PECI employees promoting energy efficiency and sustainability at work

Green @ PECI

At PECI, we carry out our sustainability mission in every aspect of our work. From environmentally responsible policies and office practices, to employee education and community outreach, we’re doing our part to live up to the resource and energy management standards on which PECI has built its reputation.

·In 2012, PECI recycled or composted 78% of our waste by weight.

·Our second annual Kilowatt Cup Challenge resulted in an 18% reduction in plug load energy use and 7% reduction in overall energy use.

·Since 2010, PECI staff members have purchased, prepared and served over 1,300 meals for the residents of Clark Center, a local transitional housing facility.

·PECI’s annual commute by type totals 1,202,473 miles, and we’re proud that our walkers, cyclists and public transit users account for nearly 60% of those miles (717,564).

Learn more about our sustainable practices in our Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

MAJOR GREEN TEAM INITIATIVES

At PECI, we experiment a lot with motivating behavior change and how to integrate what we learn into our programs. This starts inside our own offices, where we strive to create long-term behavior change among ourselves, particularly in the areas of waste and energy consumption. In 2012 we embarked on two annual, broad behavior change initiatives, the Kilowatt Cup in the spring and the Waste Buster Challenge in the fall, to test out some of our theories and best practices.

The Kilowatt Cup focuses on reducing our energy use, utilizing a variety of motivators to encourage participation. With a real-time energy use dashboard, regular communications and helpful tips on how to participate, in 2013 we achieved an 89% participation rate, 18% reduction in plug load energy use and 7% reduction in overall energy use. (Read about: Kilowatt Cup)

October marks our month-long Waste Buster Challenge. The goal is to increase awareness of how we generate waste and the myriad of ways we can reduce our daily output. We follow up the Waste Buster Challenge with a waste audit in the spring. This year, we found that the total waste (recycle, compost and landfill) generated per person dropped by 10% from the Waste Buster Challenge. The amount of to-go coffee cups greatly decreased by two-thirds, yet our diversion rate (portion of our total waste that is composted and recycled) stayed relatively flat at 78%.

OUTREACH ACTIVITIES

Community Energy Project

Since 2009, PECI employees have been volunteering with Community Energy Project (CEP), a nonprofit organization offering home weatherization to low-income families. Our staff volunteers to perform weatherization installations, manage fundraising events and provide marketing services, while PECI offers corporate sponsorship for their annual auction fundraiser.

Clark Center Meal Prep

The Clark Center for Men is a local residential facility that helps men transition out of homelessness. Since 2010, PECI staff members have been purchasing, preparing and serving hot meals for Clark Center residents each month.

Relief Aid

When disaster strikes, staff will often step forward and initiate campaigns to raise funds for those who need support. In 2012, one of those efforts was on behalf of Hurricane Sandy victims.

Holiday Drive

Each holiday season, PECI works with the Oregon Department of Human Services Holiday Gift program to sponsor foster children in need. Employees make personal contributions to purchase holiday gifts for local children and wrap them over a shared lunch.

EDUCATIONAL EVENTS

Discussion Groups

Staff members participated in an eight-week discussion series through the Northwest Earth Institute. The discussion focused on living simply and intentionally in our actions, schedules, consumption and work-life balance.

A staff member also hosted a Home Eco-Party facilitated by the Center for Earth Leadership. We learned about effective ways to conserve water and energy, how to conduct a home energy audit, identify toxic products and effective alternatives, establish healthy compost systems and reduce unnecessary household waste.

Green@PECI also provides scholarships to attend sustainability and industry-related conferences.

Facility Tours

The Green Team has organized group tours of Far West Fibers recycling facility, the Bonneville Dam, Goodnoe Hills wind farm, Salem Smart Power Center and other facilities and environments relevant to sustainability and energy efficiency.

Green Bags

Staff members or guest presenters deliver lunch-time presentations, often on topics suggested by employees. A recent favorite was conducted by two staffers who happen to be Oregon Master Recyclers. They answered questions, dealt with common misconceptions about the Portland area recycling system and shared ways of dealing with hard to recycle items that aren’t accepted curbside.