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|Articles - June 2014|
|Thursday, May 29, 2014|
Page 5 of 6
LESSON 4: Antagonism between businesses and environmentalists is declining.
Roseburg’s embracing of green marketing opportunities illustrates just how far Oregon’s environmental conversation has progressed. In the 1990s, eco-activists were spiking trees and setting firebombs to fight logging in this state. In the early 2000s, guards wore Kevlar vests to protect themselves from crowds angry about water conflicts in Southern Oregon. Today environmentalists have calmed down, and many businesses have embraced their messages — or are even driving green policy.
“Working on environmental policy is not a smooth process; there’s still a lot of debate,” Ford says. Loggers want access to burned timber on federal lands scarred by last year’s wildfires, for example. Environmentalists want more restrictions on timber-company pesticides. “But our governor and his administration have provided a forum for us to work together toward compromises.”
Not every corporate proposal is winning environmentalist support — but businesses increasingly fall on both sides of these disputes. Battles over fossil fuels have especially divided the business community, with high-tech and clean-energy businesses often siding with environmentalists. Nine Oregon companies joined 200 businesses that wrote to the Obama administration opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline in March. Among them: 3E Strategies, an environmental consulting firm owned by Gov. Kitzhaber’s girlfriend, Cylvia Hayes, and AmeriStar Solar, which develops portable solar-power systems for the armed forces.
The University of Oregon, an early adopter of environmental policies and research, has a front-row view of businesses’ growing environmentalism. “It’s undeniable that sustainability is becoming an ever-bigger aspect of our national economy and our regional economy,” says university president Michael Gottfredson.
Gottfredson touts UO’s environmental studies program, with 500 students enrolled, and its environmentally focused law and architecture degree options. Increasingly, however, businesses are interested in more than just the workers that the university produces — they want to learn from faculty. Chemistry research into raw materials, for example, has drawn the interest of companies making products that consumers don’t hold on to. Used gadgets are filling landfills and creating waste-disposal nightmares — and businesses want access to research that will help develop products that cause less environmental harm.
“The sustainability movement is a huge business proposition,” Gottfredson says. “There is value-added synergy when we bring businesses and environmental opportunities together.”
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia landlord.
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.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
An international architecture firm known for its design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York unveiled its plan this week for a modern indoor/outdoor food market at the foot of the Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.
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