The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition is one of six Oregon non-profit organizations and businesses that were honored today by Governor John Kitzhaber and Secretary of State Kate Brown for their sustainability efforts. Two of the Coalition’s partner organizations, the Corvallis School District and First Alternative Co-op, were also honored during the awards program, which was held as part of the Future Energy Conference in Portland.
Joining the three Corvallis-based organizations as winners of the 2010 Oregon Sustainability Awards were Burgerville (large business category), Northwoods Nursery (small business category), and the Port of Portland (NGO/Government category). All six were recognized for taking dramatic and comprehensive steps to incorporate sustainability into their operations and to set themselves up as examples for other organizations of their type and size.
“We are working hard to rebuild Oregon’s economy so that it is truly sustainable, and these pioneering companies and organizations are strong examples of how we can achieve this,” said Governor Kitzhaber.
“It is truly an honor to recognize these organizations for their outstanding efforts in supporting Oregon’s economy while reducing the impact on the environment,” added Secretary of State Brown, who chairs the Oregon Sustainability Board. “These private and government groups are real innovators for the future and their work should inspire us all to live more sustainable lives both at work and at home. All the winners deserve our deepest gratitude.”
The Oregon Sustainability Awards were established in 2006 by then Governor Ted Kulongoski, who directed the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department (now known as Business Oregon) to establish an awards program to promote and advance the inclusion of sustainable practices in government and the private sector.
The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition, a network of nearly 200 organizational partners and hundreds of individual volunteers, was recognized for utilizing a grassroots-led process to create a Community Sustainability Action Plan, thus providing a model for communities pursuing all three core components of sustainability – environmental, social, and economic. In their award application, the Coalition noted that “our organization is unique in the state, in both the scope of its work and the numbers of local partner organizations and individuals that are involved. Hopefully, our work can inform and encourage others to create sustainable communities.”
The Corvallis School District and the First Alternative Co-op have both been among the most active organizations in the Coalition, collaborating with other partners in pursuit of goals outlined in the Action Plan. The District established a Sustainability Steering Committee in 2008 to create a deliberate, comprehensive plan for becoming a school district in which sustainability is modeled in its operations and integrated into its curricula. The First Alternative Co-op has implemented many sustainable features into its operations and has taken a lead role in three of the Coalition’s action teams.