Sustainable Practices and Information

With a changing climate and a growing emphasis on more environmentally conscious practices, sustainability is more important now than ever before. Your clients expect you to be informed on sustainable practices, particularly when Portland continually ranks as one of the nation’s most sustainable cities.

Don’t know where to start? The resources on this page can teach you the basics of sustainability as well as sustainable home improvement projects, recycling, business practices, sustainable preservation, and more.

Per policy, we only link to non-profits or governmental agencies. The one exception is the Realtor® Education section, where we link to select for-profit education providers.

NAR Sustainability Resources

Sustainability Program
NAR introduced their Sustainability Program to engage membership in sustainable practices.

Home Performance Counts
NAR and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) partnered to create Home Performance Counts: a collection of resources that equips Realtors® with the language and expertise needed to move effectively in the world of sustainability and answer their clients’ questions about high-performance homes.

Realtors® & Sustainability Report
NAR surveys members each year to create this annual report, which provides data on sustainability issues facing the real estate industry.

Sustainability Summit
NAR hosts an annual Sustainability Summit to discuss the impact of sustainability on the real estate market. View presentations from the most recent Sustainability Summit here.

Sustainability 101

Sustainable practices are actions that can be taken in every day life that use resources in a responsible way and do not harm the environment. The most basic example of this that we are all familiar with is the concept of “reduce, reuse, recycle.”

In the homebuying world, this can mean buying a house with energy efficient features or one that has been renovated using non-toxic and/or recycled/salvaged materials.  Both of these are examples of using resources in a responsible way, and both work towards ensuring that our planet will be able to support life in the future.

Realtors® have a responsibility to keep up to date on sustainable practices and understand the financial aspect and livability issues of various properties in order to help their clients think through these issues as a part of the decision making process. In this article from 2020, NAR delved into motivations that buyers and sellers agents have for choosing the delve into green properties.

The demand for sustainable homes is increasing dramatically, and educating yourself on sustainable practices in homes can increase your value as a Realtor® and the value of your brokerage. NAR’s 2021 Realtors® & Sustainability Report found that 55% of Realtors® said their clients are at least somewhat interested in sustainability. While you are not expected to be an expert, it is important to have a basic understanding and provide access to good and reliable resources.

Realtor® Education

Whether you want to obtain a certification, a degree, or simply want to stay informed, we’ve gathered resources that Realtors® can use to help educate themselves on the issue of sustainability. Learn More >

Incentives for Improvements

Cash incentives, tax credits, and low-to-moderate-income assistance opportunities for energy efficiency home improvements are listed by project. Only non-profit organizations or governmental agencies are listed.

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Homeowner Resources

Can green updates increase the value of your home? The answer is yes! These resources will help you learn more about the most cost-effective options for adding value to your home.

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Sustainable Office Practices

A list of actions that were selected and compiled by the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work program as starting points for a small office working to make its operations greener.

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Recycling Information

From hazardous waste to construction salvage, find a way to recycle or reuse.

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