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Written by Rachael Elston


Posted on May 23 2019

We made it, we did it, we are so excited! The team has worked so hard to get us to this point. We are now GOLD CERTIFIED from the Sustainability at Work program here in Portland. Our commitment to sustainability is now recognized by the city at the highest level and we are one of only 200 other businesses that have achieved this Gold Certification. 

Our new award is so pretty and the wood was repurposed from Salvage Works wood, so even our award is sustainable!

Now, what does that mean? What this program promotes is taking your business to a more sustainable level and striving to create less waste that impacts our city and our planet. You can read all about the guidelines and the process here

Why did we want to do this? At Seaworthy, we focus on sustainability and intentionality in everything that we do, from the start of the process, to the finished product. This includes everything from using recycled metals, plastic free packaging and supporting other like-minded small businesses. To see a little closer look into what we do day to day and the process check out the video we created (HERE).

Sustainability was a focus for Seaworthy before finding this program, but Sustainability at Work gives us another set of eyes on our practices and a set of guidelines to improve upon what we already had in place. 

How did we do this?

To achieve the Gold Certification we had to complete a certain number of actions within a variety of different categories, such as: energy consumption, water usage, community engagement and so on. These actions could range from simple changes such as using low flow faucets and LED bulbs, to having a member of the staff give back to the community through a leadership role. 

We have done all of the above and more! Including hosting free events in our space, to share what we've learned about the process and hopefully spark some additional changes within our community. We have also adopted a bioswale and participated in local clean up days around the neighborhood. We switched our retail packaging to post-consumer, recyclable mailers and don't use any single use plastic. 

In addition, we created an internal system to sort through the items that can recycled, reused, donated, etc.  Shown below is a photo our bin collection in the "recycling room." Each bin is clearly labeled for easy sorting. We even have a bin for "question marks," items that we think might have another life but we're just not sure what it's going to be yet. 

When we receive some of our parts, they come in little plastic bags, so we found a place here in Portland that reuses these bags for projects, so we consolidate the bags as they come in and donate them when we have enough. This is just one way that we have created change in our process to get our certification.

We are so proud of what we have worked so hard together to accomplish. We all joked once we got the Gold Certification that we would create the newest tier that is Platinum and strive to get that.

We are also so lucky that our in house Sustainability expert, Marley, is always pushing us forward and creating an environment where we can draw from her knowledge and find out how to be more sustainable. (Thank you Marley! You're the best!)

Make sure to check out the facebook page that we created (link here) all about sustainable business and bringing people together in our community to work towards being more sustainable. 

If you are a business interested in this process and want to start your own journey check out the Portland Sustainability at Work program here.