BEST Business Center

Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow

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

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The greenest source of energy is the energy you don’t consume. There are many easy and cost-effective ways to save energy, from simple behavior changes like turning off lights and computers to upgrading equipment and appliances to more efficient models.

Once energy needs have been reduced, consider buying renewable energy to meet remaining energy demands. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar do not emit greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Purchasing carbon offsets should be the last step in the journey to becoming a climate-friendly, green business. Carbon offsets mitigate the impacts of activities that produce greenhouse gas emissions, such as airplane travel and employee commuting.


Energy Conservation and Efficiency

  • Energy Star Products

    Energy Star products use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment. Energy Star products must meet strict energy efficiency criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy. Since they use less energy, these products save you money on your electricity bill and help protect the environment by causing fewer harmful emissions from power plants.

  • Energy Star: Portfolio Manager

    Portfolio Manager is an interactive energy management tool that allows commercial property owners and managers to track and assess energy and water consumption across an entire portfolio of buildings in a secure online environment. Whether you own, manage, or hold properties for investment, Portfolio Manager can help you set investment priorities, identify under-performing buildings, verify efficiency improvements, and receive EPA recognition for superior energy performance.

  • Energy Star: Power Management

    ENERGY STAR wants to help you save $50 per computer annually!  Learn how your organization can implement your computers’ power management features—standard in Windows and Macintosh operating systems—to place monitors and computers into a low-power mode after a period of inactivity.  Save energy, money, and protect the environment.

  • Energy Star: Small Business Program

    Whether you own your building or are a tenant, you typically need lighting, heating, air conditioning, power for office equipment, and other services to stay in business. With free, unbiased information and technical support from Energy Star, you can more easily improve your company’s financial performance by reducing energy waste and energy costs, while protecting the environment.

  • Energy Trust of Oregon

    Whether you run a small retail shop, large industrial facility or any business in between, Energy Trust can help your business save energy.  Energy Trust can provide cash incentives, technical assistance and help finding a contractor.  Learn how you can reduce your energy needs or install renewable energy solutions like solar electric and solar water heating.

Production Efficiency

  • Department of Energy: Save Energy Now Program

    DOE’s Save Energy Now initiative helps American businesses, factories, and manufacturing facilities save energy and improve productivity.  The program’s free assessments focus on energy-intensive systems such as process heating, steam, compressed air, fans, and pumps. Fine-tuning these systems can lead to significant long-term savings, and even bigger savings are possible if the approach is spread throughout your company’s plants.

  • Energy Trust of Oregon: Production Efficiency

    Reducing energy costs is a wise business choice. But where do businesses find the capital, staff and time to identify and implement energy efficient projects? The Energy Trust can help. The Energy Trust offers energy efficiency services for industrial processes of all kinds, including manufacturing, agricultural and water/wastewater treatment.  Skilled, industry-specific specialists will help determine the most profitable upgrades, assist with financial incentive and tax credit applications, and oversee project installations.

  • Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership

    OMEP’s Lean Enterprise program helps Oregon manufacturers reduce costs, increase sales, and create jobs by becoming more competitive and productive in the global marketplace.  Their primary focus is training and implementation of lean practices that help businesses eliminate waste and non-value added activity.

Renewable Energy

  • Bonneville Environmental Foundation

    The Bonneville Environmental Foundation, a Portland-based non-profit organization, sells renewable energy certificates, or REC’s, that help reduce carbon emissions from electricity.  These credits replace traditional polluting sources of electricity with clean, secure, and sustainable renewable sources of energy that come from solar and wind power across North America.

  • Pacific Power: Blue Sky Program

    For as little as $1.95 extra per month, your business can participate in the Blue Sky renewable energy program, and help bring new renewable energy facilities to rural areas of the West.

  • PGE: Renewable Power Options

    PGE offers two renewable energy options that are as reliable as your current service. Green SourceSM is based on matching 100 percent of your actual energy use with renewable power; with Clean WindSM you purchase small units of renewable energy for a set fee.

  • Solar Now!

    Solar Now! makes it easy to go solar.  Four Oregon non-profit and government organizations have teamed up to help Oregon businesses learn about and install solar energy systems.  Contact them to find information, get referred to qualified contractors, and tap into Energy Trust incentives, Oregon Business Energy Tax Credits and federal tax credits.

Carbon offsetting

  • Green-e Climate

    Green-e is the nation’s leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of greenhouse gas reductions.  Green-e Climate Certified GHG emission reduction products must contain only real, measured, permanent, verified, and beyond business-as-usual GHG emission reductions.  Use their directory to find carbon offsets that are Green-e Climate certified.

  • NW Natural: Smart Energy

    For as little as $10 per month businesses can voluntarily offset the CO2 emissions associated with their natural gas use. NW Natural, in partnership with The Climate Trust, will invest these Smart Energy dollars in biogas projects on regional diary farms to keep methane – a potent greenhouse gas – out of the atmosphere.

  • Oregon Environmental Council: Carbon Neutral resource guide

    The Oregon Environmental Council is pleased to announce the launch of “On the Way to Carbon Neutral,“ an online resource that outlines steps businesses can take to develop and implement a plan to reduce their carbon footprint and resources available to them in Oregon. Learn how to make your operations more energy efficient and climate friendly.

Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to power a light bulb for four hours.