Portland Community College: Going green, growing green

PCC is a staple in our community. As Oregon’s largest post-secondary institution, PCC offers degrees, certificate programs, training, alternative education and life-long learning. Did you know about the college’s commitment to sustainability?

PCC purchases Clean WindSM power at the gold level as part of an action plan to help reduce its carbon footprint. The college has adopted aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets —80 percent reduction below 2006 levels by 2050. Sustainability manager Briar Schoon says purchasing renewable energy is an easy way to help reach that goal while supporting and encouraging the renewable sector.

PCC goes green in many other ways, including:

  • Achieving LEED Platinum and Gold certifications for construction projects
  • Green cleaning practices
  • Incorporating sustainability concepts into more than 130 courses
  • Adopting learning gardens

Learning Gardens

At the Rock Creek campus, the food waste from the school is used as food for worms. The worms transform the food into healthy compost to fuel the Learning Garden. The vegetables, fruit and flowers from the Learning Garden are available at PCC’s farm stand and donated to local centers. So, when all is said and done, the Rock Creek Campus system is helping to nourish the community.

You can visit the garden, learn about beekeeping (they have six healthy hives on-site) and see this system for yourself. In fact, the college is expanding their learning garden program which also includes a garden at the Sylvania Campus, one in progress at the Southeast Campus and one developing at the Net Zero Newberg Center.

Learn more about PCC’s green practices, visit a Learning Garden or find a class that interests you!