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GoGreen Conference highlights climate-friendly business practices

GoGreen Conference highlights climate-friendly business practices Caleb Diehl

The 10th annual GoGreen conference took place yesterday at the Gerding Theater in Portland.  Here are a few highlights:

A morning panel focused on water and energy saving technologies.

Portland Roasting Coffee has added a roasting machine than captures the heat it produces and uses that energy to drive a turbine and produce electricity, similar to how a steam turbine operates. Mark Stell, managing partner and owner, said the new technology could make it possible for Portland Roasting Coffee to offset all of the electricity usage in its facility in the next two years.

IMG 0569Go Green panelists discuss climate action in business

Philippe Lacamp, senior vice president, Americas, at Cathay Pacific Airlines, described the company’s efforts to use biofuel generated from municipal solid waste. The company uses a 10% biofuel in its jets, the maximum allowed by federal restrictions.

Val Fishman, chief development officer at Bonneville Environmental Foundation, applauded companies working to reduce their freshwater usage. Locally, Intel currently returns 80% of the water it uses for cleaning microchips and other operations back to the community. The company is constructing a water recycling plant, and has set a goal of restoring 100% of the water it uses by 2025.

IMG 0571Exhibitors at the 2017 GoGreen Conference

Another panel discussed two public-private partnerships: Prosper Portland’s plan to develop the Post Office site in the Broadway Corridor, and a greenfield development in South Hillsboro.

“It will be like putting a new city the size of Forest Grove in Hillsboro,” said Peter Brandom, senior project manager for the city of Hillsboro.

The development could potentially include smart home technology, solar-ready hookups, charging stations for electric vehicles and TESLA Powerwalls for storing the electricity generated by solar panels.

The Broadway Corridor project could create up to 4,000 jobs, said Lisa Abuaf, development manager for Prosper Portland, and would consist of 30% affordable housing. Prosper Portland wants the project to focus on job and housing opportunities for minorities.

“We really wanted to think about the question, ‘who has access to the location and the opportunities there?'” she said.

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