Sustainable Practices - Departments - Small Business Development Center

Sustainable Practices - Departments

July 2013 Featured Department:  Small Business Development Center

Small Business Development Center
SBDC's Jim Lindly and
Bethany Robinson accepting
the Green Office Certificate

Lane's Small Business Development Center supports local small businesses by offering a wide range of services and training.  It is one of 19 centers throughout Oregon and 1100 Centers nationwide.  Located at the new Downtown Campus, the SBDC is the first Lane department to receive the Green Office Certification and they achieved it at the highest level - Triple Green Star. 

Developed by the Sustainability Committee, the Green Office Certification is a tool for departments and divisions to use to improve sustainable practices, earn rewards, and have fun.

"The Triple Green Star Green Office Certification was very important to our department so we could demonstrate to our students and clients that we practice what we preach. The program has helped our staff realize the importance of these cost saving practices and I'd encourage all departments at Lane to make it a goal for the 2013-2014 school year." – Jim Lindly, SBDC Director

In celebration of their good work and dedication to sustainability, SBDC employees were treated to a lunch party made from fresh produce from Lane's Learning Garden.

Learning Garden

The Small Business Development Center achieved 20 out of 25 points for sustainable practices such as:

  • Turning off lights when they are not needed.
  • Using computer power management features to turn off monitors and power down computers.
  • Ensuring that all computers are turned off at night.
  • Supplying reusable dishes, cups, and silverware at department meetings.
  • Having a wellness station where employees can exercise or stretch during breaks.
  • Including sustainability in all job postings and interviews.
  • Having a representative on the Sustainability Committee.

SBDC even received an innovation point for a practice called "Quick and Easy Kaizen."  Bethany Robinson, SBDC Business Relations Coordinator, explains, "Each staff member in our department has the opportunity to make creative changes that continually improve the work environment and the work that we do.  The goal is to implement these changes quickly and integrate them without disrupting the existing work flow. Using this practice has helped us adjust to the new physical space we moved into and connect with our clients, by streamlining processes. This heightens the level of customer service we provide."

SBDC not only conducts these green practices within their department, they also use them in their trainings for local businesses.  These practices include:

  • Using PowerPoint presentations and emailing materials to clients instead of printing.
  • Conducting conference calls and meeting directly with clients, thereby reducing transportation.

Bethany led the department in determining which points they would achieve and which they will work toward.  When asked about her experience of certifying her department, she says, "It is easy to assume you are being sustainable, but this process made the SBDC realize there were actions we could change or improve on.  The beauty of working towards the Triple Green Star Green Office Certification is that once you practice a sustainable action it becomes second nature."