The Oregon Department of Energy recognizes the importance energy plays for long-term sustainability in the state. A sustainable Oregon includes developing safe, clean, and sustainable energy resources - and using energy wisely.
Our work is diverse – from helping Oregonians save energy at home and at work, to overseeing cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Site, to ensuring the state is prepared to respond to emergencies at energy facilities. We collaborate with a broad cross-section of Oregonians from businesses to trade associations, from homeowners to renters, and from government to schools. We will continue to leverage these partnerships toward the mutually beneficial goal of more sustainable communities.
The “Oregon Sustainability Act” (ORS 184.421-435
) defines sustainability as “…using, developing and protecting resources in a manner that enables people to meet current needs and provides that future generations can also meet future needs, from the joint perspective of environmental, economic and community objectives.”
In alignment with ORS, ODOE promotes sustainability as a core value of its mission, and is committed to incorporating sustainable values throughout our operations, programs, and services.
In 2016, ODOE adopted a formal Sustainability Policy
, which was approved by the Oregon Sustainability Board. This administrative policy defines the agency’s commitment to sustainability:
“It is the policy of the Oregon Department of Energy to promote sustainability as a core value of its mission, and thereby encourages agency employees to integrate sustainability throughout all agency operations, program and services, including its statewide policy development and planning.”
The policy includes broad integration of sustainability for employees, the agency, and our programs and services. It also outlines the roles and responsibilities for all staff and includes key commitments to maintaining a Sustainability Coordinator, Sustainability Committee, and Sustainability Plan.
Sustainability Committee & Coordinator
ODOE’s Sustainability Committee includes employees from across all agency divisions, and provides guidance and leadership for sustainability planning and activities within the agency. ODOE also has a designated Sustainability Coordinator to lead the Sustainability Committee, help carry out sustainability activities, and promote sustainable business practices.
Sustainability Plan & Partnerships
The ODOE Sustainability Plan
transforms the strategic direction from the Sustainability Policy
into action. The plan includes short and long-term goals, current practices and policies, and Statewide Sustainability Metrics. The Sustainability Plan is updated and then reviewed by the Oregon Sustainability Board every two years.
Sustainability in Action
In addition to sustainable use of energy and other resources, ODOE is committed to using water sustainably. A 2014-15 drought affected the entire state of Oregon, and was a wakeup call for all of us to be mindful of how we use water. In July 2015, Governor Brown signed Executive Order 15-09
asking state agencies that own or manage facilities, including ODOE’s new office location managed by DAS, to monitor and reduce their water usage. ODOE participates in these efforts by looking for water conservation opportunities at work, the services we provide, and by sharing information with staff and the community.
Sustainable Business Practices
ODOE developed its first Sustainability Plan in 2003, resulting in an internal Sustainability Committee. The Committee’s initial focus was to improve office operations, purchasing, energy conservation, recycling, and reduce water use. In 2005, ODOE passed an internal recycling policy.
In 2008, ODOE became the first state agency to earn EarthWISE certification
from Marion County. As part of these efforts, ODOE received the first EarthWISE “Sustainable Organization of the Year” award. Since then, ODOE has successfully renewed its EarthWISE Certification and is planning for re-certification at its new office location.