January 30, 2023

In 2022, the Office of Sustainability worked in coalition with community partners, organizations, and County staff to enhance equity and environmental justice.

View the full size document:  2022 Accomplishments and 2023 Work Plan (3.46 MB).

A year in review: Office of Sustainability accomplishments in 2022


  • The Climate Justice by Design project team developed a community-based collaboration model with frontline organizations to work towards climate justice goals. The team secured additional funding to support the capacity of these organizations and launched the planning process for the Multnomah County Climate Justice Plan. An Executive Committee, made up of frontline organizations, County staff, and City of Portland staff, was formed to guide the process.

  • Staff from the Office of Sustainability provided assistance to the City of Gresham in the creation of their first-ever Climate Action Plan.


Multnomah County’s Office of Sustainability briefed the Board Tuesday, Dec. 13 on progress toward meeting the goal of meeting community-wide energy needs with 100% renewable energy by 2050.
Multnomah County’s Office of Sustainability briefed the Board Tuesday, Dec. 13 on progress toward meeting the goal of meeting community-wide energy needs with 100% renewable energy by 2050.
The Office of Sustainability worked in coalition with community-based organizations, environmental organizations, and customer advocates to achieve the following wins:

  • Secured improvements to disconnection rules, including less punitive rules for low-income customers, and safer cold weather-moratorium thresholds.

  • Persuaded Pacific Power and NW Natural to design utility discount programs with deep discounts for those with the lowest incomes in our community.

  • Persuaded the Public Utility Commission to adopt guidelines on electric utilities’ centering energy justice and community resiliency as they decarbonize under 100% Clean Energy for All (HB 2021).

  • Began co-facilitating a group of grassroots energy-justice advocates who bring their lived experience to clean energy proceedings at the Public Utility Commission.

  • Presented to the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners on the progress of the Board’s goal to achieve 100% renewable energy community-wide by 2050.

Air QualityWoodstove Exchange logo

  • Supported the County’s Health Department report that outlined the impacts to indoor air quality posed by gas stoves.
  • Continued to implement the Clean Air Construction policy in partnership with six other governments in our region.

  • In partnership with the Health Department and Department of County Human Services, developed a wood stove exchange program.

  • Supported the strengthening of the County’s wood smoke rules, seeking to further reduce residential wood smoke and address the County’s leading source of human-caused fine particulate pollution.

Engagement and PartnershipsA group of children plant trees in Gresham

  • Hired a new Senior Climate Resilience Policy Analyst to support efforts like the East County Resilience Hub project.

  • Completed the fifth and final year of the Green Gresham/Healthy Gresham grant, which resulted in the planting of 439 trees, youth employment opportunities, maintenance for trees, and data collection. Secured a grant for an additional year (CY 2023) of Green Gresham/Healthy Gresham tree planting and summer youth employment.Groundbreaking ceremony at the CROPS Farm in Troutdale, Oregon with Mudbone Grown and Multnomah County

  • Continued to work with EPA and Portland Public Schools on a technical assistance grant to identify key interventions to help protect students, teachers, and the public during extreme heat and smoke events.

  • Hosted EPA Director Reagan, Oregon Senators Merkley and Wyden, Governor Brown, and local officials for a tour of the Gresham severe weather shelter at the Rockwood Sunrise Center and tour a local urban farm located on County property.

  • Broke ground on the CROPS incubator farm, which will add shared farm resources for emerging Black and African Immigrant farm businesses.

  • Supported ACSI, the Advisory Committee on Sustainability and Innovation, resulting in the Board of Commissioners adopting the committee’s recommendation to rename the Sauvie Island Bridge to honor Native American communities.

Employee Engagement

  • Coordinated three campaigns for all staff and the public, offering educational events, including Earth Month, Bike Month, and EcoChallenge, welcoming 684 participants.
  • Engaged with 508 staff and community partners through the Climate Leadership Now newsletter.

  • Led and supported County sustainability teams and staff in achieving organizational and programmatic goals, like energy savings and waste reduction.

A look ahead: Office of Sustainability's work plan for 2023


  • Complete community-centered planning process that results in the County’s first Climate Justice Plan, rooting the County in a shared climate justice vision and implementing priority actions and ongoing partnership/accountability.

  • Secure federal, state and local funding to support Climate Justice Plan priorities.

  • Advance priority climate justice policies and actions through community-centered partnership and advocacy, including state legislation/program and local community benefiting projects.

  • Develop a Resilience Hub strategy for the County to better protect vulnerable county residents from climate extremes.


  • Ensure that PGE and Pacific Power’s investments contribute to wellbeing and resilience for Multnomah County residents.

  • Engage in the long-term implementation of the Energy Affordability Act to ensure it maximizes relief and wellbeing to energy burdened residents of Multnomah County.

  • Craft a Community Green Tariff that helps to meet the County’s 2035 100% clean electricity goals with meaningful energy justice impacts.

  • Leverage federal funding opportunities to increase clean energy and community resiliency.

Air Quality

  • Continue to implement wood stove exchange and Clean Air Construction policies, and secure additional funding to support these priorities.

  • Continue to investigate and pursue policies that limit emissions from fossil fuels and wood burning.

Engagement and Partnerships

  • Plant 100+ trees in Rockwood and have a successful youth employment program for 2023, and secure additional funding with partners for future years.

  • Complete work at the CROPS farm and onboard new farmers to the program.