Skip to main content

Washington County’s Climate-Friendly Work

Learn about how Washington County is focusing on climate work.

Promoting sustainability in our community

Washington County has several programs that reduce the carbon footprint of our organization, help the community respond to climate change, and make our communities more environmentally friendly.

Below are some examples of the work our departments are doing in three important areas to make our County operations and our community more sustainable.


Four solar installations provide energy to County facilities, two electric vehicles are available in the motor pool for employees for County business related travel, renewable diesel is used in fleet vehicles, and the county is a participant in the Portland General Electric (PGE) Green Future Impact program for clean electricity.

Community efforts include upgraded streetlights to efficient LEDs, the installation of solar-powered traffic control devices, the installation of battery backup systems at traffic signals, the adoption of the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE) program to support property owners finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. The Wood Stove Exchange Program (addresses air quality both inside and outside the home while supporting the installation of energy efficient heating sources in the community) and HOME Program (supports housing projects, including energy efficiency projects, benefiting people with low income) are available through the Office of Community Development).


Staff utilize telecommuting/remote work schedule and alternative work schedules where possible.

Improvement of pedestrian and biking projects infrastructureon county-managed streets and intelligent transportation projects aim to reduce congestion and tail pipe emissions from idling.

Waste Management

Paperless services and online processes are implemented by several County departments. The partnership with Free Geek to recycle, to repurpose overall toxic e-waste and the donation of reusable deconstructed building materials to nonprofit organizations, helps to reduce waste.

The Solid Waste and Recycling program provides the collection of food scraps for businesses and residents of urban unincorporated Washington County, as well as education and outreach initiatives about sustainable consumption and repair options. Free waste prevention resources and trainings for businesses are available through the Green Business Leaders program.

Board of Commissioners climate conversations

The Washington County Board of Commissioners routinely discusses climate change. In 2022, they directed staff from the Office of Sustainability and Public Health Division to collaborate on work addressing climate change in the community. Watch the past presentations in the links below.

March 2023 – Climate Adaptation – Sustainability and Public Health

November 2022 – Climate Action Planning, Part 2

July 2022 – Climate Action Planning, Part 1

April 2022 – Green Business Award and Earth Day Proclamation

August 2021 – Overview of Transit Improvement Initiatives

Learn about more of our climate-friendly work

If you'd like to learn more about climate-friendly work being done by Washington County, we encourage you to visit these related County webpages.