In Your Office
There are many ways employees can help make Washington County more sustainable. Employees are encouraged to use sustainable strategies and best practices in order to be good stewards of County resources and support a culture of sustainability.
If you are a Washington County employee, you can use the self-training tools below to better understand our policies and activities. Here are key areas where employees are taking steps to advance sustainability in day-to-day operations.
Washington County recognizes the role and responsibility for public agencies to protect and conserve natural resources, use financial resources effectively and efficiently, and celebrate the achievements of a healthy and productive organization.
Sustainability at work begins with understanding how you can better serve the public, conserve resources, and improve the work environment for yourself and your coworkers.
- Start by watching this short video for a simple understanding of what sustainability means.
- Want to dig deeper? This brief video helps explain the social component of sustainability.
- Read the Introduction to Sustainability website.
- Read the most recent sustainability plan to learn what goals the County has committed to meet.
- Read the most recent Sustainability Annual Report to find out what we have achieved and what we are still working on.
- Read the Greenhouse Gas Inventory to understand our work on the local and global issue.
Washington County is working hard to reduce building energy use to save money and resources.
Self Training Opportunities:
- Watch this video from Energy Trust of Oregon to learn more about what we are doing as a team to reduce energy use in our buildings.
- Visit the Energy Conservation Campaign page to see the Energy Conservation Toolkit and other resources.
- Take the Good Cube Bad Cube training using this self-guided PDF.
- Read the top tips for County employees to save energy in their offices.
- Print this pledge and hang it at your desk.
- Learn about solar installations at County facilities.
Recycling at Washington County offices is similar to residential curbside recycling in Washington County -- most paper, plastic and metal is combined in one mixed recycling bin and glass is collected separately.
- Watch the County's short Recycling at Work training video on YouTube.
- Watch the Oregon's Journey for Recycling video on the Solid Waste and Recycling page.
- Read the Recycling at Work poster (print this for your desk)
- For more information about what can be recycled and how the County's waste management system works, read this document.
- Watch the home recycling management videos at the Solid Waste and Recycling website. Most of these rules apply to recycling in our offices as well.
- Watch this video to learn what happens after home and office recycling is collected.
Washington County is also trying to reduce the amount of garbage generated. Recycling is one way to do this, but reducing consumption and reusing items are even better.
- Watch this training video about our Washington County ReUse Store, part of the supply surplus program.
- Watch the videos on the Solid Waste and Recycling page related to this topic: Prevent garbage by using durable reusable items, and What Happens to Your Garbage in Washington County.
- Read the 15 simple tips for waste reduction.
- Visit Solid Waste and Recycling's Waste Prevention site to get tips on waste reduction and take the pledge to lower waste.
- Visit the Eat Smart, Waste Less campaign website and read the Tips section to learn how to reduce food waste at work. Be sure to watch this video while you are there.
- Read the Office Kitchen Tip Sheet and the Tips for Sustainable and Healthy Meetings to learn more about reducing waste at work and supporting a healthy environment.
- Read the surplus and ReUse Store guidelines.
- Read the Sustainable Purchasing Guidelines to learn more about reducing the impact of our purchases.
- Read the Sustainable Meeting and Event Guidelines to learn how to plan more efficient and lower waste events
Washington County is working to expand and develop safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists while reducing the impact of our operations on air quality and promoting a healthy environment.
- Watch this video to learn the rules of the road for safe interactions between drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
- Visit the County's Land Use & Transportation Bike and Pedestrian site for more information, to learn about road improvements, or to report a road-related problem.
- Learn about planning your sustainable commute or trip to the County offices.
- Read the Idling Reduction Guidelines (2010) to learn more about reducing carbon emissions in commuting and at work.
- Watch the EcoDriving videos on ODOT's website.
- Read the County's Employee Commute Options Trip Reduction Plan.
Washington County's bike fleet program provides employees with an active transportation option in the County fleet. The fleet, managed by the Sustainability Division, was initiated with five easy-to-ride cruising bikes, available for employee business or personal use.
To reserve a bike for the first time each year, employees must download and complete the bike fleet waiver form then email it to Sustainability, along with desired bike size, dates of usage and pick up time. For more information and bike sizing, please view the Bike Fleet Program Manual. Employees who have a signed waiver on file can simply email Sustainability for a reservation. Bikes are available to check out for up to two weeks at a time with one reservation, and they can be picked up at the downtown Hillsboro campus from 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday. Reservations will be confirmed within one business day by Outlook calendar appointment, accompanied by access information and a rider information packet. Employees are required to wear a helmet when riding a County bicycle. Staff can use their own personal helmet or use a shared helmet provided by the County. PLEASE NOTE that the Bike Fleet program is temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Washington County participates in the regional carpool matching program through Get There Oregon, operated by Oregon Department of Transportation. This is Oregon's easy-to-use trip planning tool that will help you connect to transportation options, including finding a carpool match, joining a vanpool, finding transit options, locating bike share stations, and more! You can even look for bike-pool partners and find bike routes. To learn more and sign up, visit https://getthereoregon.org. Your neighbors and co-workers need to get somewhere, just like you. Get There makes it easy to get where you are going - it's a central location to find a carpool partner anywhere in Oregon.
The County encourages employees to utilize public transit. All regular employees are eligible for a free TriMet HOP fastpass. TriMet operates mass transit throughout the Portland metropolitan region, including Washington County. Employees should consider their commute options and contact Human Resources to receive their personalized pass. Your employee pass is a valid substitute for buying a ticket so long as you have it with you and tap it before each ride.
- Watch TriMet's video called How to Ride Max for general tips on how to ride.
- Review and practice with the TriMet Trip Tools.
- Plan your transit trip using their original Trip Planner or their new, interactive one.
The County has adopted policies allowing telecommuting and alternative work schedules for employees. These policies support the County’s sustainability efforts to reduce commuting impacts, save resources and promote a healthy environment.
310: Alternative Work Schedule refers to a pre-authorized recurring work schedule that differs from the standard one, usually 8 am – 5 pm. This policy also allows for flex-time or moving shift time for a day. Procedure 310-A provides information on how to request a different schedule and utilize this policy.
311: Telecommuting refers to working at home in lieu of traveling to a County workplace. This may be available for positions requiring minimal direct supervision or face-to-face contact, and for tasks that can be done without being on County premises. It requires a telecommuting agreement. Procedure 311-A provides additional details on using the policy.
These policies serve as tools to support employee and community needs. They are not a universal benefit. Employees can work with their manager to determine whether they are able to utilize these options.
- The County Information Technology Services division supports remote work options with tools and technology. Here is a quick overview of telework security tips.
- The County Wellness program features information and tools for staying healthy, regardless of where you are working.
- The County Risk Management division can assist with safety and virtual ergonomic assessments for workspaces. Here is a basic ergonomic overview.
- Get There Oregon provides helpful tips and resources for people working remotely.
- Westside Transportation Alliance has information about the personal benefits of flex-time and teleworking.
Many people ask why there is a "social" component of sustainability. The short answer is that people are impacted by the environment and the economy, so their considerations need to be taken into account with sustainability decisions.
- Watch our video to learn more about how County work integrates social sustainability.
- The Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement is helping to advance equity, diversity and inclusion work at the County.
- The County's Wellness Program provides resources and information to promote a culture of health and well-being.
- The County's Parks provide opportunities for recreation, leisure, and enjoyment of open spaces.
- Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) provides materials for learning and development, as well as a library of things that supports a sharing economy.
Washington County values input from employees! The Employee Suggestion Program is designed to gather sustainable ideas that save the County money, reduce resource use or improve efficiency or equity of operations. To learn more, read the program overview. To see the suggestions implemented in the program, read the latest summary. County employees may submit their ideas via the online form at this page.