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Sustainability strategies and actions

Sustainability Plan

Enhancing fish habitat. ODOT is the first transportation agency to have a comprehensive Sustainability Plan. ODOT welcomes the challenge to continually improve our efforts to protect the natural beauty of our great state, while providing a safe, efficient transportation system.

ODOT’s Sustainability plan focuses on the following areas:

  • Energy/fuel use and climate change: As stewards of Oregon's transportation infrastructure and services, ODOT must take an active role in supporting the use of energy efficient technologies and alternative fuel sources in its management of the Oregon transportation system.
  • Material resource flows: Material resources represent a crucial part of meeting our needs as individuals, households and as a society. Opportunities exist for meeting our needs in a more efficient ways, through reducing waste and maximizing the use of recycled materials.
  • Environmental stewardship: Minimizing the adverse environmental impacts of ODOT’s operations and of Oregon’s transportation system is critical, as much of Oregon’s economy is built on its natural resources.
  • Land use and infrastructure: How society develops or protects land is a fundamental challenge in ODOT’s pursuit of sustainability. Integrating transportation and other land uses will provide Oregonians with more options for travel, lower travel times on major corridors, and allow for more efficient access to goods and services.
  • Economic health: ODOT's purchasing decisions can contribute to Oregon's economy when the agency buys locally or uses life cycle costing, making the economy and the agency's economic health more sustainable.
  • Health and safety: Support the health, safety and wellness of its employees throughout the agency, and provide a safe and efficient transportation system to Oregonians.
  • Social responsibility/workforce well-being and development: Our responsibility is to promote a transportation system that is accessible to all potential users, including the transportation disadvantaged.
For more information, download Volume I (PDF) and Volume II (PDF) of the ODOT Sustainability Plan.
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Actions

ODOT Maintenance assesses biofuels. Since adopting ODOT’s original Sustainability Plan in 2004, we have made excellent progress. Sustainability concepts are integrated into the Oregon Transportation Plan, the OTIA III State Bridge Repair Program and an environmental management system.

ODOT currently leads the state in the use of biofuels for fleet vehicles. You might be surprised to learn the same vegetable oil used to make Kettle Chips is used in ODOT Fleet trucks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ODOT was using 31% of B-20 biodiesel equivalent by the end of 2010, surpassing its short-term goal of 25% and continues to increase the use of alternative fuels.

ODOT’s Sustainability Program is leading the way in other areas:

  • ODOT completed installation of two electric vehicle charging stations to charge the recently purchased Nissan Leaf vehicles. ODOT is purchasing five vehicles and is in the process of installing three more charging stations.
  • Two of ODOT’s 2004 Toyota Prius vehicles were converted to 100 mpg electrical vehicles. ODOT is tracking the efficiency and energy use of these vehicles.
  • Facilities Services is beginning to install energy-efficient lighting, windows, insulation, thermostats, and white roofs to reduce energy costs in certain buildings.
  • All new maintenance yards are built as high performance sites (LEED) that include storm water sediment containment and oil separation. New yards utilize a variety of sustainable materials, have reduced energy consumption, and are designed to contain spills. Read more here about sustainability in ODOT's Maintenance.
  • New safety rest area designs target the use of low-flow toilets, sky-lighting and other energy reduction efforts. Designs also include pre-treating waste water through a filtering system to increase the life of drain fields.
Read more about ODOT's sustainability actions in the Sustainability Progress Report.
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ODOT Sustainability Council

The Director of ODOT established the ODOT Sustainability Council, a group of mid to upper-level managers, which provide leadership for the agency on sustainability measures and practices. A great strength of the council is the cross discipline representation on the council. There are members representing the various divisions within the agency, from highway to transit to the Director's Office. The purpose of the council is to provide a vision of sustainability and to integrate sustainable practices and strategies into the day-to-day business of the agency. The council is doing tremendous work in leading ODOT into a more sustainable future. Each member of the council played a key role in developing ODOT’s Sustainability Plan Volume I and Volume II.

Council Members:
Geoff Crook, Sustainability Program Manager
Jerri Bohard, Deputy Director of Operations
Susan Plant, Geo-Environmental Section Manager
Luci Moore, State Maintenance & Operations Engineer
Gary Keys, Central Services
Dinah Van Der Hyde, Transit Division, Senior Policy Analyst
Robert Maestre, Long Range Planning Manager
Jim Cox, Major Projects, Development Unit Manager
Gary Farnsworth, Region 4, Area/Tech Center Manager
Michael Cobb, Office of Civil Rights Manager
Jim Whitty, Office of Innovative Partnerships & Alternative Funding Manager
Debbie Benavidez, Planning and Implementation Unit, Program Coordinator

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Conservation and Alternative Resource Teams

A presenter wears a fish suit to emphasize a conservation message Conservation and Alternative Resource Teams act as office “green teams” for the agency, known as CARTs.

CART teams educate employees about work-related conservation efforts and promote voluntary participation in those efforts to create a culture of resource conservation awareness. A typical CART may work on initiatives such as:

  • Promoting participation in work-related conservation activities
  • Encouraging commute options
  • Increasing opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle materials
  • Reducing energy use by promoting energy conservation practices
Currently, four formal CARTs are in operation with more planned for remaining ODOT offices in the future.
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