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Sustainability at Work

Providing free tools and expertise to achieve your goals

Phone: 503-823-7037

Email: sustainabilityatwork@portlandoregon.gov

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Table of Contents

(Printable Version)

Energy

Saving energy can save your business money and provide big returns for the environment. Commercial buildings account for 25% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in Multnomah County. The primary energy sources in Portland are natural gas and electricity. Natural gas is a non-renewable fossil fuel. Electricity consumed in Portland is generated from a variety of sources, with 68% produced from coal and natural gas power plants.

ENERGY STAR® Product Guide

This helpful guide lists available ENERGY STAR qualified products, as well as estimated savings, case studies and more.

ENERGY STAR® Computer Power Management Guide

Managing your computers’ power usage can save up to $50 per computer annually. This guide helps you optimize built-in power management features by changing each computer’s settings or by implementing network-wide solutions. 

Energy Trust of Oregon Cash Incentives for commercial businesses

Cash incentives may be available from Energy Trust of Oregon for many of appliances and equipment in use at your business. View latest list of cash incentives.

Energy Trust of Oregon Cash Incentives for manufacturing, agriculture

Cash incentives and technical assistance may be available to improve the operation of your plant.

Renewable Energy Incentives

Energy Trust provides a wide range of cash incentives and technical assistance for businesses and facilities interested in generating renewable energy.

Lamping Comparison Chart

Local lighting company ELEEK has created a helpful guide to understanding the many available lamping options; including the cost and life of the bulb.

Solar Oregon

Learn about installing solar at your business with helpful case studies, workshops and information.

Renewable Power

Discover renewable energy options available through your electrical utility company and Energy Trust of Oregon:

Carbon Offsets

A variety of vendors offer carbon offsets that support renewable energy, forestry or emission reduction projects both locally and around the globe. Some verification entities include:


Information and Education

Education lies at the core of changing habits and behavior. By informing your employees about alternatives for purchasing, commuting and other behaviors, the effects will be apparent for your business and your community.

Green Team Guide

Sustainability at Work’s Green Team Guide gives you information on how to start a green team or re-energize an existing one. 

Sample Sustainability Plan

Contact us for example sustainability plans.


Materials and Waste

Within the United States, 42% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from the stuff that we buy and the food that we grow. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the lifecycle of products as they move through your workplace – from the choices you make in your organization’s use of materials to how you dispose of them once you’re done.

Recycling Boxes, Posters and Stickers

Sustainability at Work offers free recycling boxes to place at work stations and in common areas for collecting recyclable materials. Label your collection areas with free, full-color posters and stickers – available in six languages.

Find a Recycler

From packing peanuts to propane tanks, get sustainable solutions for unwanted materials using Metro’s recycler directory. Or call 503-234-3000

DIY Waste Sort Kit

Is your garbage filled with recyclable or compostable materials? Find out with Sustainability at Work’s DIY guide (PDF).

How to Compost

Sustainability at Work provides a helpful guide for starting a composting program at your workplace.

How to Recycle

Workplace recycling reduces waste, saves natural resources, prevents pollution and helps to build a stronger economy. Sustainability at Work provides a helpful guide for starting or improving your workplace recycling program.

E-Cycles Program

E-Cycles is a free, easy and environmentally responsible recycling program for computers, monitors and TVs. The program is financed by electronics manufacturers and jointly implemented with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Or call 888-5-ECYCLE

Guide to Hazardous Waste

Wondering what to do with those old paint cans, motor oil and solvents? Metro shows you what materials are hazardous and where and how to safely dispose of them. 

Environmentally Preferable Paper Purchasing Toolkit

Environmental Paper Network has compiled a toolkit – complete with sample policies and helpful guidance – to help your business make sustainable paper purchasing choices.

Green Cleaning

Sustainability at Work shows you how to identify green cleaning products and how your business can start using them.


Transportation

Transportation leads to 40% of Oregon’s carbon emissions. You can help significantly reduce vehicle miles traveled by increasing active forms of transportation — walking, bicycling and taking transit — which produces both employee health and economic benefits. Plus, commute benefits are tax-free for your employees and your business.

SmartTrips Business Program

SmartTrips provides a range of free sustainable transportation services for employers and individual commuters including:

  • Sustainable transportation resources (bike/walk maps, transit information, bike parking, carpool matching, and more).
  • Information about integrating sustainable transportation into your business operations. 
  • Presentations and workshops.

Drive Less Connect

An online ride-matching tool that matches you with people going your way for work and play.

TriMet Transit Pass Programs for Employers

More than 900 employer worksites in the Portland area offer transit passes as a benefit to their employees. This website helps you get started.

C-Tran Employer Program

C-TRAN offers businesses several day and monthly pass options, as well as single-ride ticket books.

Bike Commute Challenge

Join this friendly workplace vs. workplace competition in September that provides workshops, discounts and great prizes. 

Charge Portland

A helpful City of Portland website offering a guide to permitting for your electric vehicle (EV) charging station, a map of charging locations, and EV benefits and incentives.

Healthy Air Oregon

Facts and sample policies from Beyond Toxics to help your business end the practice of idling.


Water

Even in a rainy climate like the Pacific Northwest, water is an extremely limited resource. Every time you turn on the tap, it takes energy to transport, use and treat water. Plus, conservation and careful water usage helps your organization save money and reduces the energy and chemicals used to treat plumbed water. Your sustainable practices help protect and manage our water supply future water demand.

Business, Industry & Government (BIG) Program

The Portland Water Bureau offers small businesses customized technical assistance for reducing their water usage. Staff provide answers to questions, create a water-use history report, identify potential savings and provide an on-site evaluation of water using devices based on your specific needs.  Or call 503-823-4527

Free Water Testing Kits

Any business can call the City of Portland Water Hotline to request a water testing kit to for their tap water. This kit will test for lead, copper and iron. The test is mailed to the business and returned via mail with a wait time of approx 4-6 weeks for results. Call 503-823-7525 to order

Free Faucet Aerators

Decrease your water use by installing free faucet aerators in bathrooms and kitchens. Sustainability at Work will deliver them to your business at no cost. 

Clean River Rewards Program

Utility rate payers can receive up to a 100% discount on their on-site stormwater management charges. Businesses benefit by saving money as well as promoting cleaner water, healthy watersheds and more livable communities today and for future generations. Or call 503-823-1371

Cut Through the FOG (Fats, Oils and Grease)

Cut Through the FOG shifts costs to the sources of FOG and food waste pollution and offers technical assistance and information to help Portland food service establishments meet requirements for reducing FOG and food waste discharges. Or call 503-823-7093

Community Watershed Stewardship Program

The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services offers a Community Watershed Stewardship grant up to $10,000 for projects that protect watershed health and educate, involve and engage community members. Or call 503-823-7917

Soil and Water Conservation District Grants

Access the many financial and technical assistance programs available from the Multnomah County Soil and Water Conservation District. Help reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, and reduce damages caused by floods and other natural disasters.

Ecoroof Program

An ecoroof is a light-weight, vegetated roof system that can double the life of a roof and reduce stormwater fees for Portland property owners. Of the nearly 300 ecoroofs in Portland, most are on commercial buildings. The Bureau of Environmental Services offers technical assistance and resources for property owners interested in an ecoroof.

Stormwater Solutions Handbook

The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services Stormwater Solutions Handbook is for anyone interested in managing stormwater on their property, planning or designing new construction projects or making changes to existing development.

Green Streets Program

A Green Street uses vegetation to manage stormwater runoff from the street, using it as a resource to grow plants and contribute to community livability.  A Green Street project may be initiated by licensed professionals via the City of Portland’s public works permit process, or your business can request to be placed in the City’s database for possible consideration.

Green Street Steward Program

Businesses and community members can adopt a green street and partner with the city to provide care and maintenance.