met at Bridgeport Brewing to tackle common sustainability workplace challenges.
“Problem Solved connects the people who are doing the heavy lifting to green Portland’s workplaces. It provides a platform to support and celebrate their efforts — which is what Sustainability at Work is all about,” says Megan Shuler, Sustainability at Work program manager.
The event kicked off with presentations from Hilary Alter from Zidell Marine Corporation, Nicole Baber from Reach Community Development and Tammi Connolly from Otak. Attendees laughed and nodded in agreement as these sustainability champions shared their experiences -- from having new ideas be met with resistance -- to being that employee who digs the recyclables out of the garbage can. Hearing how speakers ultimately achieved success sparked creative ideas and tangible next steps.
Following the presentations, attendees participated in small group discussions where they shared insights for taking sustainability to the next level and getting employee buy-in and management support. Michael Geller, Providence Health & Services Sustainability Manager, shared with his discussion group how he created internal buy-in for sustainability projects: "Point to the mission and core values of the organization and know your audience. This way you can show management why your projects take the company in the right direction."
Raffle prizes for the event were donated by Sustainability at Work certified businesses Hopworks Urban Brewing, Food Front Cooperative Grocery Store and Crown Plaza Portland Downtown.
The next event is scheduled for early summer. Learn more about Sustainability at Work at www.portlandoregon.gov/sustainabilityatwork.