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New district sustainability manager is green but experienced

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Portland Community College has hired Alex de Roode as its sustainability manager to oversee the college’s green projects and outreach.

Working out of the college’s Facilities Management Services Department, de Roode currently has a building and energy focus tied to his sustainability work, but is also involved in helping to further all core areas of PCC’s Climate Action Plan. He will foster training opportunities for PCC staff, faculty, administration and students so that they are versed in sustainability and how it gets implemented as well as tie it all to students and their curriculum.

“The goal is really to empower the internal and external stakeholders to take an increasing role in furthering sustainability at PCC,” de Roode said. “How I help to do that is by being a convener and a resource for them. I can’t accomplish sustainability alone so it really needs to be a district-wide effort. My goal is to help further that participation.”

Born in Paris, France, de Roode came to Portland from Hawaii where he served as the executive director of the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui at the University of Hawaii-Maui College. He will draw from his Hawaii-based experience to inform the development and implementation of similar programs at PCC that involve public outreach, energy, food and agriculture, and working with specific campus staff and students to promote sustainability.

Plus, he becomes the point person on PCC’s Climate Action Plan to help implement it across the district. PCC President Preston Pulliams signed the plan – part of the college’s commitment to the 2007 American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment to reduce carbon emissions – last fall. It was developed by a cadre of faculty, students and staff, and pledges to reduce carbon emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. PCC plans to do it in steps – reduce emissions by 10 percent by 2012, 40 percent by 2030 and make the 80 percent goal by 2050. To do it, the college will look to green-up building operations, transportation services, credit programs, food and agriculture, campus operations, community outreach and monitoring and financing.

Alex de Roode

In the spirit of the plan, de Roode said he wants to continue to foster the use of campuses as demonstration sites and as educational tools, such as the Rock Creek Loop Program where food waste is recycled, composted and used to grow food for the cafeteria there. It was initiatives like this one that attracted de Roode to the institution.

“PCC has done a lot in sustainability and made substantial commitments,” said de Roode. “I felt it was a great place for me to bring my expertise and help further the efforts that are going on here. It is very exciting to be part of what’s going on around sustainability at the college. There is a lot of momentum and each campus has it own unique perspective on how to further sustainability.”

To learn more about sustainability at PCC, visit the program’s Web site: http://www.pcc.edu/about/sustainability/

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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