Proceed with caution

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Articles - June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014

BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | PHOTOS BY JASON KAPLAN*
*ROGER LEE PHOTO BY JOE KLINE; ALLYN FORD PHOTO BY ROBIN LOZNAK

0614leadersWhen we want to hear about the state of Oregon’s green economy and where it’s headed, we often turn to people who think about sustainable business practices for a living: the CEOs and innovators heading up clean-tech companies, the sustainability directors at large corporations and policy experts at eco-nonprofits. But the state faces environmental risks — and economic opportunities — that go far beyond these usual suspects. So we took a slightly different approach to the subject by turning to the power players: the men and women shaping public policy and building the business strategies that define Oregon’s economy. A few of the people we interviewed might be considered environmental leaders (Gov. Kitzhaber, for example). The majority, including financial manager Charles Wilhoite, are not. Here is a sampling of the questions we asked: What would it mean for Oregon to have a green economy? What’s the appropriate balance between policy action and private-sector leadership? How important is it for Oregon to be a national environmental leader from an economic point of view? Are we maintaining or bolstering our reputation?

Not everyone wanted to participate. The Standard offered up a spokesman but declined a request to talk to CEO Gregory Ness. Nike said no to any interviews with company officials. Intel, which recently revealed it has been unknowingly emitting fluoride air pollution in Hillsboro for decades, declined our interview request but sent us documents about the company’s sustainability efforts

But many leaders did agree to talk. We interviewed Gov. Kitzhaber, Portland’s mayor, the heads of companies such as PGE and Roseburg Forest Products, the president of the University of Oregon and leaders of major industry groups. 

Here are five lessons gleaned from those conversations.



 

Comments   

 
Guest
0 #1 ownerGuest 2014-06-09 21:19:23
It is interesting that public giants like Nike and Intel refuse to participate. More alarming is the pollution Intel put upon us here in Oregon. Nike does it through the jet stream from China in various forms including acid rain that comes here daily. Conformed reports show 30% of the daily air pollution in Oregon comes from Asia and most of that China.
Of course the governors offices in China even if they had any never are going to be green leaders nor is the gov't of China going to get their pollution corrected and over seen by what we have here like the EPA.
The sky over Oregon is not confined in a bubble.
It is made up of everything moving thru it from wherever and easily charted daily.
That sky pollutes everything called Oregon from air to and to water and all habitats human,natural and animal and vegetable.

So Why Not begin like folks in Montana call their BIG SKY and define Oregon's Big Sky and really make things happen.

Last week I signeda petitin to force the labeling of foods that use GMO's

Well how about labels for anything that is produced outside of Oregon that comes here riddled with pollution both in actual product and the air that carries it sooner and in an open form that causes at this time far more damage.

Putting a label on what folks like Nike and Intel and others create here inOregon will at least make the public aware of what they are supporting with their purchasing dollars.
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