Portland executives express sustainability concerns

SUSTAINABILITY NEWS: Business leaders think Portland falling behind other cities; pair of wineries earn B-Corp certification; Craft Brew Alliance uses less water, makes more beer.

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Portland business leaders indicated in a discussion with the Portland Business Journal that the city might be falling behind other cities in sustainable practices.

From a PBJ report:

Vanessa Keitges, president of Columbia Green Technologies, a Portland green roofing firm, has seen other jurisdictions take more aggressive stands that mandate, rather than encourage, developers to include resource-saving features in their projects. About 70 percent of Columbia Green’s business comes from the East Coast.

Alarmed that Portland is losing its green edge, she rang up Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and re-convened the roundtable group for a strategy session with his policy director Jackie Dingfelder and several green building experts from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

One of the major takeaways from the roundtable was that sustainability has to pay for itself in the modern economy.

Pair of wineries earn B-Corp certification

Dayton-based Sokol Blosser Winery and Winderlea Vineyard and Winery, of Dundee, earned a coveted green-business distinction recently.

They are just the third and fourth wineries of the 1,200 companies that have earned B-Corp status.

From the Portland Business Journal:

Sokol Blosser, led by CEO Alison Sokol Blosser, earned its first environmental certification in 1996 when it was honored for its sustainable farming practices. Its new B Corp status reflects an evaluation that covered its farming and winemaking practices together with employee compensation, benefits and training, supplier and community relations and general business practices.

“We have always strived to be leaders in sustainable practices and advocates of third-party certification for transparency and accountability,’ said Sokol Blosser.

Winderlea had previously earned LIVE And Salmon Safe certifications in 2008.

Craft Brew Alliance uses less water, makes more beer

The Portland-based Craft Brew Alliance is stemming water usage while ramping up production.

From the Portland Business Journal:

Craft Brew (Nasdaq: HOOK), the parent to Widmer Bros. Brewing and Redhook Ales, used 3.5 gallons to produce a gallon of beer in 2014, down from 4.07 gallons in 2013 and well below the industry average of six to eight gallons. The revelation came via Craft Brew’s second annual Sustainability Report, issued Wednesday in honor of Earth Day. The company said its 2014 initiatives saved nearly 8 million gallons of water, shaved utility bills and had the net effect of saving the company $300,000 in operational costs.

“Greenhouse gas emissions and water usage will be some of the biggest issues facing our industry in the coming years,” said Julia Person, Craft’s sustainability manager.

The alliance reached its sustainability goals, allowing it to cut 5 percent of its production costs.