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|Articles - June 2013|
|Tuesday, May 28, 2013|
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A more recent Eleek project was to re-create lighting fixtures for Seattle’s 1906 King Street train station, based solely on historic photos. The monumental fixtures differ from the originals only in their durability and in LED replacing gaslight.
A walk through Eleek’s two-story warehouse shows off the Eleek way of doing business. Numerous specific recycling bins are in easy reach of employees, hand towels hang in the break room with no paper towels in sight, and a compost tub awaits the neighbors’ gardens. Less obvious are the facts that no toxic substances are used in manufacturing, and local scrap metal and other recycled materials are first choices, as well as products that come from sustainable businesses and from within a 50-mile radius, in order to help reduce their carbon footprint.
On the social-sustainability side, Eleek hires from the neighborhood, pays full benefits, offers flexible scheduling and pays bonuses to employees who walk, bike or bus to work. And even during trying economic times, they have never laid off an employee, cut benefits or failed to pay a bill.
“It’s about honesty, integrity and doing the right thing,” says Clark. “If you’re not operating from the highest place, then you’re not really being sustainable.” Clark declined to share revenues, but named 2008 as the company’s most successful year yet. A large lighting commission for a shopping mall in Missouri doubled Eleek’s revenue. Numerous awards and national recognition, such as being named one of the 25 most promising social entrepreneurs by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2010, have resulted in commissions across the country.
Meanwhile, VOIS, which bills itself as the “Chamber of Change,” continues to enlarge its network of sustainable businesses — although Clark has encountered a few obstacles. After a controversial board shake-up last fall, she has accepted a less active role as a member of the advisory council. Clark has her hands full with Eleek’s new projects, including another train station restoration, this time lighting fixtures for the 1926 Sacramento (Calif.) Station. There are also the occasional tours to lead, mostly for designers and architects. “What we do in-house is pretty amazing,” says Clark. “People love seeing how things are made.”
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN
Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.
"I feel private enterprises are capable of operating at a higher efficiency than state government."
"This has been used in Oregon since the mid-1800s. It is not a new financing method. This form of financing may help Oregon close its infrastructure deficit by leveraging funds."
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Pushing the extreme.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
While most categories of commercial real estate have performed well, one of the most robust has been apartment buildings.
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
As part of our green workplaces story, Oregon Business checked out a community service project undertaken by Portland Youth Builders, a nonprofit alternative high school. In partnership with Whole Foods, PYB built garden boxes for a Home Forward housing site. Home Forward is a government agency that provides housing for low income residents and people with disabilities.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.
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