BEST Business Center

Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow

Guiding Portland's small businesses toward a profitable green future.

Click here to get started
or call
for free advice.


BEST Practices for Sustainability: Large organization


Pacific Natural Foods

Pacific Natural Foods is a local, family-owned natural foods company founded in 1987. We are dedicated to creating foods that capture the most delicious tastes from what nature has provided. As an Oregon company that has always been exclusively focused on natural and organic foods, sustainability has been a central part of our identity from the very beginning. At Pacific Natural Foods, we strive to integrate social, environmental and economic considerations – the triple bottom line – into every business decision; from purchasing to manufacturing, farming to packaging, we aspire to leave a positive footprint.

Employees in Portland metro area: 340
Type of business: Food production

    Energy conservation:
  • 2009 target was to achieve a five percent reduction in total energy use; exceeded total energy savings with a seven percent reduction
  • Efficiency upgrades of lighting, motors and air compressor systems resulting in savings of approximately 1.7 million kWh of electricity and 700 tons of CO2 emissions annually
  • Boiler steam efficiency retrofit resulting in a projected savings of 135,000 therms of natural gas, $105,000 of utility billing and 799 tons of CO2 emissions annually
    Water efficiency:
  • City of Portland Water Bureau conducted a water footprint audit of the entire facility to identify opportunities for water reuse and reduction, and repair leaks
  • 2010 goal of achieving a five percent reduction in total water used per pound of food produced over the 2009 base year
    Waste reduction:
  • Recycles more than 100 tons of materials each month – 60 percent of the company’s solid waste stream
  • Composts all tea waste
  • Converts roughly six million pounds of its soy byproduct annually into high protein organic cattle feed
    Alternative transportation:
  • Employee alternative transportation plan with a goal to reduce the overall single-occupancy vehicle trips by 10 percent over three years since 2009
  • In 2009, 15 percent of employees participated in Alternative Commuter Club resulting in about 4,000 employee-days of alternative transportation
  • Financial subsidy for employees who commit to commuting to work alternatively at least twice a week
    Purchasing practices:
  • 82 percent of total ingredient purchases are certified organic products
  • Environmentally preferable purchasing policy
  • Implemented a sustainable janitorial program that meets Green Seal GS-37 standards, U.S. EPA Design for the Environment and/or other 3rd party environmental certification
    Encouraging sustainability in others:
  • Integrates green building practices and design elements into all construction and renovation projects on campus including 2009 renovation of a 6,000 square feet warehouse space
  • 2010 demolition project of an approximately 4,000 square foot building section achieved a 99 percent recycling rate of the construction debris
  • Use 100 percent organic fertilizers and are engaged in wetland restoration efforts at main campus
    Promoting social equity:
  • Educate customers on the importance of wetland conservation through trade advertisements and volunteering at New Seasons Benefit BBQ’s for The Wetlands Conservancy
  • Encourage suppliers and farmers to convert from conventional to certified organic practices
  • Developed targeted programs to educate customers on issues like hunger relief
  • Invested more than $14,000 in 2009 alone in training three levels of ESL for employees
  • Tuition assistance for employees
    Community service:
  • Donate to organizations such as Feeding America and the Oregon Food Bank
  • Pacific Foods employees have helped serve more than 3,500 meals at the Juanita Pohl Senior Center
  • Employees support community events including the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the United Way workplace giving program and biannual Red Cross blood drives



Clean Water Services
Clean Water Services is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2010. As the water resource management utility for more than 500,000 people in urban Washington County and small portions of Multnomah County, Clackamas County, Lake Oswego and Portland, Clean Water Services operates four wastewater treatment facilities, constructs and maintains the public drainage system, and manages flow in the Tualatin River to improve water quality and protect fish habitat. Although Clean Water Services maintains a close working relationship with Washington County government, it is a separately managed and financed public utility.

Pacific Natural Foods

Purdy Facilities / Sherwin-Williams Company
Purdy is proud of the many accomplishments we have achieved over the past few years with regards to sustainability. Our green team is dedicated to all sustainability efforts. We continuously strive to make our employees and customers proud to work/buy from a company that cares about the environment and the future of their families. We are committed to making the earth a better place to live by watching out for the environment and by being aware of how we handle all materials that pass through our plant. Purdy is at the forefront of sustainability for the Sherwin-Williams Company. We cherish this role and will continue to implement projects that will show we are industry leaders.

Standard Insurance Company
At The Standard, we provide products and services that people need to feel confident and secure about their future. Our sustainable practices are an extension of this vision, helping create healthy environments and strong, vibrant communities. Our increased focus on efforts ranging from renewable energy to alternative transportation to recycling and community-based volunteerism is making a real difference. We know sustainable practices help ensure a better future for everyone and acknowledge our responsibility in creating that future. The Standard will continue seeking opportunities to reduce our ecological footprint and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to sustainability.