Oregon Companies, Making a Difference

How do you know when you’ve stumbled upon the right place to combine your life passions with your career aspirations?

I grew up in a Marine Corps family, went to college, and then joined the Marine Corps myself. I’ve moved so frequently that I don’t have one particular place I call home. My parents, and ultimately the Marines sent me to Idaho, Virginia, California, Vermont, and Japan. While there are amazing and unique things about each of these places, when it came time for me to pick where I wanted to call home I landed in Oregon.

Over the past five months I’ve tried to articulate what it is that drew me to the “Beaver State”. It was probably a decision rooted in some combination of my affinity for the west coast and a love of all things outdoors. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t be more satisfied with my choice. I’m staying.

As home to one of the top Green MBA programs in the country, it’s no surprise that Oregon businesses are leading the way with sustainable practices. Throughout my time in the program, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with and speak to many business leaders throughout the state. No matter how different a company is from another, they all share a genuine passion for making the right choices.

They have each proven that there are multiple different ways to have a social and environmental impact.

At Humm Kombucha in Bend, there’s a strong sense of connection with the local community who helped build the brand through continued support. As a result, the company is dedicated to giving back and supporting social initiatives.

When I spoke with the Marketing Director at Ruffwear, she emphasized how important sustainability is to their company because it’s just the right thing to do. As a result, they have worked hard to reduce waste at various stages of their supply chain.

Keen Footwear in Portland, invited us to their headquarters in the fall to learn about some of their sustainability initiatives. One major impact area that they are tackling is the reduction of chemicals in their production process.

One of the things I love most about being in Oregon is the culture and passion for good quality coffee. True to Oregon authenticity, the coffee companies I have come across value traceability and responsibility in their sourcing practices.

Choosing Oregon as a home, temporary residence or travel destination is a choice in good consciousness. You can bet that the people, communities and companies are making important and impactful decisions with a genuine passion for sustainability.

Written by bbuckles

Briana is a 2019 MBA with the Center for Sustainable Business Practices. She is an innovative and intellectual professional with four years of leadership and logistics experience from the US Marine Corps. She’s passionate about traceability and responsible sourcing of everyday products.