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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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The 20th (and Last) BEST Awards

BPS E-News Issue 17-June 2012

This year marked the 20th and final Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) Awards. BPS is excited to announce a new partnership with Sustainable Business Oregon’s (SBO) annual innovation awards. This will couple the City’s expertise with a well-known sustainable business news source to increase visibility for the business leaders in our community.

The SBO annual business awards will take the place of the BEST Awards, highlighting innovation among local sustainable businesses. The City will continue to recognize businesses who demonstrate sustainable best practices in energy, waste, water, and transportation through Sustainability at Work Certification.

For our 20th annual event, the City honored seven outstanding businesses at a ceremony hosted by Mayor Sam Adams the evening of April 25, 2012 at The Nines Hotel in Portland:


BEST Practices for Sustainability (Four winners in Large, Medium, Small and Very Small Companies)

Purdy, the Portland paintbrush and roller manufacturer, is dedicated to being a zero-waste-to-landfill facility under the enthusiastic leadership of their “Green Machine” team and offers free English as a Second Language (ESL) training for their employees. Watch the video:

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance sited their new office close to the bus mall and offers transit benefits to encourage alternative transportation. Employees also use a carbon tracking platform for travel, commuting and various office practices to help measure and reduce their carbon footprint. Watch the video:

Capital Pacific Bank provides financial services to underserved local businesses and nonprofits, and boasts an impassioned green team that got the entire company excited about sustainability, both in their own operations, and in the businesses they choose to work with. Watch the video:

FMYI [for my innovation] has a triple-bottom-line business model, helps their clients become more sustainable, and goes above and beyond to support employees and the community. FMYI minimizes travel emissions by offering 100 percent subsidized Trimet passes and Zipcar memberships, and by meeting with clients in a virtual space -- which has reduced corporate travel by over 40 percent. Watch the video:

Sustainable Food Systems

NatureBake (Oregon Grains bread) partners with local farmers and food producers to create bread made almost entirely from ingredients sourced within 100 miles. Almost no waste is generated in production, with dedicated staff to facilitate food donation and a contract with an animal feed company to divert food scraps from the landfill.
Watch the video:

Sustainable Products or Services (Two winners)

GO Box solves the problem of disposable food cart and take-out containers by providing bike-delivered reusable containers for food cart vendors and customers. Watch the video:
Sustainable Northwest Wood partners with local growers and mills, providing the building community with a steady supply of local, sustainable wood. Watch the video:
For more information about the awards program and the winners:


Portland City Council unanimously adopts the Portland Plan

BPS E-News Issue 17-June 2012

On April 25, 2012, Portland’s City Council unanimously voted to adopt the Portland Plan. The vote followed a public hearing on the plan, at which dozens of partners and community members expressed commitment to this long-range plan to ensure Portland is more prosperous, educated, healthy and equitable as we move toward 2035. See a recap of the public hearing and listen to what people had to say about the plan.

The Portland Plan presents a roadmap to help our city thrive into the future. Developed in response to some of Portland’s most pressing challenges, including income disparities, high unemployment, a low high school graduation rate and environmental concerns, the Portland Plan is a plan for people, with equity at its core.

Portland is becoming a more racially, ethnically and age-diverse city, and nearly 40 percent of Portland’s youth are people of color. But not all Portlanders have equitable access to opportunities to achieve their full potential. Greater equity in the city as a whole is essential to our long-term success.

“Portland is known for being a well-planned city, but the things we love about our city are not available to all,” said Mayor Sam Adams. “In a resource-constrained world, the Portland Plan recognizes that single actions must produce multiple benefits. This plan provides a framework for public agencies to maximize fiscal leverage and impact by aligning priorities and the budgets that support them.”

The Portland Plan strategies focus on Thriving Educated Youth, Economic Prosperity and Affordability, and a Healthy Connected City. Each strategy contains policies and five-year actions that will help us reach our goals, with special emphasis placed on those disparities related to race and ability.  View the new Portland Plan video here.

“City staff researched plans from around the world — from Sydney, Australia to Copenhagen, Denmark and Denver, Colo. to New York City — to determine best practices and gather inspiration for the Portland Plan,” stated BPS Director Susan Anderson. “There’s no other city that is planning for change in quite the same way, with so many partners in alignment and ready to collaborate to reach our common goals.”

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) led the development of the plan with extensive input from nine Technical Advisory Groups, public and nonprofit agencies, the business community and thousands of Portland residents. With a broader focus on economic, social and environmental sustainability, BPS provides the resources for problem-solving in a more integrated fashion with a broader set of tools beyond the comprehensive plan and zoning code.
Collectively, the public agencies that operate within the City of Portland spend more than $8 billion annually. The Portland Plan challenges the City and its more than 20 agency partners (including Multnomah County, school districts, Metro, TriMet and others) to break down traditional bureaucratic silos and be innovative with new budget approaches.


New curbside collection service: A six-month report

BPS E-News Issue 17-June 2012

Portlanders have been using their new curbside collection service (weekly food scraps/yard debris, weekly recycling and every-other-week garbage collection) for just over six months. During this time, the City has been evaluating progress and gathering data. Adapting to new changes takes time but the efforts residents are making are already paying off.

Here’s what we’ve learned

Portland households are throwing away 44 percent less garbage from this same period last year. By composting food scraps, recycling more and making careful purchasing decisions to avoid items with bulky packaging, nearly 1,800
truckloads of garbage have been diverted from the landfill since the beginning of the program. If those trucks were lined up end-to-end, they’d stretch over eight miles!

Portlanders are turning food scraps into valuable compost. Almost 40,000 tons of yard debris and food scraps has been collected since the new service began. That’s enough compost to fill more than seven Olympic-size pools!

Residents are “right-sizing” their garbage. Portlanders are still finding the right size garbage container to meet their household needs. Some have requested larger garbage containers while others have requested smaller ones. Call your garbage and recycling company about options or to make a change.

We still have room for improvement. Though Portlanders are doing a great job composting their food scraps, a lot of food is still left in the garbage. Don’t forget that every little bit of food makes a big difference.

Community involvement

This spring, community volunteers hit the streets of Portland in a 12-week door-to-door outreach campaign as part of the City’s efforts to offer residents technical assistance. More than 100 volunteers participated in this canvassing effort, including neighborhood associations, churches, ethnic organizations, school groups and volunteers with the Master Recycler program. They answered questions about what can go into the green roll cart and shared tips with thousands of households across Portland.

A big thank you to all the volunteers for helping their neighbors and boosting Portland’s curbside savvy!


From BPS Director Susan Anderson: Sustainable business goes mainstream

BPS E-News Issue 17-June 2012

We recently celebrated the 20th annual BEST Awards and the success of Portland’s greatest green businesses with an energizing event at Portland’s The Nines Hotel. When we hosted the first BEST Awards in 1992, our intention was to showcase the best new ideas that would help businesses understand how sustainability and resource efficiency could benefit their employees, their bottom line and the environment. This video shows just how far Portland businesses have advanced in the last 20 years.

Reflecting on the dizzying rate of progress made me realize that many cutting-edge green efforts are now part of the mainstream, and local companies understand that incorporating sustainable practices is good for business. That’s why, after 20 years of celebrating Portland’s pioneers, we’re forging a new partnership with Sustainable Business Oregon’s (SBO) annual innovation awards. Read more about this here.

So how do pioneering practices become the norm? We can point to a few reasons: Strong vision from community leaders, innovative businesses, and an engaged community all working together. It also requires less obvious things like creative financing, compelling communications, public-private partnerships, and forming accessible, replicable programs that allow us to share best practices with others. Some more examples include Clean Energy Works Oregon and the neighborhood Solarize campaigns. Both of these programs scaled up quickly and are now operating in communities throughout Oregon.

What’s next in Portland? While we’re often recognized as a leading U.S. city for urban planning, the mayor challenged us to think beyond past successes and create a new citywide plan with a focus on people and advancing equity.  City leaders from around the U.S. are taking interest in this new, more holistic and collaborative approach.

Sharing technology, financial and program expertise with other cities is part of how we learn and grow. I participate regularly in meetings with planning and sustainability directors from other cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, New York and elsewhere. Our work several years ago on policy options for improving performance in commercial buildings helped shape similar efforts in New York, Seattle, and San Francisco, and their experiences are now informing our emerging building efficiency partnership with BOMA, PDC, and others.

As we plan for Portland in 2035 – and take action today – I’m inspired by the multitude of creative public and private partnerships and our capacity for growth and innovation in the city and the region.  I look forward to seeing what’s around the corner.


All the best,



Susan Anderson


Bureau of Planning and Sustainability


A Draft Guide for Bird-friendly Building Design Introduced to Portland Architects, Developers, Building Managers, Planners and Bird Enthusiasts at June 14 Forum

Audubon Society of Portland, City of Portland, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collaborate with local architects to develop resource guide

BPS News


June 8, 2012


Audubon Society of Portland, City of Portland, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collaborate with local architects to develop resource guide

Portland, ORE. – A draft Resource Guide to Bird-Friendly Building Design will be introduced at a forum for Portland's architects, developers, building managers, planners and interested Portlanders on June 14 during an evening event featuring a keynote speaker and panel discussion at KEEN Footwear.
Built landscapes can pose unique hazards for birds, and collisions are known to be a significant cause of death for birds. Research indicates that up to one billion birds die as a result of window collisions in the United States every year.
Bird-friendly building guidelines have already been developed in New York City, Toronto, Chicago, Minnesota and San Francisco to guide architects and developers in the innovative incorporation of bird-friendly elements into their design approaches. Bird-friendly designs can meet multiple objectives: emerging trends include synergistic use of patterns on windows to reduce solar heat gain, create branding, provide privacy and mark windows for birds.
What: A forum to introduce the new Resource Guide to Bird-Friendly Building Design, with a keynote address by Bruce Fowle of FXFOWLE Architects and panel discussion with regional experts
Who: Sponsored by the Audubon Society of Portland, City of Portland and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
When: Thursday, June 14, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: KEEN Footwear at 926 NW 13th Avenue, Portland
The document is a customization of American Bird Conservancy’s 2011 template guide, and is the culmination of collaborative work between Audubon Society of Portland, the City of Portland and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), with funding from USFWS’s Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds Program.
"The resource guide provides creative, practical solutions to help advance and complement City goals for sustainable development design in Portland and ensure that people and the natural environment are healthy and integrated into the cityscape," says Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Susan Anderson. "The resource guide is not about new regulations. Instead, it is a catalyst for community education, engagement and action."
The June 14 forum will feature:
Keynote Address
Bruce Fowle, FAIA, LEED
Founding Principal, FXFOWLE Architects
Bruce Fowle is the founding principal of FXFOWLE Architects, an internationally recognized, award-winning architectural, interior design, planning and urban design firm committed to design excellence, social responsibility and sustainability. FXFOWLE is responsible for such innovative projects as the New York Times Headquarters Building and the Center for Global Conservation in the Bronx Zoo, both of which incorporate bird-friendly design elements that meet other design and efficiency goals. 
Panel Discussion: Implementing Bird-friendly Design
Christine Sheppard, PhD
Bird Collisions Campaign Manager, American Bird Conservancy
Christine Sheppard has been both curator and chair of ornithology at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, and serves as science advisor on the board of the Bird-safe Glass Foundation. In 2009, she joined ABC as bird collisions campaign manager and recently published Bird-friendly Building Design. Dr. Sheppard teaches American Institute of Architect continuing education classes in bird-friendly design and provides bird-friendly design consultation. She is an expert on bird behavior and conducts research into preventing bird collisions. She helped create San Francisco’s Standards for Bird-safe Buildings and led a team in developing LEED Pilot Credit #55 Bird Collision Deterrence.
AnMarie Rodgers
Manager of Legislative Affairs, San Francisco Planning Department
AnMarie Rodgers has initiated and shepherded legislative efforts that resulted in new city laws for green landscaping, urban agriculture and bird-safe buildings. She reviews upwards of 50 planning and land use ordinances a year. Ms. Rodgers has more than 10 years experience, including leading an 8-year community planning effort for the Market and Octavia Plan. This project rezoned a neighborhood after the removal of a freeway, promoting transit-oriented growth that increased density while working within the historic fabric of the neighborhood.
Alan Osborne AIA, LEED AP
Hennebery Eddy Architects
Alan is a creative designer and problem solver who is responsible for award-winning projects throughout the Northwest. As a principal at Hennebery Eddy, Alan leads all phases of design and ensures that client expectations are met. Alan graduated with honors from the University of Oregon, School of Architecture. He recently led a successful bird-friendly retrofit at Lewis & Clark Law School, which required careful balancing of treatment effectiveness and user acceptability.
To learn more about the event:
To see the draft Resource Guide for Bird-Friendly Building Design:
To register:
The City of Portland is committed to providing equal access to information. If you need accommodation, please contact us by phone 503-823-7700, by the city’s TTY at 503-823-6868 or by the Oregon Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900. 
About Audubon Society of Portland 
For more than a century, the Audubon Society of Portland has been protecting Oregon’s wildlife and wild places. The goal of Audubon’s work is to promote the enjoyment, understanding, and protection of native birds, other wildlife and their habitats. Through conservation and environmental learning programs, Audubon Society of Portland educates 25,000 children and 5,000 adults each year. The 150-acre wildlife sanctuary, nature store and Wildlife Care Center in Northwest Portland attract 40,000 visitors annually. Oregon’s oldest and busiest wildlife rehabilitation facility treats over 3,000 injured or orphaned animals each year. The Audubon Society of Portland plays a key role in securing some of Oregon’s most significant environmental achievements. For more information, visit
About U.S. Fish & Wildlife  
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s work and the people who make it happen, visit
About the City of Portland  
The City of Portland was among the first U.S. cities to sign on to the Urban Migratory Bird Conservation Treaty in 2003.  Since then, numerous other cities have entered into the treaty with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These cities are taking action to raise awareness, improve habitat and reduce risks to migratory birds that travel through their communities each year. Currently, the City of Portland Bureaus of Planning and Sustainability, Parks and Recreation, and Environmental Services are collaborating with agency and community partners to develop and build awareness of the Resource Guide for Bird-Friendly Building Design.