Energy & Sustainability at PPS
Energy & Sustainability in Portland Public Schools
In March 2022, the Portland Public School Board, after years of direct student and community action and leadership on climate justice, unanimously approved the Climate Crisis Response, Climate Justice and Sustainable Practices Policy ("CCRP"). The policy sets far reaching and diverse targets around energy use, waste reduction, curriculum development, green schoolyards, student health, and climate justice and resiliency.
On energy reduction, the CCRP sets out ambitious targets:
"Emissions Reduction: PPS will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030, using the 2018-2019 school year baseline, and reach net zero emissions by 2040. " In addition, "PPS will design and construct new low-carbon schools and renovations that are energy-efficient, resilient, and adaptable (and)...Phase out fossil fuel infrastructure (gas-fired equipment) in all existing buildings by 2050."
The CCRP also lays out values around an assortment of sustainability related initiatives, including tree plantings and depaves, increased outdoor learning, waste reduction, stormwater management, schoolbus electrification, increased walk/bike options, locally sourced foods, electric landscaping tools, and more!
The Energy & Sustainability team works closely with the PPS Climate Justice team and a range of other departments and external stakeholders to move the district toward meeting these policy goals.
PPS Energy & Sustainability Mission
The PPS Energy & Sustainability Office works to combat climate change in our community by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our schools and promoting resilient, inclusive, sustainable buildings and schoolyards. We work to empower and support our PPS community -- students, teachers, families, and neighbors -- to be climate ambassadors for a more sustainable and just future.
Senior Program Manager, Energy & Sustainability
Aaron Presberg is the Senior Program Manager for the Energy & Sustainability team. He oversees all projects related to energy efficiency and energy use reduction, and represents PPS sustainability priorities in maintenance and school modernization projects.
The PPS Sustainability Program Manager oversees all projects related to waste management and reduction. They also run schoolyard related projects including tree plantings, depaves, and schoolyard redesigns, in addition to managing partnerships with PPS' school garden educators.
Climate Resiliency Program Manager
Ari Ettinger is the Climate Resiliency Program Manager, where he leads student, teacher, and community engagement efforts, while supporting energy reduction programs and schoolyard planning initiatives.Anita SpaethAmeriCorps Sustainability Project Coordinator
AmeriCorps members work with PPS to collaborate on, design, and implement critical policy and programming that supports district-wide sustainability and climate justice goals.
The PPS Departments of Sustainability and Climate Justice are proud to partner with Confluence Environmental Center's AmeriCorps Program. This annual partnership catalyzes environmental justice in the Portland Public School district to address critical environmental needs facing students and the greater community. To learn more about this partnership, and current AmeriCorps members serving with PPS, please visit: https://www.confluencecenter.
We could not in any way do this without our amazing partners, both within PPS and across the Portland community. At PPS, we work constantly with our colleagues at schools and in central office departments, including: Transportation, Nutrition Services, Strategic Partnerships and Grants, Communications, Innovation Studio, Safe Routes to Schools, School Modernization, Facilities, Maintenance, Real Estate, and more.
Outside of PPS, we collaborate with an amazing and always growing list of partners who are dedicated to climate change and education work.
Classroom and Fieldtrip Educators
Green Schoolyard partners
Resource and Network partners