February 23, 2012

At Multnomah County, we demonstrate our commitment to improving public health and protecting the environment in numerous ways. That includes making smart investments in clean technologies. As stewards of community resources, it is our responsibility to look for cost-effective, innovative, eco-conscious solutions to carry out the work that we do every day.

One of the ways we’re investing in a greener future is by replacing four of our older, gasoline-powered cars in the county motor pool with Nissan LEAF electric vehicles. These vehicles, which will be used by employees conducting official county business, offer a host of benefits that include dramatically lower and more predictable fuel costs, less maintenance and cleaner air. This investment helps Multnomah County bring our country a step closer to energy independence.

Our commitment to making smart investments in clean technology doesn’t just end with electric vehicles. Other recent strides we’ve made to reduce the county’s footprint include: 

  • Switching to virtual servers in our IT department and building an energy-efficient data center in the basement of our new LEED-Gold rated East County Courthouse.
  • Installing a system funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in more than 90 percent of county-owned space to monitor and improve climate control, air handling and lighting.
  • Retrofitting Inverness Jail laundry facilities with energy efficient dryers and washing machines that capture, filter and reuse wastewater.
  • Placing eco-roofs on several county properties, including the Multnomah Building and the Central Library in order to absorb rainwater and minimize runoff. Eco-roofs normally extend the lifespan of conventional roofs and act as an insulator, thereby reducing energy.  
  • Reducing our impact on the stormwater system by placing pervious pavers, a porous surface used in the Rockwood Library parking lot, and putting in bio-swales at various county sites.

Making investments in clean technology doesn’t just help us lower county operating costs -- it’s the right thing to do for community and the planet.  And we will continue to dedicate ourselves to being ecologically and fiscally responsible as we carry on in the service of Multnomah County residents.