In Your Office

There are many ways employees can help make Washington County more sustainable. Employees are encouraged to use sustainable strategies and best practices in order to be good stewards of County resources and support a culture of sustainability. 

If you are a Washington County employee, you can use the self-training tools below to better understand our policies and activities. Here are key areas where employees are taking steps to advance sustainability in day-to-day operations.

Understand Sustainability

Washington County recognizes the role and responsibility for public agencies to protect and conserve natural resources, use financial resources effectively and efficiently, and celebrate the achievements of a healthy and productive organization.

Sustainability at work begins with understanding how you can better serve the public, conserve resources, and improve the work environment for yourself and your coworkers.

Self-Training Opportunities:

Energy

Washington County is working hard to reduce building energy use to save money and resources.

Self Training Opportunities:

Recycle

Recycling at Washington County offices is similar to residential curbside recycling in Washington County -- most paper, plastic and metal is combined in one mixed recycling bin and glass is collected separately.

Self-Training Opportunities:

Waste

Washington County is also trying to reduce the amount of garbage generated. Recycling is one way to do this, but reducing consumption and reusing items are even better.

Self-Training Opportunities:

Contact Sustainability to reserve durable dishes and tablecloths for County events. By borrowing reusable dishware and tablecloths, departments can save money and reduce garbage by reusing resources. 

Active Transportation

Washington County is working to expand and develop safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists while reducing the impact of our operations on air quality and promoting a healthy environment.


Self-Training Opportunities:

County Bike Fleet Program:

 

Washington County's bike fleet program provides employees with an active transportation option in the County fleet. The fleet, managed by the Sustainability Division, was initiated with five easy-to-ride cruising bikes, available for employee business or personal use. 

To reserve a bike for the first time each year, employees must download and complete the bike fleet waiver form then email it to Sustainability, along with desired bike size, dates of usage and pick up time. For more information and bike sizing, please view the Bike Fleet Program Manual. Employees who have a signed waiver on file can simply email Sustainability for a reservation. Bikes are available to check out for up to two weeks at a time with one reservation, and they can be picked up at the downtown Hillsboro campus from 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday. Reservations will be confirmed within one business day by Outlook calendar appointment, accompanied by access information and a rider information packet. Employees are required to wear a helmet when riding a County bicycle. Staff can use their own personal helmet or use a shared helmet provided by the County. PLEASE NOTE that the Bike Fleet program is temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Carpool

Washington County participates in the regional carpool matching program through Get There Oregon, operated by Oregon Department of Transportation. This is Oregon's easy-to-use trip planning tool that will help you connect to transportation options, including finding a carpool match, joining a vanpool, finding transit options, locating bike share stations, and more! You can even look for bike-pool partners and find bike routes. To learn more and sign up, visit https://getthereoregon.org. Your neighbors and co-workers need to get somewhere, just like you. Get There makes it easy to get where you are going - it's a central location to find a carpool partner anywhere in Oregon. 

Transit

The County encourages employees to utilize public transit. All regular employees are eligible for a free TriMet HOP fastpass. TriMet operates mass transit throughout the Portland metropolitan region, including Washington County. Employees should consider their commute options and contact Human Resources to receive their personalized pass. Your employee pass is a valid substitute for buying a ticket so long as you have it with you and tap it before each ride.

Telecommuting and Alternative Work Schedules

The County has adopted policies allowing telecommuting and alternative work schedules for employees. These policies support the County’s sustainability efforts to reduce commuting impacts, save resources and promote a healthy environment.

310: Alternative Work Schedule refers to a pre-authorized recurring work schedule that differs from the standard one, usually 8 am – 5 pm. This policy also allows for flex-time or moving shift time for a day. Procedure 310-A provides information on how to request a different schedule and utilize this policy.

311: Telecommuting refers to working at home in lieu of traveling to a County workplace. This may be available for positions requiring minimal direct supervision or face-to-face contact, and for tasks that can be done without being on County premises. It requires a telecommuting agreement. Procedure 311-A provides additional details on using the policy.

These policies serve as tools to support employee and community needs. They are not a universal benefit. Employees can work with their manager to determine whether they are able to utilize these options.

Resources

  • The County Information Technology Services division supports remote work options with tools and technology. Here is a quick overview of telework security tips.
  • The County Wellness program features information and tools for staying healthy, regardless of where you are working.
  • The County Risk Management division can assist with safety and virtual ergonomic assessments for workspaces. Here is a basic ergonomic overview
  • Get There Oregon provides helpful tips and resources for people working remotely.
  • Westside Transportation Alliance has information about the personal benefits of flex-time and teleworking.  

Social Sustainability

Many people ask why there is a "social" component of sustainability. The short answer is that people are impacted by the environment and the economy, so their considerations need to be taken into account with sustainability decisions. 

Employee Suggestion Program

Washington County values input from employees! The Employee Suggestion Program is designed to gather sustainable ideas that save the County money, reduce resource use or improve efficiency or equity of operations. To learn more, read the program overview. To see the suggestions implemented in the program, read the latest summary. County employees may submit their ideas via the online form at this page.  


Beaverton Transit Center MAX Station recycle-garbage pair bike rack at County