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 through 2020, then updated in 2021. 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.

The County recognizes the importance of doing our part to reduce vehicle miles traveled and air pollution by promoting transportation options to our 2,000+ employees. The following Employee Commute Options (ECO) Trip Reduction Plan plan documents the efforts of Washington County to encourage employee use of commute options. It was developed in compliance with the Federal Clean Air Act as implemented by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Employers are required to provide the information listed in OAR 340-242-0160 as part of the Employee Commute Options (ECO) program.

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 Annual Report

The FY 2020 Sustainability Annual Report covers progress and achievements from the entire County sustainability plan horizon, relative to a 2008 baseline year. The report details accomplishments toward internal and community objectives, and goals set for the internal sustainability metrics. It also outlines environmental, economic, social and community sustainability activities. 

Highlights from the latest report (FY 2020) include:

  • Completion of more than 60 activities to help meet sustainability plan objectives
  • Environmental: A 35% reduction in building energy, a 34% reduction in water use, a 34% reduction in fleet fuel use, and a 21% reduction in garbage
  • Economic: A 69% decrease in office paper purchase costs by implementing more paperless processes, and a 28% decrease in building energy costs by engaging in strategic energy management
  • Social: Development of three baseline reports outlining the diversity of Washington County's workforce and contracting, and increased virtual employee engagement opportunities 
  • Community: A 50% increase in pedestrian facilities and 47% increase in bike lanes added through County-funded projects 

The Sustainability Division develops annual reports providing detail and information on the County achievements. Past reports are listed below. 

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.