Sustainability Articles 2013-2015
Beaverton Turns to Alternative Fuels for City Car Fleet
One of the goals of the City of Beaverton is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and two goals of the Fleet Program are to lower dependence on foreign oil and reduce fuel costs. To meet these goals, the Mayor’s proposed fiscal year 2015-2016 budget requests funding to establish an alternative fuel pilot project to convert four fleet vehicles to propane autogas. Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is a high-energy, clean-burning alternative fuel byproduct of natural gas. Propane is almost entirely domestically produced and is safer and cheaper than gasoline. It is estimated that the city will reduce its gasoline usage by over 7,000 gallons just with the conversion of these four fleet vehicles.
The city Fleet Manager, Mike Sterle, is an advocate for alternative fuel use and has made significant strides in terms of greenhouse gas reduction and alternative fuel use in his fleet. The fleet already consists of seven hybrid sedans, one hybrid traffic aerial truck and one all-electric vehicle. With the success of this pilot project, the city hopes to continue to expand alternative fuel use in its city operations.
The City of Beaverton Is Assessing & Rating Its Community Livability
In a continued effort to improve the city and care for community members, the City of Beaverton is pursuing a national accreditation program called STAR Community Certification. STAR stands for Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities and is the first program of its kind that helps set a baseline to compare and recognize livable communities.
The Rating System encompasses economic, environmental, and social performance measures for both local governments and the broader community. Through the use of cutting-edge tools, STAR will help Beaverton gauge its performance and tailor its future actions on a number of important livability topics such as transportation access, job-readiness, access to healthful foods, climate change, and much more.
The program began in September 2014 and is a year-long process of data collection and analysis, which will serve as a baseline and identify areas where the city is doing well and where there is room for improvement.
“Pursuing STAR certification is a way to use local data to better understand Beaverton’s livability. It will tell us how we’re doing, whether our policies and plans are working, and suggest new actions for the city to become more sustainable in the future. We look forward to sharing Beaverton’s certification results in late 2015!” said Mayor Doyle.
Tips for Reducing Your Waste This Holiday Season!
Shopping & Gift Giving
- Think local: Shop at a local craft fair, consignment shop or antique store for a one of a kind gift.
- Bring reusable shopping bags: or consolidate purchases rather than getting a new bag at each store.
- Give the gift of experience: such as concert tickets, movie tickets, or a dinner for two, rather than purchasing gifts that create waste.
Handmade Gifts & Gift Wrapping
- Make a terrarium: Go on a hike and collect moss, wood pieces, pine cones and other found objects to make your own terrarium.
- Make your own wrapping paper: Use old paper grocery bags or old maps as wrapping paper. Dry out some leaves or flowers to add to the top instead of using a plastic bow!
- Make your own gift wrap décor: With a warm iron, press dried flowers or foliage between two sheets of waxed paper. Glue on a box or use several sheets together for wrapping.
- Reuse & Recycle: Reuse old boxes and gift bags and make sure to recycle them once you are done using them.
- Conserve energy: Use LED lights when decorating your home.
- Make your own arrangements: Use natural or edible arrangements when decorating the house—they are both compostable!
- Make your own holiday wreath: Use neighborhood pine trees and cones to make a holiday wreath to decorate your home and make it smell like the holidays!
Milestone 4 Award: Beaverton wins yet another award for its sustainability efforts
**ICLEI USA is the leading membership association of
cities & counties committed to climate action,
clean energy, and sustainability.
In a continued effort to make sustainability a key focus for the City of Beaverton, the city is currently participating in the Five Milestones for Sustainability process lead by. Beaverton is proud to share that they have achieved four out of the five milestones and have now created and implemented actions from a climate action plan. The Beaverton climate action plan is embedded within the Sustainable Beaverton Strategy. With the Northwest experiencing changes related to climate changes such as the timing of streamflows related to changing snowmelt, increasing wildfires, insect outbreaks, and tree diseases, Beaverton is taking preventive actions to ensure a safe and livable community for current and future generations.
Check back soon for more stories and updates on all things sustainability in Beaverton!
Better Building Challenge 2014
Beaverton’s sustainability work is at the forefront of the Better Buildings Challenge, a program initiated by the Department of Energy.
See the recent article at Today's Facility Manager.
The President is challenging CEOs, University Presidents, state and local government leaders, building owners, and multifamily organizations to commit their organizations to lead in saving energy, saving money, and showcasing the best energy saving strategies and their results. Partners commit to an energy savings pledge, a showcase building, and to share their progress. See Beaverton’s showcase project.
President's 2014 Climate Assessment
See the recent announcement from The President of the 2014 Climate Assessment report, produced by more than 300 experts, which summarizes the effects of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.
Beaverton Supports Green Power
As Oregonians, we are committed to being stewards of the environment. By making a commitment to renewable power, we are joining more than 99,000 households and businesses who are already demonstrating their environmental stewardship. Together, we are supporting the development of more new renewable sources of electricity, and over time changing the way that power is generated.
We are proud of doing our part. We are the first city to buy 100 percent of our electricity from the PGE Renewable Power Program. Read the full press release.
If you’d like to join us or just learn more about what you can do in your home, visit PGE Green Source.
Check out the video with a PGE tech climbing 262 feet into the air, showing you the view from the top of a wind turbine.
Learn more at:
- Beaverton opts to purchase all city energy through PGE Renewable Power Program
- Beaverton becomes first Oregon city powered entirely by renewable energy offsets
Energy Map and Carbon Wedge Analysis by New Energy Cities
City of Beaverton collaborated with New Energy Cities to calculate what it would take to reach an 80 percent greenhouse gas reduction goal below current levels by 2050. To analyze this New Cities created what’s called an Energy Map, depicting the community’s sources and uses of energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, based on utility and transportation data. The map is a great communication tool showing a complicated energy system on a single page.
A Carbon Wedge Analysis was also developed, which estimated the GHG reduction potential associated with important existing laws outside of the city’s control, such as the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard, the state renewable portfolio standard, and a state clean fuel standard. The Carbon Wedge also calculates approximate GHG reduction potential associated with different scenarios of community action. Check out their blog on this project with links to the visuals.
Beaverton is a Green Power Leader
Beaverton is recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an elite Green Power Partner who demonstrates exemplary environmental leadership, by supporting renewable energy. Beaverton was awarded membership to the 2012 Green Power Leadership Club by the U.S. EPA, because the City purchases green power offsets for 100% of its city building's energy use. The City of Beaverton is the only local government in Oregon to receive this designation. For more information on the Green Power Leadership Club see EPA Green Power Partnership.
The City of Beaverton is affiliated with the following organizations: