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Salem, OR—The Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS) recently recognized 27 state agencies who have contributed to certification through Marion County’s EarthWISE program. Representatives from DAS, the Governor’s Office and Marion County delivered words of appreciation at an event Monday, Jan. 27, honoring state agencies for their commitment to environmentally friendly practices.

EarthWISE-certified state agencies have employed practices to reduce waste, boost recycling, save energy and water, and make more sustainable decisions. The agencies recognized at Monday’s event play an important role in helping DAS achieve its goal of bringing 100% of DAS-owned buildings to a sustainability certification standard by 2022. DAS Director Katy Coba shared with the group that DAS is very close to meeting this goal, nearly two years ahead of schedule, thanks in part to agencies who have become EarthWISE certified.

Coba also shared some of the savings achieved through EarthWISE certification, including $30,297 per year through the use of LED exit signs and 160,000 gallons of water and 380 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions through the use of recycled content paper. Coba thanked agencies for their efforts in becoming certified, saying, “This makes me so proud because it shows a true commitment to sustainability and the genuine desire to be responsible stewards of our community and our environment.”

Amira Streeter, Governor Brown’s Natural Resources Policy Advisor, added that agency efforts contribute, in part, to helping the state achieve its climate goals, particularly when it comes to energy efficiency. “We know that buildings are large consumers of electricity and natural gas, so you are leading by example – as EarthWISE-certified agencies – in ensuring that existing state-owned buildings operate more efficiently and sustainably,” Streeter said.

EarthWISE certification also helps agencies meet Executive Order 17-20 to reduce energy use and costs; use energy efficiency in operations; and address climate change. It contributes to many parts of DAS’ sustainability plan, including reducing water and energy consumption, diverting waste, and reducing fleet carbon and overall GHG emissions. Overall, sustainability helps public agencies be more efficient with taxpayer dollars, adapt to a changing future, and be good stewards of natural resources.

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The Department of Administrative Services (DAS) is the central administrative agency of Oregon state government. DAS sustainability is focused on the delivery of external services and statewide policy across the enterprise, including management of the state's real and personal property assets, technology and the procurement of goods used by agencies to deliver services to Oregonians. The agency's internal sustainability efforts include an active facilities program (energy and greenhouse gas management, water conservation and waste reduction), fleet management focused on fuel efficiency and emissions reductions, integrating sustainability into construction projects, and real estate decisions and strategic sustainability-oriented procurement decisions.

EarthWISE stands for Workplace Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise and is a free environmental assistance program offered to businesses in Marion County. EarthWISE Certification recognizes businesses that have made a commitment to environmentally friendly practices. Businesses that immediately or over time meet pre-established criteria in the EarthWISE focus areas will earn the EarthWISE Certification. These businesses receive public recognition for their green practices.

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