Multnomah County celebrates 10 years of sustainability success

December 22, 2017

Four key areas measured in Multnomah County's 2017 Resource Conservation Report
Multnomah County is reducing its carbon footprint and utility costs, according to the 2017 Resource Conservation Report that staff from the county’s Office of Sustainability presented to the Board of County Commissioners on December 21.

The people of Multnomah County care deeply about sustainability and expect its government to be good stewards of the natural environment and taxpayer dollars, staff reported. Sustainability closely aligns with the core mission of the County to support the most vulnerable members of the community, who are often the same people most impacted by environmental degradation and impacts from climate change. Through smart investments in operational efficiency, Multnomah County is reducing its energy costs, which allows it to direct more resources to providing essential services.

The Resource Conservation Report summarizes the past ten years of County efforts to reduce energy and water use and reduce waste. And, the results are positive!

Comparing fiscal year 2017 to the fiscal year 2007 baseline:

Greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 11%
  • County buildings are 4% more efficient per square foot

  • 42% of the electricity used by the County comes from clean, renewable sources

  • Water usage has decreased 19% per square foot

  • 65% of all waste generated at the County is being diverted from the landfill

Together, these conservation achievements have enabled the County to avoid spending over $1 million in utility expenses each year.

Much work remains to keep the County on track to achieving its goals, including the goal to reduce greenhouse gases by 53% by 2030 established by the 2015 Climate Action Plan.

With continued support from Multnomah County leadership, the Office of Sustainability is working with Department of County Assets and other departments to identify new opportunities to further increase County efficiency and save public dollars.

Upcoming actions include:

Switching from fossil fuels to clean, renewable sources of electricity
  • Implementing a sustainable fleet strategy, including the use of more electric vehicles

  • Making additional investments in energy and water efficiency at County facilities

  • Encouraging employees and the community to make smart resource choices

To learn more about goals and more sustainable success stories at Multnomah County, visit the Office of Sustainability website or connect on Facebook and Twitter.