The City of Portland recently recognized the Port of Portland’s headquarters building for environmental excellence through the Sustainability at Work Certification program. It takes 45 actions to achieve “Gold” status and the Port achieved more than 60! The Port’s platinum LEED-certified building helps the organization exceed many requirements. Yet offices large and small can implement some of the Port’s sustainable workplace strategies. Here are some suggestions for your office:
- Use power strips with a personal occupancy sensor, so electronics shut-off when not in use (think speakers, monitors or heaters)
- Use a small garbage can and a large recycling container
- Add aerators to faucets or upgrade to water-efficient fixtures
- Provide secure bike storage
- Offer preferred parking for high-efficiency vehicles and carpools
- Allow for telecommuting options or a compressed work week
- Serve lunch meetings “family-style,” so there is not individual packaging for sandwiches
- If you are a tenant in a building, work with the property manager and co-tenants to have a team approach
- Offer a reward system and publically recognize sustainable behavior
- Provide separate containers for composting food waste
A living machine that treats wastewater, a fleet of hybrid and electric vehicles, and the PDX food donation program also make the Port’s program unique. The City made certification criteria more stringent in 2015 and requires renewal every three years. Each category of information and education, materials and waste, energy, and transportation now has required elements to make sure each certified organization applies the most important strategies. Learn more on the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability at Work website.
Providing a small garbage can and large recycling container can help employees reduce waste.