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Businesses can apply for the free program by Feb. 23, 2018
Portland, OR—What's a summer internship worth? Oregon businesses that participated in the Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience internship program this past summer learned how they could save nearly $900,000.

That is the potential savings Oregon's first cohort of the program's interns identified when they assessed business' sustainability opportunities. The internship program is part of a non-regulatory program that connects Oregon businesses with interns to research sustainability options to conserve water or energy, prevent pollution and save money in the process. Based on their research, interns suggest how a participating business can improve its efficiency, reduce toxics, identify alternative materials or procedures and more.

In addition to direct cost savings to the 2017 host businesses, the interns identified sustainability options that could save 60 million gallons of water; reduce 8.5 tons in solid or hazardous materials; and integrate life cycle concepts into product design and packaging choices.

Over a ten-week fulltime internship in 2017, five interns worked for businesses around the state from Portland to Hermiston. Businesses that hosted interns included:

• Craft Brew Alliance, Portland
• EcNow Tech, Corvallis
• Hummingbird Wholesale, Eugene
• Lamb Weston, Hermiston
• West Linn Paper, West Linn

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Oregon Sea Grant administer the program with funding from a two-year, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Pollution Prevention grant. A diverse advisory committee and other agencies across that nation— who have successfully run their intern programs for decades—support the program. Now in its second year, the sustainability program is looking for Oregon businesses that are interested in hosting interns for 10 weeks this summer.

Interested businesses should apply by Feb. 23, 2018. Learn more and access application materials here:

Matthew Van Sickle, Public Affairs, DEQ, 503-229-6044,
Lisa Cox, Business Initiatives Program, DEQ, 503-229-5181,


Environment & Energy