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The City of Portland, Oregon

Sustainability at Work

Providing free tools and expertise to achieve your goals

Phone: 503-823-7037


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Success stories from your peers

We captured the top tips from attendees at 2014's Problem Solved event, as well as success stories that you may be able to replicate at your own organization.


Kelley Martin, Integral Consulting

  • ZGF Architects swapped their leased vehicles with zipcar memberships.
  • Integral Consulting replaced parking subsidies with subsidized Trimet passes and incentives to bike commuters. This increased sustainable transit and saved the company money!
  • With these strategies, and staff education, Integral Consulting reduced their car miles traveled by 20,000 and increased transit participation by 44%!


  • Fortis Construction removed desk-side trash cans and made sure everyone had a desk-side recycling bin. This made recycling more convenient than trash.
  • Fortis also collects “beyond the curbside” recycling, like extra plastics, to be taken to a recycling depot. Some staff have started doing this at home too, since learning how to at work.
  • Does your organization collect extra recycling to take to a recycling depot, or would you like to start?
  • Integral Consulting discovered they could hire B-Line, a sustainable urban delivery company, to pick up a variety of hard-to-recycle items and deliver them to recycling depots.

Reduce waste

Food containers:

Courtney Norris, Fortis Construction

  • ZGF architects encourages staff to sign up for GO Box, a reusable container system for take-out food, by subsidizing membership.
  • Using reusable lunch containers reduces the piles of take-out lunch containers that fill many workplace garbage cans.


  • Reduce misprints, improved confidentiality and cut paper use by setting up printer “mailboxes.”
  • PGE’s IT staff set up printer mailboxes and saw great results.
  • Get crafty! Use scrap paper to make note pads.

Dishware: Fill a tote with durable dishware to wash and reuse at company lunches and events.

Moving locations?

Set a goal of re-using as much as possible in the new space, and think through what that will take. One company did this, and ended up with only a single dumpster of waste.

Quick links from attendees’ suggestions:

  • B-line - Extra recycling pick up by bike.
  • GO Box – reusable take-out food container program.
  • zipcar – sign up for car-sharing at your workplace.
  • Trimet – pre-tax and/or subsidized employee transit passes.

Ready to make your organization more sustainable? Contact us to connect with an advisor or peers!