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Ceremony at City Hall on Friday will thank 13 businesses and organizations for their eco-friendly efforts



REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Rian Lasley says his Bike Gallery shop didnt have to make a lot of changes to earn Leaders in Sustainability certification. Our biggest thing really is bicycles as a whole, he says. Most of our staff rides to work, so were just promoting the sustainable lifestyle in bicycles.When it comes to sustainable business practices, 13 Lake Oswego companies and organizations have clearly got things figured out.

Three restaurants, a bakery, a bike shop, the dining services at Mary’s Woods, a commercial real estate services office, a design and decor shop, a dentist, a jeweler, a beauty salon, a car wash and even the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce have all received certification from Clackamas County and will be recognized Friday as the community’s "Leaders in Sustainability."

The awards ceremony is scheduled for 8 a.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.

“All but the Bike Gallery have completed the process, but the Bike Gallery is so close to finishing that the county recommended they be included on the list,” says Duke Castle, co-founder of the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network. “We also plan to mention the other businesses that are currently going through the process.”

Working with the Sustainability Network and the Clackamas County Office of Sustainability, applicants are given a checklist of 80 best sustainability practices, which range from ensuring a living wage for all employees to simply making sure all office computers are in “sleep” mode at the end of the day. For basic certification, a business must complete 14 actions from the list, demonstrate a community engagement action and set one new goal. Additional actions can lead to silver or gold certifications.

The Sustainability Network has agreed in turn to work with the Chamber of Commerce to promote certified businesses. But most gold-level participants say they weren’t in the program for the added recognition.

“The certification’s sort of the icing on the cake — I didn’t go after this to get that certification,” Tucci Ristorante owner Greg Matteucci says. “I personally like the fact that the county came in and we were able to do a full audit to see how we could make some improvements.”

Through the process, Matteucci made the switch to more-efficient LED lights and to the most environmentally friendly dishwashing chemicals allowed by state law. The changes were in line with practices already in place at the restaurant, Matteucci says.

“We source more than 90 percent of our produce from local farmers here, and they looked at everything, even micro details like how the produce is being delivered to the restaurants, what sort of containers are being used,” he says. “We already have an agreement with the county where we recycle all our food scraps and waste — really, the only food scraps we have are what comes back on the customer’s plate. Otherwise, we use most of what comes through the door.”

Gold-level participant Kyra Bussanich, owner of Kyra’s Bake Shop, is being recognized for (among other practices) swapping compostable cups for containers made from post-consumer recycled materials, and for recycling shrink wrap. Fellow restaurateur Joe Buck — whose Babica Hen Cafe and Gubanc’s Pub & Restaurant will also be honored for reaching gold certification — says the Leaders in Sustainability program is all-encompassing, focusing not only on trash-disposal but on sustainable business practices as well.

He praised the program for being flexible and suggesting industry-specific approaches to promoting sustainability. That explains why businesses as varied as the Shear Creations salon, the Lake Grove Car Wash and Wishbone Home & Design have been certified, and why Dyke Vandenburgh Jewelers has scored a silver rating.

Paula Wallace, office manager for dentist Nicholas Dose’s practice on First Street, said one of the reasons they’re receiving a silver certification is their participation in a scrap amalgam-recycling program, which enables them to properly dispose of leftover silver filling materials in Oregon City.

Rian Lasley, whose Bike Gallery shop is closing in on its gold certification, says his business didn’t have to make a lot of changes to be in compliance with the program.

“We already did a ton of stuff,” Lasley said. “The biggest thing was that we changed the cleaners we used to clean the store and on repair work on bicycles. That’s really the biggest change we had to make.”

Storewide, Lasley has for the past 15 years committed to an extensive recycling program for cardboard packaging, bicycle tires and tubes. But perhaps his business’s greatest sustainable practice is its main product.

“Our biggest thing really is bicycles as a whole,” he says. “Most of our staff rides to work, so we’re just promoting the sustainable lifestyle in bicycles.”

Tirsa Forncrook, a property management assistant at Norris, Beggs & Simpson’s office on Centerpointe Drive, says her office’s involvement in the program has culminated in a “Sustainability Statement” that outlines its commitment to “promote, provide and coordinate sustainable facilities and practices.”

This includes using high-efficiency HVAC equipment and a computerized building automation system to enhance air quality indoors, as well as efficient lighting and lighting-control systems, low-flow and auto-control restroom fixtures, using only recycled paper products for printing and cleaning, and a free, semi-annual paper shredding event to enable tenants to recycle sensitive documents.

This commitment to sustainability extends to the office’s landscaping as well — outside, you’ll find native plants and an irrigation system that has drastically cut down on water usage and runoff.

“We’ve been doing things like that here for over 10 years, but the program is brand new,” Forncrook says.

In addition to the already-certified businesses, eight more are in the process of securing certification and will be recognized at Friday’s awards ceremony. They are Accessories from the Heart, the City of Lake Oswego, Lake Theater & Cafe, Lamb’s Palisades Market, Lakeside Bicycles, The Lake Oswego Review, Marylhurst University and New Seasons Market.

Contact Saundra Sorenson at 503-636-1281 ext. 107 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Looking Forward

To showcase the successful sustainability projects underway throughout the city and plot a course for the future, the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network will host a celebration from 5:30-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at the Holy Names Heritage Center at Mary’s Woods. The evening will feature an interactive conversation with City Manager Scott Lazenby and school Superintendent Heather Beck, as well as exhibits and information from a variety of businesses and organizations and a recognition of the Sustainability Network’s local partners. The free event will include food and live music. For more information, visit www.losn.org.

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