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Sustainability Program

The Oregon Department of Transportation is proud to be a leader in the state and the nation in sustainability. ODOT is the first transportation agency to have a comprehensive Sustainability Plan and welcomes the challenge to provide a safe, efficient transportation system that supports economic opportunity and livable communities for Oregonians, while leading efforts to conserve resources and protect and enhance the environment.

Sustainability is a core ODOT value that guides our decision-making and which we follow in implementing our mission and goals.

The Sustainability Program works with managers and lead work groups across the agency to implement sustainability initiatives and report on performance. The program provides leadership, policy analysis and technical support on a wide-range of sustainability-related issues. These issues affect internal operations and how we manage and maintain the transportation system. Program roles include:

  • Sustainability Plan updates
  • Performance metrics reporting
  • Agency lead on Climate Change Adaptation​ planning
  • Research, Grant Writing and Pilot Projects
  • Leadership in
    • Resource conservation
    • Best Practices
    • Communications

The Program also facilitates leadership teams, recommends policies and practices, conducts research and outreach, builds partnerships and represents ODOT at statewide and national exchanges regarding sustainability and climate change.

ODOT coordinates with other state agencies, the Governor's Office, and the Oregon Sustainability Board, including participation in the Interagency Sustainability Coordinators Network, the Oregon Global Warming Commission and other interagency stakeholder groups on sustainability, livability and climate change.

The Program also provides updates to the Oregon Sustainability Board every two years. The Oregon Sustainability Board was created in 2001 under the Oregon Sustainability Act, and encourages activities that best sustain, protect and enhance the environment, economy, and community for the present and future benefit of Oregonians. The Governor appoints Board members who represent a variety of stakeholders in Oregon.

In 2008, ODOT began updating its Sustainability Plan into a comprehensive framework for sustainably managing ODOT's operations. The goals, strategies and performance measures are divided into seven focus areas:

  • Health and Safety
  • Social Responsibility/Workforce Well-Being and Development
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Land Use and Infrastructure
  • Energy/Fuel Use and Climate Change
  • Material Resource Flows
  • Economic Health

Sustainability Plan Volume I: Provides the context for the overall plan and the vision and framework for ODOT's sustainability goals and strategies.

Sustainability Plan Volume II: Sets goals, strategies and performance measures for ODOT's internal operations. The goals established in the plan represent the roadmap to implementing sustainability across the agency, are specific to the focus areas and represent both long and short-term objectives. The plan is updated every three years.

Goal 4 of the Oregon Transportation Plan is Sustainability. Goal 4 policies call for providing a transportation system that meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs, distributes benefits and burdens fairly, and is operated, maintained and improved to be sensitive to both the natural and built environments.

Annual progress reports describe sustainable projects underway at ODOT and show the progress the agency is making towards goals and performance measures outlined in the Sustainability Plan.

2016 Sustainability Progress Report
2015 Sustainability Progress Report

Sustainability Index

ODOT's Sustainability Index also reports on a subset of key performance measures with results shared annually.

Key Agency Performance Measures

The Director of ODOT established the ODOT Sustainability Council, a group of managers and subject experts who provide leadership for the agency on sustainability practices. The council represents a wide variety of functional areas across the agency. The purpose of the council is to provide a vision of sustainability and to champion and integrate sustainable practices and strategies into the day-to-day business of the agency. The group meets quarterly to provide direction and oversight to the Sustainability Plan and Program. The council approves and monitors work items and recommends policy and practice changes to the Director.

ODOT Sustainability Council Membership List

Sustainability Initiatives

Sustainability is an ODOT priority. Our managers and section crews routinely look for ways to utilize sustainable products and fuels, reduce energy and water consumption, and reuse and recycle materials and equipment. Sustainable practices are also incorporated into how ODOT plans, designs and builds transportation programs and projects. Our actions have increased efficiencies, lowered costs, and lessened the impact on the environment.

The use of energy efficient technologies, active modes of transportation, and alternative fuel and energy sources help reduce greenhouse gas, or GHG, emissions in the management and operation of the transportation system.

  • Climate Change: ODOT is implementing strategies that lower GHG emissions from transportation sources (mitigation).
  • Climate Change Adaptation: ODOT is also planning for the impacts of climate change on the transportation system (known as adaptation) to increase the resilience of transportation infrastructure.
  • Fleet Fuel Use: ODOT is reducing GHG emissions from operating our internal fleet. We have increased the number of alternative fuel vehicles available, reduced diesel truck idling, and increased the use of alternative fuels, such as biodiesel.
  • Transportation Options: ODOT encourages the public and its employees to maximize their transportation options for commuting and all travel activities. ODOT's goal is to reduce single occupancy vehicle trips and lower the vehicle miles traveled from commute and other vehicle trips.
  • ODOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program
  • Electric Vehicles and Infrastructure Program
  • Oregon Solar Highway Program
  Building Energy Use

ODOT's goal is to reduce energy consumed in the day-to-day operations of its buildings. Our efforts are helping meet Oregon's 10-Year Energy Action Plan target of reducing energy consumed in state-owned buildings 20 percent by the year 2023.

ODOT 10-Year Energy Plan

As of 2016, ODOT has enrolled eight of its major facilities in the Strategic Energy Management Program and has achieved significant energy reductions and cost savings to date. This program is improving how we review building operations, manage investments, engage staff, and track and report on energy use and cost savings.

ODOT is developing an Energy Management Plan to guide and expand our use of Strategic Energy Management. For more information contact ODOT’s Energy Analyst,  Kristen LaLonde at 503-986-5877.​

  Sustainable Building Design

The Facilities Section is working to reduce energy use and enhance sustainability during the design, construction and renovation of ODOT’s buildings. ODOT meets State Energy Efficiency Design Standards during new construction and major renovations. ODOT also follows State of Oregon Sustainable Facilities Standards that require projects to meet a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Silver rating for all new buildings, and LEED certification for all major state-owned building renovations.

All new maintenance yards are built as high performance sites (LEED or SEED equivalent) that include stormwater sediment containment and oil separation. New yards utilize a variety of sustainable materials, have reduced energy consumption, and are designed to contain spills.

Opportunities exist to meet our materials needs in more efficient ways, through reducing waste, maximizing the use of reused or recycled materials, and lowering demand for new products. Careful material selection and management can also reduce operating costs while increasing environmental benefits.

Oregon DAS Resource Conservation Policy

  Sustainable Construction

ODOT is leader in sustainable project delivery and construction. Past Program efforts in this area include implementation of the OTIA III Bridge Program, pilot projects to test sustainability rating tools, and a statewide Sustainable Projects Audit to gauge current performance.

  • Context Sensitive and Sustainable Solutions: The OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program used the innovative Context Sensitive and Sustainable Solutions, or CS3, approach to build a new generation of bridges. CS3 incorporates sustainability at the project level in a number of ways such as reusing materials, using renewable low-carbon fuels, maintaining mobility, promoting workforce development, providing economic stimulus, and using life cycle costing. The program continues to influence ODOT’s work. The Bridge Program supported contractors to manage construction waste to its best end use, saving money and natural resources. Materials and cost savings data collected through the life of the program have shown measureable success.
  • OTIA III Construction Waste Management Program Summary
  • Greenroads Pilot Projects: ODOT evaluated projects using the Greenroads sustainability performance metrics and rating system. As a tool for measuring sustainability, Greenroads awards points for more sustainable practices during the design and construction phases of roadway projects and awards a certification level based on the number of points earned, much like the LEED program does for buildings.
  Sustainable Procurement

ODOT has goals to increase the use of environmentally-friendly products as outlined in the Sustainability Plan. We are also setting policies and best practices that will increase awareness and guide the use of more recycled and non-toxic products. Changes are also being made to our procurement options through vendors to enhance the use of recycled products. These steps are consistent with the Sustainability Plan and Governor’s Executive Orders.

In 2012, Governor Kitzhaber signed Executive Order 12-05 to move state agencies toward environmentally friendly purchasing and to support sustainable products. The Department of Administrative Services has also developed Statewide Policy on Green Chemistry Procurement Guidelines for Green Janitorial Supplies, Industrial Paper and Equipment, as well as for office supplies.

DAS also has Green Chemistry Procurement Guidelines to support this effort. The guidelines include information to support agencies to develop specifications for procuring environmentally friendly and sustainable products and services.

To protect Oregon’s natural resources decisions are made to minimize the environmental impacts of the design, construction, and operations and maintenance of the transportation system.

  • Maintenance Environmental Programs: ODOT’s Maintenance Yard Environmental Management System provides a national model for best practices for the storage, use, handing and disposal of materials found in maintenance yards.
  • Geo-Environmental: Through project design and construction ODOT acts as stewards of the public interest for a variety of natural and cultural resources.
  Water Conservation

The Governor's July 2015 Executive Order requires ODOT and seven other state agencies to reduce "non-essential" water use by 15 percent by 2020. Oregon has experienced several years of record-breaking drought, resulting in low snowpack, high temperatures and below-normal stream flows. ODOT plans to reduce our use of water to the least amount necessary to meet the agency's mission and protect the state's infrastructure, environment and health of Oregon citizens and communities.

We are looking at our water use in irrigation, landscaping, office buildings and road maintenance to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order. To date we have created a water conservation team to coordinate our efforts, shut off most landscape watering around our office buildings, and working to determine a baseline of how much water we use and for what.

ODOT will continue to work on these issues, especially looking at efficiencies of buildings and fixtures, and using best practices to reduce water use in maintenance of our infrastructure while still meeting the agency’s mission.

Transportation and land use planning are integrated to provide Oregonians with travel options, system connectivity, lower travel times on major corridors, and more efficient access to goods and services.

Transportation Growth Management Program​

The transportation system is essential for the economic vitality of all Oregon communities. Innovative and sustainable funding solutions are necessary to provide a transportation system that stimulates economic growth across the state.

ODOT’s purchasing decisions also contribute to Oregon’s economy and sustainability when the agency buys locally or uses life-cycle costing for major expenditures. These purchases can also help support and promote products that are environmentally-responsible.

Social equity and workforce development are essential components in the creation of a sustainable transportation system that makes access to the system and employment opportunities available for all demographics and all geographic areas of the state.

ODOT’s Office of Civil Rights is committed to ensuring Oregon small business enterprises have the opportunity to contract across all of our business lines. We administer and implement a wide variety of state and federally funded programs to build the capacity of small business to compete for ODOT contracts in order to advance the economy and strengthen communities across the state.

The design, construction, and maintenance of the transportation system affect the health and safety of those who use the system.

ODOT Safety Programs

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