February 1, 2022

2021 was a busy year for Multnomah County's Office of Sustainability. The team:

  • Worked with community based organizations to figure out how local government and community can co-develop climate strategies.
  • Fought for low-income ratepayer protections, for our undocumented neighbors to get better access to energy efficiency programs, and for clean energy.
  • Continued work on cleaning up dirty diesel construction equipment, and pollution from wood burning.
  • Planted trees, mapped heat islands, and developed strategies to keep people safe from the impacts of climate change.

View the Office of Sustainability's accomplishments in 2021 in this snapshot:   2021 Office of Sustainability Accomplishments (805.96 KB).

2021 Office of Sustainability Accomplishments Summary, page 1Climate

  • Advocated for the strongest possible health, environment and environmental justice outcomes in the development of DEQ’s Climate Protection Program (adopted December 2021) in partnership with the Health Department.
  • Mapped urban heat islands in East County, addressing a critical data gap needed to prioritize climate resilience policies and investments.

  • Launched Climate Justice x Design, bringing County/City government and frontline communities together as equal partners, to explore deep collaboration and opportunities to advance local climate resilience.


  • Worked to extend COVID-19 utility disconnection moratorium. As a result, no County resident faced the summer heat waves without electricity from the inability to pay.

  • Helped to successfully advocate for major changes in state law that put the state and the County on a path to 100% clean energy while protecting low income ratepayers.

  • Secured voluntary moratoriums on gas and electric utility disconnections during cold weather events.

  • The County completed a study that inventoried risks of fossil fuel infrastructure at the CEI Hub, analyzing the extent and cost of damage from a Cascadia earthquake.

  • Made it easier for undocumented communities to access gas utility financial assistance.

  • Led in the formation of the Oregon Statewide CPACE Coalition, a coalition of local governments working to expand CPACE throughout Oregon.

  • Coordinated a coalition to help inform the implementation of a low-income rate for energy utility customers.

2021 Office of Sustainability Accomplishments Summary, page 2

Air Quality

  • The Clean Air Construction partnership expanded to include Trimet, one of six local agency partners, and the program went live with an online equipment registration and project management portal.

  • Convened a work group to explore policy options to further limit the harmful pollution from residential and commercial wood burning, with planned policy changes slated for the winter and spring of 2022.

  • Completed a DEQ grant project in collaboration with Multnomah County’s Environmental Health team, including outreach and education about reducing woodsmoke using branded materials.

Engagement & Partnerships

  • Green Gresham / Healthy Gresham partners have planted 339 trees, with over 100 more trees scheduled for planting in spring 2022, in addition to providing youth employment opportunities.
  • Forged a partnership with MudBone Grown, an African American owned farming business, who will manage the CROPS site. Worked to develop farm infrastructure at the site.

  • Provided support to the Advisory Committee on Sustainability and Innovation (ACSI).

  • Supported the founding of Kijani PDX, a group of individuals working to increase representation of the African American/African community in environmental legislative and policy discussions and decision-making.

  • Secured an EPA technical assistance grant in partnership with Portland Public Schools to identify community prioritized school sites that can serve as air/cooling shelters.

  • Assisted Emergency Management by creating severe winter weather graphics soliciting donations and volunteers.

Employee Engagement

  • Coordinated three countywide campaigns, including Earth Month, Bike Month, and EcoChallenge, welcoming 208 participants.
  • Led and supported County sustainability teams and staff with the achievement of Countywide and programmatic sustainability goals, like green buildings and energy savings.

  • Engaged with 665 staff and community partners through the Climate Leadership Now newsletter.

  • Published five Wednesday Wire articles about events and education, reaching all staff with sustainability messaging.


  • Worked with community chambers of commerce and culturally-specific providers to distribute over $5,000,000 in CARES business relief grants.

  • Assisted Health Department with graphics providing guidance for restaurant reopenings.