Portland businesses accept Mayor's climate challenge

Portland is ready to expand its leadership on climate action—including its business community. That message took center stage this morning as a number of local business leaders joined Mayor Charlie Hales to launch the  Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge. Mayor Hales is calling upon local companies to state their support for strong climate action, and to update their own business practices to help grow a sustainable, clean-energy economy.

Specifically, the Climate Challenge asks local companies to sign the Oregon Business Climate Declaration, and to take actions such as meeting at least 50 percent of electricity needs from renewable sources.

Joining the Mayor’s announcement fresh off the Cycle Oregon trail, Moda Health Vice President Jonathan Nicholas committed to partnering with the city in this challenge. Moda has already been leading in this area with their commitment to the Climate Declaration, on-site state-of-the-art bicycle parking facilities, and more.

Many Portland businesses understand thay they have a critical role to play in responding to climate change—the greatest challenge of the 21st century. But climate change is not only a challenge; it is an opportunity for businesses to make themselves more efficient and more competitive.

Another climate business leader, Hopworks Beer hailed  the City of Portland as a “thought leader” on climate.. Based in Portland, Hopworks is also a signatory of the Oregon Business Climate Declaration, and walks its sustainability talk by operating their business with Portland General Electric’s 100% Clean Wind energy. More than 2/3 of Hopworks staff commute to work by bicycle, walking, or taking alternative transportation.

Other businesses to sign on to the Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge in Portland include Trillium Asset Management, Pacific Continental Bank, Indow, and Elephant’s Delicatessen.

Portland companies can meet the challenge, and be recognized as climate leaders, by doing the following:

1.Sign the Oregon Business Climate Declaration, joining 400 other Oregon businesses that have already done so.

2.Take at least two climate actions:

  • Meet at least 50 percent of business electricity needs from renewable sources.
  • Install LED bulbs in all lights that are on for extended periods.
  • Provide incentives to employees to commute by transit, carpool, bicycle or on foot.
  • Power at least 20 percent of company vehicles by electricity or low-carbon fuels.
  • Provide at least one on-site EV charging station for employees.
  • Participate in food-scrap collection.

By taking these actions, businesses can improve their bottom line, keep money circulating in the local economy, and create an export market for products and services developed in response to climate change.

Show the world how transitioning to a low-carbon community is good business. Now through November 30th, add your name to the Business Climate Challenge list at, and pledge your commitment to fighting climate change.

Participating businesses will be featured on the City’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability website and promoted through local media.

Climate Solutions is proud to have engaged with so many of the leading companies on this list, and to have helped draft and recruit companies for the Oregon Business Climate Declaration. We know dozens more in the region are already taking the above actions! We challenge businesses to take on more climate actions to reduce carbon pollution, and demonstrate what climate leadership looks like. Take the Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge today. Please don’t hesitate to contact Carrie Hearne, Climate Solutions’ Oregon business partnerships manager, to discuss any of the actions listed in the Mayor’s challenge.

Let’s send Mayor Charlie Hales to the Paris climate negotiations with a mile-long list of business wins! 

(Pictured above, L to R: John Grossi, Hopworks Urban Brewery; Kristen Connor, Capital Pacific Bank; Anne Weaver, Elephants Delicatessen; Sam Pardue, Indow; Portland Mayor Charlie Hales; Osvaldo Gonzales, CH2M Hill; Jonas Kron, Trillium Asset Management). 

Author Bio

Carrie Hearne

former Oregon Business Partnerships Manager, Climate Solutions

Carrie Hearne served as Climate Solutions' Oregon Business Partnerships Manager. Carrie has lived in Portland for over a decade and originally hails from the mountains of West Virginia. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Earlham College in Indiana and sustainability certificates from the University of Oregon and Willamette University.

Carrie successfully created and ran the first sustainability program at The Standard, a financial services company headquartered in Portland, Oregon. This program attracted new customers, reduced operating expenses, increased employee engagement. She is a current member of the Climate Action Plan Steering Committee for the City of Portland and Multnomah County and has served on the board of directors for the Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI) since 2008. She is also on the advisory board for Women in Sustainability and the Environment (WISE). While at The Standard, Carrie was active on committees with the Oregon Business Association and the Portland Business Alliance, influencing public policy on matters relating to economic development, carbon reduction environmental sustainability and social equity. She has been a frequent guest speaker at regional business conferences such as Go Green Portland.

In her spare time, Carrie enjoys photography, cycling, baking and getting outdoors with her dog Timber.

Give for a brighter future

Did you enjoy this article?