Valley’s prime inexperienced companies – Medford Information, Climate, Sports activities, Breaking Information

Rogue Creamery takes prime spot, whereas different native companies observe in Oregon Enterprise Journal’s 100 Greatest Inexperienced Workplaces for 2022

A crew member with S+B James Building works Thursday on the brand new Rogue Credit score Union South Companies constructing on the nook of Garfield and Freeway 99. The development firm made Oregon Enterprise Journal’s record of the 100 Greatest Inexperienced Workplaces in Oregon. [Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune]

Jamie Lusch / Mail TribuneMichael Wallace works Wednesday on a fender at Star Physique Works in Medford. The corporate was ranked third on the record of 100 Greatest Inexperienced Workplaces in Oregon by Oregon Enterprise Journal.

A handful of Rogue Valley companies and nonprofits made Oregon Enterprise Journal’s record of “100 Greatest Inexperienced Workplaces” in 2022.

Central Level-based cheesemaker Rogue Creamery took the No. 1 spot for the primary time within the decade-plus that the world-renowned enterprise has been on the record.

“I do not suppose we’re head and shoulders above the remaining. I feel we stand proudly, aspect by aspect, with the entire inexperienced companies who’re acknowledged on the record. They’re all doing one thing distinctive,” ​​stated Marguerite Merritt, cheese emissary and advertising supervisor for Rogue Creamery. “I hope that one other enterprise — hopefully, somebody from Southern Oregon — can declare that title subsequent yr.”

Star Physique Works ranked third, whereas six different Rogue Valley entities made the highest 100.

Oregon Enterprise Journal cited these and different companies all through the state for making “measurable efforts to cut back their environmental footprint and undertake extra sustainable practices.”

The journal additionally cited the businesses’ sustainability efforts amid local weather change.

1. Rogue Creamery

Rogue Creamery has been making cheddar and blue cheese for nearly a century, and the corporate has confirmed its sustainability bonafides over time.

“Actually, it is extra a couple of mindset and a continuing pursuit slightly than any particular program,” Merritt stated.

Sustainability initiatives at its dairy farms embody planting pollinator-friendly native crops, re-purposing cow waste, and utilizing robotic milkers.

On the product entrance, Rogue Creamery focuses on sustainability, too.

Plastic packaging has not been eradicated, however the firm makes use of a “much less environmentally intensive” poly-plastic vacuum shrink bag to carry its well-known cheese wedges.

“It is a step in the correct path, however it’s not the be-all, end-all answer, as a result of we’re nonetheless creating waste by utilizing plastic,” Merritt stated. “Our final aim is to determine a method to take away plastic from the equation completely.”

Rogue Creamery vets the distributors and merchandise it sells in its small retail retailer in Central Level.

“Within the retailer, you will see a lot of t-shirts. They’re sourced from both natural cotton or with recycled poly materials,” she stated, citing one instance.

3. Star Physique Works

Mark Lamensdorf purchased Star Physique Works along with his brother in 1990. The enterprise that makes a speciality of physique paint and collision restore has 4 places, together with two in Josephine County.

The corporate’s journey towards sustainability has been years within the making, however it ramped up in 2007.

“I began down that journey years in the past and stated, ‘You already know what? Let’s simply go there,’ as a result of I believed that is the place we have been headed,” Lamensdorf stated. “Now, it is simply a part of our tradition.”

The entire buildings embody LED lights. On the automotive entrance, the spray boots recycle warmth, and the oil, antifreeze, batteries, metal and aluminum are all recycled. What’s extra, Star Physique Works makes use of waterborne paint, which has considerably much less solvent.

“This isn’t (an environmentally) pleasant enterprise, and for those who do not go the additional mile, it impacts all of us,” he stated. “It is actually essential to us to be the perfect stewards we will.”

8. RHT Vitality

The Medford-based agency has been offering consulting providers in quite a few engineering elements, together with vitality financial savings, since 1999.

It made the record by doing the small issues — recycling, turning off lights in rooms nobody is utilizing and doing the dishes, in response to Becki Ray, workplace supervisor with RHT Vitality.

“We observe what we preach,” Ray stated, noting the constructing is well-insulated and makes use of photo voltaic panels.

RHT Vitality has been listed for nearly 10 years in Oregon Enterprise Journal.

“It is crucial for everybody to be energy-efficient in right this moment’s time,” Ray stated.

32. Rogue Valley Farm to Faculty

The nonprofit that started because the Eagle Mill Farm Training Venture and later restructured to develop into Rogue Valley Farm to Faculty is the oldest program prefer it within the valley — educating kids about recent produce and serving to faculties with dietary applications.

“The idea for all of that is constructing a tradition of well being … within the faculties after which inside our group by supporting the farmers and our native financial system,” stated Rebecca Slosberg, co-executive director of applications and workers.

The nonprofit boasts 12 staff, and everybody tries to mannequin environmentally sustainable conduct within the workplace. Some methods embody recycling, saving water, carpooling and buying native meals.

“How we current ourselves out locally is essential, and so, internally, it is modeling that very same form of conduct,” Slosberg stated.

44. Mt. Ashland Affiliation

Recognizing Mt. Ashland may have closed to vacationers, the affiliation felt {that a} sustainable future for the realm meant a “extra holistic method to sustainability,” in response to the nonprofit’s web site.

To that finish, the affiliation began utilizing a “package” often called STOKES, particularly designed to assist ski recreation services monitor their sustainability progress. Mt. Ashland Affiliation’s STOKE score is 77%, and it might credit score that to a number of investments, together with an 85-panel rooftop photo voltaic system, producing about 12% of the ski space’s vitality wants, that was put in in 2016.

48. Canines for Higher Lives

The Central Level-based nonprofit is a supplier of skilled service canines for individuals with disabilities or professionals who request them for his or her work.

Harvey Potts, vp for growth, stated the enterprise journal’s recognition will not be one thing the nonprofit sought out. Nonetheless, “we’re honored and humbled.”

“We’re all about coaching and inserting help canines, right here regionally and throughout the nation, and we try this without charge to the eventual recipient,” Potts stated. “We’re additionally doing it in a sustainable and conscious means with regards to the surroundings.”

Staff recycle and use washable utensils, plates and cups within the workplace.

A 306-panel, 97.9 kW photo voltaic array produces greater than 75% of the nonprofit’s vitality wants, saving greater than $28,000 every year.

54. S&B James Building Administration

S&B President Allen Purdy stated at any time when potential, his firm works with shoppers to include sustainable parts into initiatives — even when it prices extra. Nevertheless, these parts are more and more turning into a part of constructing codes, equivalent to using high-efficiency heating and cooling gear and lighting and being “photo voltaic prepared,” which has contractors making house obtainable for the constructing proprietor so as to add photo voltaic gear.

“Initially these necessities weren’t on the prime of thoughts, however after 20-plus years of LEED and Inexperienced Globes setting the bar increased for everybody, the necessities at the moment are simply a part of our day-to-day practices,” Purdy stated.

S&B is environmentally pleasant in its personal workplaces, as nicely, with photo voltaic panels on the roof for about 15 years. The corporate makes use of pervious concrete in its parking areas, eliminating the necessity for retention ponds and different runoff assortment strategies, offering for extra environment friendly land use.

80. Logos Constitution Faculty

Lengthy earlier than Logos Constitution Faculty was named as one of the crucial environmentally sustainable locations to work, its workers was decided to develop into a inexperienced college.

In 2013, the Oregon Inexperienced Colleges Affiliation lauded Logos for its “excellent efforts in waste discount and useful resource conservation,” in response to Govt Director Sheryl Zimmerer.

Now, three years after shifting into a brand new constructing on Ross Lane, Logos was named one of many “greatest inexperienced companies” by Oregon Enterprise Journal for the third yr in a row.

“It is an awesome reminder to our workers and our college students that that is essential to our faculty,” Zimmerer stated. “It is thrilling to be on this stunning location, to look out on our mountains, to see the gorgeousness of Oregon and understand that we’d like to verify we’re holding that round not only for these youngsters, however their youngsters.”

She defined college officers labored with Vitality Belief of Oregon to maximise the methods the constructing may save vitality. Options embody LED lights that activate or off based mostly on occupancy, and an air con system that makes use of the surface. The estimated financial savings in vitality per yr is 226,370 kilowatt hours, translating into $17,580.

Attain reporter Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or kopsahl@rosebudmedia.com. Observe him on Twitter @KevJourno.

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