Sustainability Plans, Reports & Policies

Sustainability Plans

Washington County's Sustainability Plan outlines the initiatives we seek to achieve through the Sustainability Program and other County departments. The current plan was designed to span five years, from FY 2014 through FY 2018. Because of significant temporary building changes occurring from 2017-2020, the plan will be extended to 2020 until it is updated. The plan includes internal and community objectives, activities to be completed, and proposed outcome measures aligned with the goals of the County's sustainability Resolution and Order. 

Washington County Departments have also created their own individual sustainability plans that incorporate initiatives tied to the County's sustainability goals. Each plan was developed using the template and addendum below. In addition, many departments created individualized plans for reducing idling in County vehicles; an example is shown below. County departments report annually on the progress made in implementing their plans. Summaries of recent reports are linked below.

Washington County and OSU Extension Service collaboratively developed a Food System Plan for the county in 2013. Strengthening the county’s food system can improve citizen health and well-being, create local jobs and economic growth, promote social equity and support vibrant agriculture and farms. The plan identifies opportunities to increase coordination and build on existing efforts.

Sustainability Progress Report

The Washington County Board of Commissioners heard a presentation about the County's sustainability progress during their June 26, 2018 work session. The County recognizes its responsibility to conserve natural resources, be fiscally responsible and celebrate the achievements of a productive and equitable organization.

Highlights from the current progress report (FY 2017) include:

  • A 27% decrease in building energy, 11% decrease in water and 18% decrease in fleet fuel use since 2008.
  • Continued improvements in operational sustainability despite significant organizational change, including movement of employees due to building seismic retrofits, facility acquisition and temporary disconnection of the solar array on the Public Services Building.
  • New opportunities to compost vegetative material and food scraps resulting in less waste going to the landfill.
  • Bicycles and electric vehicles added to the fleet to provide new options for transportation.  

The Sustainability Program develops summary reports expanding on the information provided in the annual progress presentations to the Board. The reports include additional detail and information on the program achievements. 

Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Washington County completed its first inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with operations using 2008 data. This inventory serves as a baseline against which future inventories may be compared. The County's second inventory report includes emissions data from 2008-2014, showing an emissions reduction trend over seven years.

Highlights from the latest report include:

  • Total GHG emissions from County operations showed a 7% drop.
  • Emissions per full-time equivalent employee (FTE) showed a 10% drop.
  • Scope 1 and 2 emissions combined (electricity and fuels) showed a 19% drop.

The County would like to reduce the negative impacts of GHG emissions on human health, economies and the environment for current and future generations. This report will be used to engage County leaders to help manage risk, reduce climate impacts, and inform investment decisions to cut emissions.

Sustainability Policies & Guidelines

Washington County has adopted policies that reflect a commitment to sustainable operations and practices.