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Sustainability Program

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

The Sustainability Program works to reduce the Agency’s operational greenhouse gas emissions. The Sustainability Plan is a guiding document that challenges staff to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agency operations among many other metrics. Each year, an annual Sustainability Progress Report is published to share where improvements have been made as well as shortcomings (the most recent annual reports are provided below). Program staff also routinely collaborate with other divisions to instill an environmental ethos throughout the agency. Such actions come in the form of sharing success stories, identifying opportunities for improvement as well as project management or consultation.

What We're Working On

Lead by the Sustainability Program, ODOT recently completed a multi-year greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory to better understand the agency’s operations and maintenance GHG emissions. The project was initiated in response to the agency’s Strategic Action Plan (SAP). The final report recommends specific actions for ODOT to consider in order to reduce the agency’s operational carbon footprint (a SAP implementing action). 

The Sustainability Program also recently partnered with the Oregon Sustainability Board and the State of Oregon’s Department of Administrative Services on a Climate Action Toolkit to help other agencies set GHG emission reduction goals and identify actions to achieve those goals. As one of the state agencies with the largest carbon footprints, it is important for ODOT to blaze a trail on emission-reducing projects like this so other state agencies with less resources can benefit.  

Future Work

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The Sustainability Program will focus on the following in 2022:
  • Updating ODOT’s Sustainability Plan
  • The latest version of the Sustainability Plan (Volume II) was published six years ago. Updating the plan will allow the agency to reassess priorities and focus efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across internal operations.
  • Implementing recommendations from the GHG inventory report.
ODOT is in the process of considering over 40 recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from maintenance and construction operations. Examples include: increase use of renewable diesel, renewable electricity purchases, and maximizing use of alternative cements. ODOT will begin creating work plans based on the recommendations, staffing bandwidth, available funding and market supply.

More Information

The Greenhouse Gas Inventory Analysis Report covers fiscal years 2016-2019 and explains the methodology and results of ODOT’s first GHG inventory. GHG_Report_FINAL.pdf 

ODOT has a guidebook​ available to inform transportation departments of the process for developing solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the highway right-of-way. The goal is to help others navigate the process toward a successful solar installation by providing step-by-step information, case studies and additional resources. The information presented in the guidebook is based on ODOT’s experience​ developing the Oregon Solar Highway Program as well as industry best practices.

​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.

​ODOT has goals to increase the use of environmentally-friendly products as outlined in the Sustainability Plan. We are 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. The Department of Administrative Services has also developed a Statewide Policy on Green Chemistry Procurement Guidelines​ to support this effort.

  • 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.
  • The Sustainability Program also provides required 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.
  • 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.​​



Contact

Email Zechariah Heck
Program Manager
Telephone 503-986-4261