Ninkasi Brewing

Named after the ancient Sumerian Goddess of Fermentation, Ninkasi Brewing is a regional craft brewery that uses regional ingredients, including water, malt, hops and yeast. With the strong regional hop industry and access to the McKenzie River, the source of some of the cleanest water in the world, Ninkasi's goal is to brew only the highest-quality craft beers.

Ninkasi believes in forming strong relationships in the communities where it does business, and enjoys promoting the social and cultural aspects that beer consumption has facilitated throughout human history. Recognizing that nature's gifts are an integral part of producing its fine beer, Ninkasi is committed to environmental conservation and stewardship. For example, the brewery recently installed a solar energy system to supplement its automated energy system. It also upcycles spent brewing grain to local beef farmers and plans to add water and carbon dioxide reclamation systems to its operations.

Now Ninkasi is a Smart Energy customer, offsetting its carbon emissions from natural gas and helping to bring biogas to the Pacific Northwest.

Eugene Hilton & Conference Center

 

Sustainability isn't about quick fixes. It's a measured, long-term journey and the Eugene Hilton & Conference Center has taken meaningful steps toward reducing its energy consumption and waste.

The facility's multipronged approach includes energy efficiency, recycling and carbon offsets. Custom software allows the management team to track the facility's energy and water usage, and find trends and areas to improve.

HVAC sensors and timers in guest rooms and the conference center prevent vacant spaces from being cooled and heated, said Jody Hall, General Manager. Also, about 80 percent of the facility's lighting has been converted to high-efficiency lighting, and sensors are used in ballrooms and the garage to ensure lights are not on unless needed.

Recycling is another keystone in the hotel's sustainability strategy. Guests have access to recycling in their rooms and all of the hotel's departments recycle. When possible, the kitchen sends vegetable scraps to local pig farms.

After taking so many steps to reduce energy consumption and recycle, the Eugene Hilton & Conference Center decided to take its sustainability efforts to the next level - offsetting their natural gas carbon emissions through Smart Energy.

"It was a tool that gave us a chance to reduce our footprint," Hall said.

In fact, the Eugene Hilton & Conference Center offsets 100 percent of its natural gas emissions through the volunteer program. Smart Energy funds are invested in regional biodigester projects that capture methane and produce renewable biogas. We applaud the Hilton's commitment and continued efforts to tread lightly on the earth.

 

Laughing Planet Cafe

 

Laughing Planet is a local restaurant chain dedicated to making wholesome, affordable and socially responsible food accessible to regular folks with time constraints. Along with its sister restaurant chain, Dick's Kitchen, Laughing Planet also partners with farmers to ensure the humane treatment of animals and many of its suppliers are Food Alliance Certified. The restaurant focuses on seasonal and organic produce as much as possible.

To reduce carbon emissions, Laughing Planet receives shipments at a centralized production facility. This reduces the amount of trips made by vendors and minimizes impacts on the neighborhood locations of its restaurants.

This commitment to the environment earned Laughing Planet a BEST Award from the City of Portland in the "Sustainable Food Systems" category. The BEST awards recognize Portland companies that demonstrate excellence in business practices that promote economic growth and environmental benefits.

Laughing Planet is another step closer sustainability and against climate change by becoming a Smart Energy customer, proving doing what's right can also taste delicious.