Portland Leaders Make the Case for Sustainability

Portland Leaders Make the Case for Sustainability
September 20, 2016
Posted by:
Kelley Martin

Sustainable Business OregonPortland Business JournalBy James CroninJust what is "sustainability," and is it still relevant? That's the question the Business Journal sought to answer with a recent panel on the topic.Our editors have been trying to determine whether the word is still useful for companies concerned with their business practices and overall impact, or if the phrase had lost its heft, similar to the way "green" is used for any and all things environment.

It's a topic that, you can probably guess, is near and dear to my work.

The Business Journal asked five panelists to address the idea. There was Amelia Pape, the founder of the mobile grocery store My Street Grocery and director of food access programs for Whole Foods Market; Jeff Allen, executive director of Drive Oregon; Susan Anderson, director of the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability; Virgil Beaston, chief technology officer for Powin Energy; and Justin Zeulner, executive director of the Green Sports Alliance.

It became apparent that the word holds different weight for different people and industries. But it is still relevant, and a strong piece of Portland's identity.

“What’s important to me is how people define it,” said the city’s Anderson. “People think about sustainability as everything from taking shorter showers to electric vehicles to recycling.”