Our Commitment to Climate Action
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On March 15, 2023, CCC’s board of directors formally and unanimously adopted an organizational commitment to climate action.
We believe our commitment to climate action strengthens, protects and amplifies our mission of ending homelessness. Our call to action on environmental justice is a call for aligning our organizational actions with our core values, and it is a call for acknowledging the environmental context in which we operate our mission.
Environmental Justice – A Call to Action
Central City Concern (CCC) acknowledges that we are facing a climate crisis. While no corner of the globe is immune to the devastating impacts of climate change, marginalized groups including low-income and BIPOC communities are disproportionately experiencing the most harmful effects of this crisis. This includes extreme weather events, food insecurity, economic instability, and toxic pollution. These stressors have an adverse impact on the physical and psychological wellbeing of our communities and represent significant barriers in their path toward long term stability and success. We also recognize that accelerated mitigation and adaptation efforts worldwide are imperative to avoid the worst impacts of climate change before year 2050. For this reason, CCC is committed to bold and urgent climate action.
Our Climate Action Pledge
Central City Concern is committed to a healthy, equitable, and climate-safe future for all our clients and staff. We pledge to protect environmental resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and decrease vulnerability to the ecological and economic hazards of climate change. This work supports our mission by improving our financial stability, fostering community resilience, and addressing disparities spurred by the climate crisis.
Climate Action Focus Areas and Activities for 2023-2026
Facilities: Health, safety and energy improvements in CCC buildings
Fleet: Planning for electrification of CCC’s fleet and installation of EV charging infrastructure
Fuels: Decarbonization of buildings and advancing adoption of renewable energy
Framework: Collaborative planning processes to improve organizational climate resilience
We will implement $5.5MM in capital improvements and energy efficiency measures at four existing properties serving low-income residents before the end of 2024. This project is funded by the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF).
Heat Pump Air Conditioning Units
We are distributing 676 heat pump air conditioning units over a five-year period (2022-2027) to medically vulnerable, low-income residents across our portfolio to mitigate impacts of extreme heat events thanks to Cooling Portland, a PCEF-funded climate resilience program.
Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) Multi-Family Strategic Energy Management Program (MFSEM)
We have enrolled four multi-family properties in a one-year program (March 2023-February 2024) to help drive energy and water use reductions through behavior, operations and maintenance improvements.
Fleet Decarbonization Accelerator
We are participating in a learning and coaching program in spring 2023 led by the Breaking Barriers Collaborative to kickstart development of a plan to transition CCC’s fleet of 115 vehicles to clean energy.
Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure
We are installing three EV chargers at Cedar Commons by May 2023 and eight EV chargers at Meridian Gardens by May 2024 for use by residents and staff who live or work in those buildings. This project is funded by PGE’s Drive Change Fund via the Oregon DEQ’s Clean Fuels Program.
Solar Photovoltaics (PV)
We are assessing feasibility of Solar PV installations across CCC’s existing portfolio and are continuing to implement full Solar PV (or “Solar PV ready”) on all new construction projects including the Starlight and Meridian Gardens. The Starlight solar came fully online in January 2023. Meridian Gardens will have a 63.2 kW rooftop Solar PV system, producing approximately 70,876 kWh annually, scheduled for completion in summer 2024.
Enterprise Climate Resilience Academy
We are participating with a regional cohort to identify critical vulnerabilities, identify solutions and access technical assistance to improve portfolio resilience to future climate threats and incorporate community resilience strategies (April 2023-June 2023).
Climate Action Wins
The Recycling and Reuse Operations Center (The ROC) diverted more than 7,700 pounds of items from the landfill and distributed them to clients in need.
After its 2021 renovation, there were 64% savings on electricity, 33% savings on water and 8% savings on gas use per occupant at The Henry compared with the pre-renovation baseline.
Solar PV installations across nine CCC properties generated more than 300,000 kWh of clean energy.
168 air conditioning units were installed in CCC properties to mitigate impacts of extreme heat events on CCC residents.
As of 2023:
Six CCC properties have achieved Earth Advantage Platinum and/or LEED Gold certification.
Community gardens have been installed at three CCC properties, helping to ensure that residents have access to healthy local food.