Portland's BEST (Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow) Business Center this spring is helping about 15 local businesses learn how to measure, reduce and offset their greenhouse gas emissions, writes
Jessica A. Knoblauch with SustainableIndustries.com.

With a dearth of local climate change consultants to choose from, including Ecos Consulting, Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Blue Tree Strategies Inc. to name a few, the BEST Business Center chose Ecotrust Canada, which was launched in 1994 by Portland-based Ecotrust, to lead the three half-day workshops.

“The hope is that these workshops will demystify the carbon inventory process and businesses will be able to connect greening their business operations with a tangible impact on climate protection,” says Andria Jacob, conservation program manager at Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. She says Ecotrust Canada got the job because it's the only company whose curriculum is based around working in a collaborative environment with other like-minded businesses.

“Ecotrust brought to the table not only a thorough technical understanding of how to do a carbon inventory, but they also already have that learning and peer networking piece built in,” Jacob explains. “It was a perfect fit.”

If the Portland pilot series proves successful, the workshops may become a permanent service offering of the BEST Business Center, Jacob says.