Whether you have a company employing several thousand people, or just a few folks, every business has some goals for being more efficient, using fewer resources, and saving money where they can. At the Corporate Sustainability Collaborative’s last meeting of 2017, participating companies gathered to share their biggest “wins” for 2017. Not coincidentally, most of their efforts had both sustainability and efficiency benefits.
Some were big projects with far-reaching impacts:
- The Bonneville Power Administration focused on saving energy by making their data center more efficient.
- The Port of Portland piloted a project at Portland International Airport to replace disposable food containers in their restaurants outside security areas with real plates and bowls (100,000 of them!)
- Widmer Brewing installed a CO2 recovery and re-use system in their brewing operations, becoming the first Oregon brewer to “close the CO2 loop”.
Smaller organizations worked just as hard to make their sustainability leaps:
- Installing LED lights in their office.
- Purchasing an electric car and charging station for employees to use.
- Retiring an old energy-sucking computer server in favor of better cloud computing.
- Adding indoor bike racks.
- Paying for emergency rides home for employees who bike or take public transportation to work.
When we asked about 2018 goals, things got more ambitious:
One company wants to organize their neighbors in their office building to collectively ask for sustainability improvements, difficult work when building management companies change often.
Elemental Energy, through its own nonprofit organization, Twende Solar, is bringing renewable power to populations without access to power generation systems.
Lloyd EcoDistrict is setting goals that would get the whole Lloyd District to producing zero waste, even with the many new offices and apartments being built now.
Portland Pedal Power is expanding its sustainability metrics into the social impact sphere, tracking and making goals for how their business can have a positive impact on the region, not just their own bottom line.
In it to win it, together
The sustainability professionals and organizations that make up the Corporate Sustainability Collaborative will be relying on one another throughout 2018 to share ideas, resources, and connections to turn their 2018 goals into next year’s “wins”.