GREEN @ RACC

In 2010, RACC established new goals around developing a sustainability vision and plan; one part of the plan is the environmental piece, reducing RACC’s ecological footprint. The new goals prompted the formation of a staff green team, with advisement from several RACC board members. Members distribute information, attend meetings and presentations, and organize projects, events and outreach. The team provides a place for employees to share eco-friendly ideas and accomplish goals.

Recently our staff participated in a green team created Commuter and Eco Challenge for a two week period. Our hope was to inspire staff to continue environmentally friendly activities they were already doing, or start some new habits. Categories included Alternative transit (walk, bike, mass transit, car pool); Energy and water conservation; Recycling and composting; Using non-disposable items (bags, coffee cups, cloth napkins), and an Other column for things we did not think of. Staff logged their daily points in a simple Eco Challenge Log that automatically calculated their points; at the end of the two weeks whoever had the most points won.

There was also a photo raffle contest, where staff could submit pictures of their eco-activities for a chance to win fun prizes. We had a lot of fun, about half of our staff of 33 participated, and the discussion and competition was lively. 

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY VISION 

To be a leader in environmentally sustainable practices committed to achieving zero waste as we work to ensure a thriving arts and culture community.

MISSION STATEMENT

To promote environmentally sustainable operating practices by; reducing waste, conserving energy and water, lowering our carbon emissions, encouraging sustainable purchasing, and being actively involved in creating ways to minimize our impact on the environment.

GOALS

  • Provide resources to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Raise employee and community awareness about sustainability, and encourage participation through sustainable practices, education and fun events.
  • Measure and monitor current footprint; setting goals, to evaluate and map progress.
  • Promote the use of alternative transportation through transportation incentive programs and resources.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Formed a recycling task force to research and recommend a new recycling system for curbside and non-curbside items. With their recommendation we purchased new receptacles, created signage, and launched a new, and more functional recycling process.
  • Appointed a recycling specialist to monitor and recycle non-curbside recycling items offsite, and to serve as the recycling point person.
  • Held a recycling training for staff to prepare for the new recycling system.
  • Applied sustainable practices to office move in 2011, including the build-out for the new space.
  • Set up composting in the office.
  • Completed a sustainable practices action list to be considered for certification through the City’s Sustainability at Work program. Action items cover information & education, materials & waste, energy, transportation, and water. Received Sustainability at Work Gold Certification in June 2013. Actions accomplished:
    • A webpage or bulletin board provides sustainability-related information and accomplishments, and communicates this information internally and externally.
    • Sustainability plan and policy has been implemented to inform decision making.
    • Food and food-soiled papers are composted. Education sessions available to staff.
    • Paper is printed on both sides, and paperless alternatives are used whenever possible.
    • Sustainable catering practices are used and encouraged for meetings and events.
    • Cleaning products are green certified.
    • Created a Sustainable Options Transportation Document; encouraging alternative transportation and incentives program.
    • Bicycle repair kit and air pump is available for employees and visitors to use.
    • Organized & implemented an Eco-Challenge program that successfully engaged staff in sustainable practices at work and home.
    • Collect and recycle non-curbside materials.

RESOURCES

sustainabilityatworkpdx providing free tools and expertise to achieve your goals

recycleatwork provides free, customized assistance to all types of businesses throughout the Portland metropolitan area

scrappdx.org inspiring creative re-use

communitywarehouse donate household goods to help others

energytrust energy incentives and information

naturalstep framework for Strategic Sustainable Development

rebuildingcenter  & ourunitedvillages a non-profit community enhancement organization

oregonmetro Metro's Recycling Information hotline, Find a Recycler search

farwestfibers recycling at the curb and beyond

resourcefulpdx great resource

masterrecycler Master Recycler Program

Electonic Device Recycling

freegeek recycle technology, provide access and education to technology