2021 Climate Action Plan
PCC’s 2021 Climate Action Plan: Resiliency, Equity, and Education for a Just Transition is the college’s five-year roadmap toward climate justice. Unified under a shared vision, PCC’s 2021 Climate Action Plan establishes a new carbon neutrality goal of 2040 and builds off an impressive amount of work done to date to outline clear pathways for equity-focused climate action to be woven throughout operations, academics, student engagement, and future planning.
PCC’s 2021 CAP has four focus areas, two of which address PCC’s GHG emissions from its operations, a section focused on education and outreach to ensure the PCC community has the tools, resources, and knowledge to lead in climate action, and resiliency to help PCC equitably adapt to global climate change. Each focus area has five-year goals and associated strategies, vetted through a Climate Action Equity Guide, to set PCC on the path to 2040 carbon neutrality and climate justice.
PCC envisions an equity-focused transition to a resilient, thriving society with net zero greenhouse gas emissions that addresses historical injustices, through education and empowering a diverse community to engage in climate action.
PCC provides climate education, green workforce development, and carbon-neutral operations, and advances collective action to confront the global climate crisis in support of a Just Transition.
- Planning for the future is critical for student success. We will prepare our grounds, facilities, and operations for a changing climate.
- Education is a human right. We will apply integrative learning strategies to empower students, staff, and faculty to adapt to and thrive in a changing environment.
- Everything is connected. We will continue to use our college as living laboratories where PCC and the community can be engaged in stewardship and research sustainability solutions.
- Success requires equity. We will actively use social justice and equity frameworks to center those impacted most in creating climate and sustainability solutions.
- Our responsibility to our community goes beyond the college’s doors. We will root climate action in our bioregion in the Pacific Northwest, while ensuring that we reduce our global carbon footprint.
- We can go further together. We will work collaboratively with our community and other stakeholders to support sustainability leadership development and a green workforce.
- A just transition is imperative. We will address historical injustices with restorative, place-based climate action to uplift and empower our diverse community.
Education and Outreach
- Goal 1 – Sustainability and Climate Justice Curriculum: By 2026, all students are supported and encouraged to engage with sustainability and climate justice education through student-centered curricular and co-curricular offerings that are equity-conscious.
- Goal 2 – Outreach and Engagement: By 2026, the college community is supported with outreach and engagement opportunities to develop the skills, knowledge, and practices necessary to lead a life active in sustainability and climate justice.
- Goal 3 – Community Connection: By 2026, PCC is an anchor institution to advance sustainability and climate justice in the broader community, with a focus on engagement with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led initiatives and frontline community priorities.
Scope 1 and 2
- Goal 1 – Energy Reduction: By 2026, PCC has reduced college energy consumption per square foot by 60% below 2006 levels.
- Goal 2 – Renewable Energy: By 2026, PCC has reduced its scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 75% below 2006 levels, through the decarbonization of its energy sources.
- Goal 3 – Fleet Emissions Reduction: By 2026, PCC has reduced college fleet fuel emissions by 25% below 2006 levels.
- Goal 1 – Sustainable Transportation and Travel: By 2026, PCC has reduced commuter and business travel greenhouse gas impacts per full-time equivalent by 20% below the 2006 baseline.
- Goal 2 – Sustainable Procurement: By 2026, PCC purchaser and vendor contracts align with PCC’s diversity, equity and inclusion, sustainability, and climate action goals and values to ensure the long-term viability of PCC’s enterprise.
- Goal 3 – Water Reduction: By 2026, PCC has reduced the college’s water consumption per square foot by 10% below 2019 levels.
- Goal 4 – Waste Diversion: By 2026, PCC has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from solid waste by 50% below 2006 levels.
- Goal 1 – Assessment: By 2026 PCC has completed a college resiliency assessment on the vulnerabilities and hazards associated with climate change to ensure the long-term viability of our enterprise. This assessment highlights threats to our frontline and vulnerable communities and centers those communities.
- Goal 2 – Support and Resources: By 2026, all departments and campuses at PCC have equitable access to ongoing financial support and resources for sustainability across all departments and campuses at PCC to ensure long-term viability.
- Goal 3 – Energy Resiliency: By 2026, PCC has developed energy resiliency strategies to reduce the impact of climate change in emergency scenarios and be agile in the face of change.
- Goal 4 – Ecological Health and Well-being: By 2026, PCC has incorporated design criteria that promote habitat stewardship and the well-being of students, staff, faculty, and the neighborhoods the college inhabits. These criteria contribute to healthy learning and working environments, ecosystem health, and a sense of belonging for all.
- Goal 5 – Alignment and Planning: By 2026, PCC has aligned its climate action and resiliency efforts with planning efforts both within PCC and across the region to cultivate sustainability and climate justice with service towards frontline and vulnerable communities as a guidepost.
Education and Outreach
Goal 1 – Sustainability and Climate Justice Curriculum: By 2026, all students are supported and encouraged to engage with sustainability and climate justice education through student-centered curricular and co-curricular offerings that are equity-conscious.
Expand sustainability and climate justice-related curricular offerings, with a focus on high enrollment courses and an equitable approach to diversifying student, program, and discipline representation.
Strategy 1.1 looks to expand and mainstream sustainability and climate justice curricular offerings equitably, extending beyond the “traditional disciplines” where these courses often appear. Implementing this strategy will require evaluating how these curricular offerings are currently distributed across the college, increasing and diversifying the faculty attending workshops on integrating sustainability and climate justice into their curriculum, and establishing targeted curriculum resources, such as signature assignments, for high enrollment and general education courses. Additionally, collaborating beyond PCC walls to establish state-wide learning outcomes and transfer opportunities in sustainability and climate justice will increase offerings and enrollment.
Enhance institutional awareness of and support for existing sustainability and climate justice curricular and co-curricular offerings.
Strategy 1.2 seeks to increase awareness of existing sustainability and climate justice curricular offerings, prioritizing those that also fulfill general education and other program requirements, as well as establishing a hub for faculty that houses resources such as SPARC’s 7 Green Learning Outcomes and living lab opportunities that utilize the campus as a tool to support learning outcomes. Additionally, it recognizes the need to institutionalize funding for existing co-curricular programs that are inequitably distributed or under-supported, such as Learning Gardens and the Rock Creek Environmental Studies Center.
Ensure all sustainability and climate justice curricular offerings are culturally responsive and support anti-racist pedagogies.
Strategy 1.3 calls for a culturally-responsive curriculum and anti-racist pedagogies across all sustainability and climate justice curricular offerings, in line with YESS and Belonging priorities of the college. Actions under this strategy include partnering with the Office of Equity & Inclusion, Professional and Organizational Development, and other college departments to co-host trainings and establishing resources for faculty to utilize anti-racist frameworks with a focus on decolonizing sustainability and climate change curriculum and dismantling white supremacy culture. This strategy also requires broadening representation in sustainability and climate justice-related curriculum, prioritizing the voices and work of frontline communities and those most impacted.
Support living wage workforce development in sustainability and climate justice fields to usher in a new generation of professionals meeting industry and community needs.
Strategy 1.4 prioritizes workforce development that supports community and industry needs around sustainability and climate justice. This includes supporting training, technical expertise, and skill development in sustainable practices to address the climate crisis in Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Community Education. This will also require connecting with relevant community partners to ensure workforce training and curriculum supporting the priorities and needs of industries and organizations advancing sustainability and climate justice, as well as exploring funding and partnership opportunities through local initiatives such as the Portland Clean Energy Fund.
Goal 2 – Outreach and Engagement: By 2026, the college community is supported with outreach and engagement opportunities to develop the skills, knowledge, and practices necessary to lead a life active in sustainability and climate justice.
Provide accessible and inclusive mentoring, networking, and professional development opportunities for students to cultivate the next cohort of sustainability and climate justice practitioners.
Strategy 2.1 seeks to empower students in their sustainability and climate justice work through targeted professional development, meaningful opportunities to engage in program decision-making at the college, and workshops and conferences. Additionally, there is a focus on supporting student resiliency and providing resources for climate grief and eco-anxiety.
Expand culturally responsive sustainability and climate justice outreach and engagement offerings across the college, with a focus on diversifying participation, voices, and collaborators.
Strategy 2.2 looks to increase sustainability and climate justice outreach and engagement offerings, with a focus on culturally competent programming and diversifying representation and participation. This will require full-time staff support as well as building off current relationships and establishing new partnerships across college centers, student leaders, and academic programs.
Increase engagement and participation in current sustainability and climate justice events and initiatives across the college.
Strategy 2.3 aims to advance awareness of and participation in current sustainability and climate justice engagement offerings at the college. Actions to promote this include establishing sustainability awareness training in the student and new employee orientation, recognizing accomplishments with an annual award ceremony, and better-utilizing tools such as GivePulse to promote and track engagement.
Enhance awareness of operational sustainability initiatives, including how students, staff, and faculty impact and can engage with these efforts.
Strategy 2.4 supports educational efforts and behavior change campaigns that promote operational sustainability at the college. This includes supporting outreach and engagement-related strategies across Scopes 1 and 2, Scope 3, and Resiliency focus areas, such as strategic energy management and sustainable purchasing.
Goal 3 – Community Connection: By 2026, PCC is an anchor institution to advance sustainability and climate justice in the broader community, with a focus on engagement with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led initiatives and frontline community priorities.
Strengthen existing partnerships between PCC and local sustainability and climate justice organizations, ensuring the benefits center those most impacted, including frontline and vulnerable communities.
Strategy 3.1 requires inventorying and surveying current partnerships to identify needs and opportunities, as well as identifying PCC programs and resources available to support the goals and needs of partner community organizations advancing sustainability and climate justice. Evaluation is also important and gathering feedback on partnerships to ensure continuous improvement is crucial.
Build new partnerships to support and promote local BIPOC community-led sustainability and climate justice efforts.
Strategy 3.2 seeks to build new partnerships through intentional engagement and supporting ongoing efforts. This includes connecting with organizations engaged in regional climate justice efforts such as the Portland Clean Energy Fund, Portland’s Climate Fellows, and Oregon Just Transition Alliance.
Use PCC training programs and other college resources to empower the local community in advancing sustainability and climate justice for a Just Transition from fossil fuels.
Strategy 3.3 acknowledges the wealth of PCC resources that can be utilized to empower and advance local sustainability and climate justice initiatives. Actions for this strategy include increasing awareness in the broader community of PCC sustainability and climate justice efforts, with a focus on ways to collaborate and seek support. This may vary from partnering on Portland Clean Energy Fund projects, expanding community education course offerings, and hosting community-led forums, symposiums, and other events in support of local sustainability and climate justice initiatives.
Build relationships with local K-12 institutions to ensure prospective students see PCC as a premier destination to study and engage in sustainability and climate justice.
Strategy 3.4 ensures prospective students interested in sustainability and climate justice recognize PCC as a leader in this field of study. This will require building partnerships with local primary and secondary education schools to share information about opportunities at PCC and coordinating with advisors for career and course planning.
Scope 1 and 2
Goal 1 – Energy Reduction: By 2026, PCC has reduced college energy consumption per square foot by 60% below 2006 levels.
Ensure new construction and renovation projects reduce energy consumption by 20% above the ASHRAE 90.1-2016 standard.
Strategy 1.1 ensures energy reduction in new construction and in existing building remodels by upgrading operational and mechanical systems, using the LEED certification process, and exploring new building designs. Examples include conversion to LED lighting, installing daylight controls and HVAC sensors, and new construction with Building Automation Systems.
Reduce energy use in existing buildings through efficient maintenance and operations programs.
Strategy 1.2 reduces energy through maintenance and operations programs in existing buildings by retro-commissioning, upgrading HVAC systems as well as optimizing their scheduling, and exploring performance contracting with purchasing staff. This also includes establishing an energy management system using the 50001 Ready Navigator System to implement ISO 50001:2018 standards.
Increase space use optimization through software and training.
Strategy 1.3 increases space use optimization by using centralized scheduling software, adopting centralized classroom and event scheduling, and creating a strategic scheduling plan. These strategies will be successfully implemented by offering training programs for PCC staff.
Reduce energy use through behavior change programs.
Strategy 1.4 supports behavior change programs to reduce energy by participating in the Strategic Energy Management program, incorporating interpretive education signage/dashboards in building projects, and educating occupants about how their behavior influences energy.
Goal 2 – Renewable Energy: By 2026, PCC has reduced its scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 75% below 2006 levels, through the decarbonization of its energy sources.
Generate 5% of PCC’s electricity onsite from renewable energy sources.
Strategy 2.1 strives to increase PCC’s renewable energy sources onsite by adding solar arrays at different campuses, collaborating with community partners to develop on-site renewable energy, and investigating emerging renewable technologies. PCC aspires to create criteria for the purchase of carbon offsets and renewable energy credits. Finally, through the Facilities Plan, the college will determine the total capacity for on-site renewable energy production with consideration for additional tree canopy and roof energy efficiency technologies.
Obtain 80% of PCC’s electricity from non-grid renewable energy sources.
Strategy 2.2 focuses on acquiring electricity from non-grid renewable energy sources such as purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) for any offsite electricity and exploring community solar.
Decarbonize the thermal load of the buildings.
Strategy 2.3 aims to decarbonize the thermal load of the buildings by electrifying heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, purchasing renewable thermal energy credits, and exploring plans and technologies to replace 100% of natural gas use on campus. PCC will also collaborate with NW Natural to use PCC locations as a place to test or provide educational resources for emerging renewable natural gas strategies.
Create opportunities to use renewable resources for PCC’s thermal energy load.
Strategy 2.4 fosters opportunities to use renewable resources for PCC’s thermal energy load by analyzing PCC’s grid mix, comparing PCC’s energy transition to public agencies in other sectors, and supporting ongoing capital planning outreach to include renewable energy sources. Educationally, this strategy will create community-based guidelines for on- and off-site renewable energy sources and resource guides on the use of the construction of on-site renewable energy and the purchase of off-site renewable energy.
Add renewable energy to each campus to support equitable access to climate justice education.
Strategy 2.5 aspires to add renewable energy to each campus to support equitable access to climate justice education by researching the feasibility of emerging technologies such as solar thermal energy, battery storage, carbon capture, and fuel synthesis.
Engage students, staff, and faculty in determining the appropriate mix of energy sources for PCC’s commitment to decarbonization.
Strategy 2.6 endeavors to identify the appropriate mix of energy sources for PCC’s commitment to decarbonization by facilitating interactive opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to provide suggestions.
Goal 3 – Fleet Emissions Reduction: By 2026, PCC has reduced college fleet fuel emissions by 25% below 2006 levels.
Replace the college fleet with lower-emission infrastructure and electric vehicles.
Strategy 3.1 targets electric vehicles and lower-emission infrastructure to replace the college fleet by assessing the lifespan of PCC’s vehicles, identifying current cost differentiation, creating a timeline for replacement, and drafting a policy for vehicle purchasing. Finally, to accomplish all of this, PCC will have to identify funding sources.
Replace gas or diesel-powered shuttles with electric shuttles or other emerging technologies.
Strategy 3.2 aims to replace gas or diesel-powered shuttles with electric shuttles or other emerging technologies by reviewing shuttle contracts and creating a request for proposals for electric services.
Expand and update PCC’s fueling infrastructure to support strategies 3.1 and 3.2. for motorized vehicles.
Strategy 3.3 supports the expansion and update of PCC’s fueling infrastructure by looking for opportunities to pair fleet charging infrastructure with non-roof solar projects, establishing a transfer of fuel funds for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and partnering with TriMet to create a dual infrastructure for charging at shared layover areas. To accomplish this PCC will have to design a plan for transitioning and identify grants and funds for these efforts.
Create bulk-buying opportunities with partners for low emission/net zero vehicles, procurement of alternative fuels, and infrastructure.
Strategy 3.4 aspires to identify partners to join bulk-buying opportunities for low-emission/net zero vehicles, procurement of alternative fuels, and infrastructure. Examples of this are already occurring in the Portland Metro area and PCC wants to be open to and engaged in these possibilities.
Goal 1 – Sustainable Transportation and Travel: By 2026, PCC has reduced commuter and business travel greenhouse gas impacts per full-time equivalent by 20% below the 2006 baseline.
Improve data tracking for commuting and business travel to inform agile decision-making.
Strategy 1.1 intends to fill a need for better data tracking for commuting and business travel to inform agile decision-making. By using old and new data sources, a better understanding of travel will emerge and indicate the best ways to reduce related greenhouse gas emissions.
Support a college culture that allows for a reduction in single occupancy vehicles traveling to campus through teaching, learning, and technology innovations.
Strategy 1.2 starts to address the huge carbon impact that single occupancy vehicles traveling to campus have on PCC emissions, while centering the needs of learners and workers. Supporting a college culture that allows for more flexible learning and working options will not only advance teaching, learning, and technology innovations, but it will reduce the burden of long, unmanageable commutes and provide more access to educational opportunities.
Improve the user experience of low-carbon modes of transportation for the college to remove barriers to participation and support equitable access.
Strategy 1.3 focuses on improving the user experience of low-emission modes of transportation for the college to remove barriers to participation and support equitable access. By collaborating within the college and the community, this strategy will enhance the college’s infrastructure for cycling, walkability, intercampus travel options, and electric vehicles. It also builds in a feedback system from users to gather ideas for improving the accessibility and usability of the college’s transportation options.
Develop low-carbon travel guidelines for students, staff, and faculty to follow when traveling for PCC-related purposes.
Strategy 1.4 aims to develop low-carbon travel guidelines for students, staff, and faculty to follow when traveling for PCC-related purposes. An inter-campus working group on sustainable business travel will lead an effort to gather, create and promote the new guidelines with the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from business travel and travel between campuses.
Establish a carbon offset program for commuting and business travel greenhouse gas emissions.
Strategy 1.5 plans to establish a carbon offset program for commuting and business travel greenhouse gas emissions. This will be a voluntary carbon offset program for business travel paid for by the institution and will use the funds to invest in local projects.
Goal 2 – Sustainable Procurement: By 2026, PCC purchaser and vendor contracts align with PCC’s diversity, equity and inclusion, sustainability, and climate action goals and values to ensure the long-term viability of PCC’s enterprise.
Encourage vendor and purchaser alignment with PCC’s diversity, equity and inclusion, sustainability, and climate action goals and values, as applicable.
Strategy 2.1 speaks to the importance of the alignment between where/how PCC spends money and whether those dollars are supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion along with the college’s sustainability values. This ensures accountability for vendors and purchases to adhere to the college’s values regarding climate action by expecting vendor transparency.
Support the college’s spending with under-represented firms (including Minority, Women, and Emerging Small Businesses) to diversify the college’s partnerships in support of equity.
Strategy 2.2 ensures that the college’s spending with under-represented firms will be supported and there will be diversity within the college’s partnerships.
Continue working with partners on sustainable purchasing standards and tracking of the associated greenhouse gas emissions to support data-informed continuous improvement.
Strategy 2.3 aims to continue partnerships to advance standardizing the purchase of sustainable goods at the college. This will aid in the advancement of better tracking methods to measure the college’s greenhouse gas emissions associated with purchasing. This will be achieved through increasing awareness and education of practices.
Increase PCC community use of the social cost of carbon in decision-making.
Strategy 2.4 recognizes the potential for the use of the social cost of carbon in purchasing decisions. This strategy will continue the college’s innovative work around tracking Scope 3 emissions by beginning with education of this philosophy and mainstreaming the associated practices.
Goal 3 – Water Reduction: By 2026, PCC has reduced the college’s water consumption per square foot by 10% below 2019 levels.
Analyze water systems impacts that will identify data-informed opportunities for water quality improvements, use-savings, and greenhouse gas reductions.
Strategy 3.1 focuses on analyzing water systems impacts that will identify data-informed opportunities for water quality improvements, use-savings, and greenhouse gas reductions.
Develop a college water conservation plan to build a framework for implementation.
Strategy 3.2 aims to develop a college water conservation plan to build a framework for implementation. It will involve stakeholders across the college working together to reduce water consumption, while not undermining current water integrity. This strategy will also create professional development for employees and learning opportunities for students to expand their skills and knowledge about water conservation.
Implement the strategies from the water conservation plan to expand sustainable operations.
Strategy 3.3 intends to implement the strategies from the water conservation plan to expand sustainable operations. It will improve water infrastructure, while addressing water usage inequities across the college.
Start to assess the virtual water impacts of college operations.
Strategy 3.4 centers on starting to assess the virtual water impacts of the college’s operations. This will be looking at the water embodied in the production of food, fiber, and non-food commodities, including energy.
Goal 4 – Waste Diversion: By 2026, PCC has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from solid waste by 50% below 2006 levels.
Expand the capacity of PCC to minimize waste by prevention and recycling at each campus.
Strategy 4.1 aims to enhance waste prevention and recycling opportunities in order to minimize waste generation on campus. This will establish more opportunities for greater education and ways to participate in the programs offered.
Support infrastructure and programs that increase the use of reusable (or durable) items across the college.
Strategy 4.2 ensures support for more reusable and durable programs at the college. This will decrease waste accumulation by providing new reusable options and enhancing existing programs.
Improve data tracking across all waste streams to inform agile decision-making.
Strategy 4.3 intends to fill a need for better data tracking across campus waste streams. By using old and new data sources, a better understanding of the waste accumulated will emerge and indicate the best ways to reduce waste and related greenhouse gas emissions.
Improve waste diversion efforts in construction projects, in line with PCC Design Standards.
Strategy 4.4 focuses on construction waste and how PCC can improve waste management efforts that align with the PCC Design Standards. This will foster better working relationships between stakeholders and clearer guidelines to follow.
Goal 1 – Assessment: By 2026 PCC has completed a college resiliency assessment on the vulnerabilities and hazards associated with climate change to ensure the long-term viability of our enterprise. This assessment highlights threats to our frontline and vulnerable communities and centers those communities.
Create a new multi-disciplinary committee tasked with assessing resilience across PCC.
Strategy 1.1 ensures that PCC is creating a new college-wide committee with varying perspectives and experiences to identify opportunities for PCC to assess and address resiliency. This multi-disciplinary committee will ensure that this work integrates ongoing initiatives in strategic planning, facility operations and maintenance, emergency preparedness, and campus planning while supporting the PCC’s move to a one-college model.
Inventory who, where and how resiliency work takes place at each campus in order to create a pool of baseline data for resiliency work.
Strategy 1.2 focuses on obtaining data that already exists and identifying what the challenges are around creating additional metrics. As a new focus area in the 2021 Climate Action Plan, a baseline of resiliency work will inform future planning and decision-making.
Identify a plan for collecting resiliency data to close information gaps.
Strategy 1.3 tasks PCC with collecting and prioritizing resiliency data and assigning responsibility for aspects of resiliency reporting to specific individuals.
Complete the Second Nature resilience assessment tool, Campus Evaluation of Resilience Dimensions.
Strategy 1.4 uses collected data to complete the Second Nature resiliency assessment tool, Campus Evaluation of Resilience Dimensions.
Analyze the results of assessments and determine the next steps.
Strategy 1.5 will apply the results of the baseline and assessment to make informed recommendations about how to support resiliency at the college.
Goal 2 – Support and Resources: By 2026, all departments and campuses at PCC have equitable access to ongoing financial support and resources for sustainability across all departments and campuses at PCC to ensure long-term viability.
Assess current sustainability programming and associated financial needs across the college.
Strategy 2.1 supports the Climate Action Plan by centralizing budget information and enables PCC to de-silo sustainability efforts. Over time, PCC has built up an impressive inventory of sustainability-related resources and infrastructure, many of which do not have ongoing general funding, but instead rely on grants or job scope creep to manage and maintain. If PCC is to continue to innovate, PCC must allocate appropriate resources for these ongoing enterprises.
Create a proposal to ensure adequate resources for sustainability.
Strategy 2.2 organizes the budgetary and resource needs by priority and identifies potential strategies for acquiring funding.
Include a spatial assessment within the Facilities Plan that examines how much space the college has for long-term sustainable development, including capacity for renewable energy and canopy coverage.
Strategy 2.3 coordinates Climate Action Plan work with the Facilities Plan phase II process. Ongoing college development necessitates an understanding of how PCC currently uses space. In particular, PCC needs more information to determine how much land and/or rooftop space PCC has to dedicate to producing onsite renewable energy, applying energy efficiency technology, and for ecosystem services (e.g. trees). This information will inform long-term goals in other areas.
Goal 3 – Energy Resiliency: By 2026, PCC has developed energy resiliency strategies to reduce the impact of climate change in emergency scenarios and be agile in the face of change.
Explore innovative technologies to use renewable energy or low-carbon fuel alternatives as a backup system (e.g. battery storage).
Strategy 3.1 aims to modernize PCC’s use of renewable and low-carbon fuel technologies and keep them up to date. New technologies are emerging that would help to increase PCC energy resiliency. These include battery storage, the use of on-site thermal storage, and projects that create renewable natural gas on-site. In addition, the use of these new technologies will provide new opportunities for the college to continue to educate PCC’s community and support green workforce development.
Use energy models to better understand building performance during low occupancy to improve emergency energy planning.
Strategy 3.2 focuses on understanding how PCC’s buildings work in low occupancy mode and on ensuring that PCC uses sound data science and equity considerations to inform decision-making. Improved data tracking can lead to better modeling and an increase in energy savings.
Develop an understanding of how PCC buildings and energy systems will perform in a changing climate.
Strategy 3.3 looks to model our building and energy system performance as the temperature rises. This model will focus on innovation and updating PCC’s administrative, digital, and physical infrastructure, while using sound-science and principles of climate justice to inform decisions
Develop and/or update policies, standard operating procedures, and guidelines to support reducing the impact of climate change in emergency scenarios.
Strategy 3.4 focuses on the importance of succession planning in operations, ensuring that the standards that PCC creates are preserved during staffing changes.
Goal 4 – Ecological Health and Well-being: By 2026, PCC has incorporated design criteria that promote habitat stewardship and the well-being of students, staff, faculty, and the neighborhoods the college inhabits. These criteria contribute to healthy learning and working environments, ecosystem health, and a sense of belonging for all.
Expand and increase the health and resiliency of the ecosystems and green spaces the College owns, manages, and impacts to increase well-being, while providing an equitable college experience.
Strategy 4.1 speaks to the importance of the relationship between human health and the health of the environment. Research into ecotherapy is exploring the relationship between the positive impact of the outdoors on mood disorders. Additionally, ecosystem benefits from PCC’s environment such as clean air, clean water, and shade provide a refuge from climate impacts.
Promote culturally-responsive wellness at PCC.
Strategy 4.2 ensures that the approach to wellness at PCC is culturally-responsive. This ensures that the diversity of experience that PCC students, staff, and faculty bring to the PCC community informs the experience in both the built and natural environment. PCC recognizes that the built and natural environments are interpreted through human bias and that there is no such thing as a default neutral space.
Provide additional support for inclusive, culturally appropriate, and trauma-informed knowledge around food sovereignty and food justice.
Strategy 4.3 recognizes the importance that food sovereignty and food justice bring to resiliency as an intersectional component of poverty and climate change. PCC’s learning gardens are frequently used as convening points for these types of conversations.
Develop an understanding of active design and how elements of active design are currently woven into our design standards and used on campus.
Strategy 4.4 encourages PCC to learn more about active design and how elements of it are used on campus while also ensuring that PCC design standards offer options for the wide range of abilities in the community.
Integrate the use of design in the built environment that supports physical well-being, mental health, and a sense of belonging.
Strategy 4.5 ensures that PCC embeds the college’s values around well-being, mental health, and a sense of belonging across the college’s design standards.
Goal 5 – Alignment and Planning: By 2026, PCC has aligned its climate action and resiliency efforts with planning efforts both within PCC and across the region to cultivate sustainability and climate justice with service towards frontline and vulnerable communities as a guidepost.
Pool information related to embedding equity throughout PCC planning efforts with PCC staff (additional opportunities with students can be found in the Outreach and Education goals).
Strategy 5.1 seeks to share equity efforts in support of PCC’s strategic plan theme of belonging.
Share resiliency resources, such as our Climate Action Plan, within the region.
Strategy 5.2 continues PCC’s public engagement work around resiliency. PCC is proud of its accomplishments as a participant in regional discussions on sustainability. In addition to benefiting from the extensive regional assessments and data gathering on resiliency done by Portland State University and the City of Portland, PCC will be prepared to engage with community partners by sharing information and continuing to innovate and respond to climate change.
Integrate climate adaptation, hazard mitigation, and recovery into the Facilities Plan.
Strategy 5.3 focuses on normalizing a long-term outlook as part of the facilities management planning process. Special considerations need to be made within the Facilities Plan with particular attention to how we manage the grounds and renewable energy.
Ensure that the Emergency Preparedness Plan considers climate adaptation, hazard mitigation, and recovery.
Strategy 5.4 works to integrate a longer-term outlook as part of the risk management planning process. In particular, the emergency management plan should look at the potential for an increase in longer and more frequent periods of high-heat and poor-air quality days to ensure that the college is able to respond to the varying disruptions these can pose.