Mayor Charlie Hales challenges Portland businesses to take action to fight climate change!
By taking the actions below, businesses improve their bottom line, keep money circulating in the local economy, and create an export market for products and services developed in response to climate change.
Here are the top six actions for Portland businesses – and how to take action.
- Meet at least 50 percent of business electricity needs from renewable sources.
- Install LED bulbs in all lights that are on for extended periods.
- Provide incentives to employees to commute by transit, carpool, bicycle or on foot.
- Power at least 20 percent of company vehicles by electricity or low-carbon fuels.
- Provide at least one on-site EV charging station for employees.
- Participate in food-scrap collection.
Buildings are the single largest contributor to carbon emissions in Multnomah County – accounting for more than 40 percent of total emissions. Reducing carbon emissions from building energy use requires two types of changes: cleaner energy supplies and energy efficiency.
There are many ways to make the switch to renewables:
- Contact your electricity provider, PGE or Pacific Power, to purchase renewable power,
- Purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs): Green-e offers a searchable list of REC providers that meet their independent certification and verification program, or
- Invest in solar power or wind power for your business.
Learn more about energy-saving lighting options from Energy Trust of Oregon, and:
- Buy LED bulbs at a discount through Energy Trust’s Lighten Up with LEDs.
- Need help, or want to find more ways to save? Visit www.energytrust.org/mybusiness for energy-savings ideas and cash incentives and to find a qualified Trade Ally contractor.
The transportation of goods and people is the second largest contributor to carbon emissions in Multnomah County – accounting for nearly 40 percent of local carbon emissions. Reducing emissions will require making low carbon transportation choices.3. Provide incentives to employees to commute by transit, carpool, bicycle or on foot.
- Set up pre-tax or subsidized transit passes for employees. (You can get tax breaks for this!)
- Offer a monthly cash incentive of at least $10 for staff who bike, walk or carpool to work.
- Need help? Check out this how-to guide for promoting sustainable commute options at your organization or contact the City’s SmartTrips program staff for one-on-one guidance.
- Go further: eliminate free or subsidized auto parking for employees. Reduce miles traveled by encouraging staff to telecommute, teleconference and videoconference by providing appropriate software, equipment and training.
- Visit Drive Oregon for tips on integrating EVs into your fleet.
- Consult the Plug-in Electric Vehicle handbook from the U.S. Department of Energy for comprehensive fleet management advice.
- Learn how one local company – Heiberg Garbage and Recycling – made the switch to Compressed Natural Gas, a low-carbon fuel.
- Did you know it’s possible to obtain a permit instantly online and have the installation inspected in as quickly as 24-48 hours? Go to ChargePortland to get a permit for your charging station.
- Learn more about how and why to install a charging station at Drive Oregon.
Food scraps are the most prevalent material still heading to the landfill in Portland’s garbage. When food breaks down in the landfill, it releases harmful carbon emissions. Plus, food scraps can be turned into energy and compost.6. Participate in food-scrap collection.
Fight climate change by preventing food waste, and collecting any remaining food scraps for composting and anaerobic digestion.
- Learn how to set up composting at restaurants and other food-focused businesses.
- Learn how to set up composting at offices.
Tips and resources were provided by Sustainability at Work, Portland’s free resource to green your workplace. Need more ideas or support? Get connected to a Sustainability Advisor to share your unique challenges and learn more about local opportunities. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 503-823-7037.