“At PGE, diversity, equity and inclusion are part of our core values. Everyone should feel welcomed, safe and valued when they bring their whole selves to work. We succeed as a company and community by bringing together diverse perspectives, experiences and backgrounds. We’re pleased to offer jobs where our employees are making a real difference in the communities they care about.”Anne Mersereau, Vice President of Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion
Employee-led electric vehicle replacement
One of our maintenance managers, Craig Tylenda, saw an opportunity to reduce his plant’s greenhouse gas footprint, while showing his employees what it’s like to walk the talk of “going electric.”
In the past, the plant’s work vehicles were primarily gas- and diesel-powered pickup trucks. Tylenda took it upon himself to research viable alternatives and determined that the same day-to-day functions could be achieved using a smaller fleet of electric vehicles (EVs).
When the time came to retire those vehicles, the plant replaced six full-sized pickup trucks with four fully electric Polaris GEM vehicles, three fully equipped industrial tricycles and a pair of bicycles. The plant’s maintenance team has retrofitted the vehicle beds with racks and storage cabinets as needed for the site work. And, while a few full-sized trucks will be kept for specialized applications, like providing a portable welding platform, EVs will continue to be integrated into the fleet.
In addition to providing equal performance to their less sustainable counterparts, they are also quieter, more fuel efficient and idle more cleanly.
While we’re starting to make more EV options available across the company, we’re also going to downsize equipment that doesn’t have an EV alternative. That means large V8 engines will be replaced by more fuel-efficient V6s, smaller trucks will replace bulky half-ton pickups, and smaller SUVs will supplant full-size SUVs.
In total, we purchased 15 new plug-in vehicles for our fleet in 2017.
This initiative was a great example of the sustainability culture we’re working to create at PGE, where sustainable thinking is embedded in how we approach everything we do.
People, Planet, and Performance: Battery-operated tool replacement project
As a triple-bottom-line initiative, our employee-led battery-operated tool replacement project resulted in safer practices, less operational waste and a reduction in cost. This program involved swapping out our manual tools — which were the cause of many strains and sprains — for replacement options that were more ergonomically appropriate for our line of work.
The new tools included rechargeable batteries that are interchangeable between tools, reducing battery waste as well as the space needed for specialized batteries. This program was also able to save time and money by reducing our ordering time and streamlining our battery-charging processes.
In addition to the replacement tools serving as a sustainable business improvement, employees donated the manual tools — more than 600 in total — to the Brady’s Barrels program, which supports proper training and safety work procedures for line workers in developing countries.
We’re not satisfied: Recommitting ourselves to safety
Safety is at the forefront of everything we do. That’s why we were so troubled by the number and severity of safety issues we had in early 2018.
In the matter of a few months, our number of employees getting injured was steadily rising. It showed the need to reset our thinking as we move forward on our Journey to Zero injuries.
Led by our president and CEO, Maria Pope, we are working with leadership to heighten, intensify and emphasize the level of accountability for safety for every employee — regardless of role or level. We all own this, and we are working together to create a sustainable safe workplace.
As part of that effort, we recruited new leadership that brought significant experience tackling safety issues, and we worked to solidify a stronger, unified partnership with our IBEW partner.
We take the safety of every employee very seriously, and we’re committed to moving forward on our safety journey in 2018. No job is so important that we can’t take the time to do it safely.
For more information, check out the Quality Workforce section of our Key Metrics summary.