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Realtor® Business Practices

The following actions were selected by the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work program as great starting points for a small office working to green its operations. In addition, completing many of these actions will apply toward recognition in Sustainability at Work’s business certification program.

Materials and Waste

  • Get free recycling boxes from Sustainability at Work and set up an efficient recycling area in your office.
  • Set all computers, copiers and printers to print double-sided by default.
  • Use a system of collecting one-sided copies and use the blank side for scratch paper or in a designated draft printer.
  • Three major office supplies (including copy/printer paper) are made of 30% or greater post-consumer recycled content.
  • Provide durable dishes (including coffee mugs) in the office.


  • All employees turn off computers each night.
  • Use power settings that automatically turn off or hibernate idle monitors and printers after 20 minutes or less of inactivity.
  • Adjust thermostat temperature settings to maximize energy savings. (Portland’s Sustainability at Work suggests setting to 78 degrees min for cooling and 68 degrees max for heating.)
  • Shut off non-emergency indoor lights each night.


  • Teleconference and videoconference technologies are used.
  • Workplace website lists transportation options for guests.
  • Provide bike parking for staff and customers.
  • Make available free bike, transit, and walk maps for employees and customers (Smart Trips Business Program).
  • Tips on reducing car trips, includes traffic alerts, and “eco-driving” tips to help increase gas mileage.
  • Transit Pass Programs: Three programs available to employers. Tri-Met offers free services and support including a newsletter, fairs, surveys, staff training, new employee kits and more.


Information and Education

  • Appoint and empower an employee or a team of employees to lead sustainability efforts.
  • Make sustainability related information available to staff.
  • Recycle at Work is another program that offers free, customized assistance to all types of businesses throughout the Portland metropolitan area. Request assistance and access online tools. Get free recycling containers, posters, presentations and other education materials.
  • Kill A Watt monitors free from Multnomah County Library to measure how much electricty electric devices are using when plugged in.
  • Use Energy Trust’s Evaluate your home to document information about your building and how you use energy, organized by lighting, office equipment, HVAC and foodservice equipment.