What’s good for the environment is also good for business

Two former board members of Oregon Environmental Council, Tom Kelly and Bill Edmonds, share their views on why strong collaboration with business is what makes smart solutions for Oregon’s environment.

Read the full guest column published in the Portland Business Journal – Sep 5, 2018

Here’s an excerpt…
Here’s a common misconception: pro-environment and pro-business policies are irreconcilably opposed to one another. In truth, what’s good for the environment is good for business. Without a livable environment, of what value is a successful business? The very word “sustainability” means “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.” By working together to create a sustainable economy in Oregon, we’re helping protect the natural grandeur we love, while making sure that homegrown industries are maintained for future generations.

If you look at even a few of Oregon’s biggest environmental wins, you’ll see how environmental progress and economic progress are inseparable.

Oregon’s Clean Fuels Standard, for example, reduces pollution from the transportation sector. It’s creating a healthier environment in Oregon and strengthening our economy simultaneously. By utilizing cleaner fuels, we’re not only putting less greenhouse gasses into the air we breathe, we’re also diversifying the mix of fuel we use, creating a strong, local alternative fuels market. The program is creating more jobs for Oregonians and keeping more dollars in our state. Just look at SeQuential, based in Portland, with a biodiesel production facility in Salem, and a fueling station in Eugene. They hired 100 new employees since the Clean Fuels Program first took effect. This is but a beginning. The program supports clean fuels jobs for new renewable natural gas — like the new station thecity of Portland is building at their wastewater treatment plant — as well as jobs for the build-out of new electric vehicle charging stations.

More on Portland Business Journal: Guest column: What’s good for the environment is also good for business

Tom Kelly is chair of the Oregon Business Alliance for Climate Board of Directors, and president of remodeling contracting firm Neil Kelly. Bill Edmonds is director of environmental management and sustainability for Northwest Natural.

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