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Vernier and the Environment

Earth Day cleanups, solar power, and public transportation benefits are just the beginning of our commitment to the environment and the future.

Our Building

LEED-EB Green Building

We achieved a Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council for our building. Our goal is to provide an environmentally responsible and healthy workplace for our employees.

ENERGY STAR

In 2012, we earned an ENERGY STAR certification for the second time. To qualify, our building achieved a rating of 92 on EPA’s 1-100 energy performance scale, indicating that our building performed better than at least 92% of similar buildings nationwide.

Solar Panels

Between 2006 and 2008, we installed over 120 photovoltaic panels on our roof to provide 17 KiloWatts of our energy for our building. Annual energy production has remained over 16,000 kWh every year with an average of about 18,500 kWh.

See the dashboard for our solar energy production.

Bioswale

Most of the water from our south parking lot drains into a large bioswale that hosts native plants and helps to filter the water before it goes into our local watershed.

Bees

Our rooftop bee hive provides a great home for these busy critters who keep all of our local plants pollinated.

Office Initiatives

SCRAP Program

We donate many of our unusable electronics and product packaging to SCRAP, a local organization that finds creative ways to reuse waste products. In 2012, SCRAP diverted over 129 tons of usable material from the waste stream.

Learn more about SCRAP »

Worm Composting

We collect food scraps from the kitchen, coffee grounds, grass clippings, and paper towels. Volunteers, called the worm wranglers, empty the scraps into the worm bin containing a colony of red wiggler worms. The worms turn this portion of our garbage into nutrient-rich compost that we use on plants around our building.
Learn more about worm bin composting »

Printing on Recycled Materials

We give preference to:

  • FSC certified printers
  • Soy inks and environmentally friendly paper bleaching policies
  • Paper stocks made of 10% post-consumer waste or higher
  • Local paper mills to reduce fuel use

Master Recyclers

We have two certified Master Recyclers, Janeen Sollman and Natalie Tunison, who work with many local recycling organizations to prevent recyclable materials from ending up in landfills.

Green Team

We have a team of employees who meet to identify ways to continuously improve our policies and procedures, to educate employees on best recycling practices, and to organize contests and events about sustainability.

Empowering Commuters

Bike to Work Program

We provide both indoor and outdoor bike parking, a locker room, and showers for those who pedal to work.

Public Transportation

Every Vernier employee is provided a free, full-access pass for Tri-Met, Portland’s award-winning public transportation system. Vernier’s building is a short walk (200 meters) from the Millikan Way light rail station, making public transportation a viable way to commute to work.

Learn more about Tri-Met »

Electric Vehicle Support

In addition to providing priority parking for hybrid and electric vehicles, in 2011 we installed an electric-vehicle charging station. We use an electric Zapcar for short runs between our main building and our warehouse. 10% of Vernier employees own hybrid, plug in hybrid, or pure electric vehicles.

Learn more about Blink EV Charge Stations »

Monthly Commuter Challenge

We encourage employees to walk, bike, take public transit, or carpool to work as much as possible. Each month we have a drawing for everyone who participates (four days or more) to win a $20 gift card from a local business of their choice.

Our Products

Extended Warranty and Repair Service

Vernier’s generous warranty means that our products last much longer than most electronics and provide years of classroom use.

See more about our generous warranty »

Local Sourcing

94% of our vendors are US based businesses. Of those US vendors, 23% are either OR based or operate offices in OR that we directly do business through. 7% of those vendors are in neighboring WA, between Seattle and Vancouver.

Reduced Footprint Packaging

We constantly strive to reduce or eliminate waste from our packaging and use recycled products.

Improving our Supply Chain

We also work with our vendors to help make other companies’ products cleaner. As a result of our repeated requests, many of our suppliers have stopped using styrofoam packing peanuts. By encouraging them to go green we spread the message that green is the way to go.

Partnerships

SOLVE

Each year, we organize a group of company volunteers to work with SOLVE to clean up trash, remove invasive species, and take other measures to keep Oregon clean.

Learn more about SOLVE 

Friends of Trees

In conjunction with a non-profit group, Friends of Trees, we planted 200 trees in the wetlands near our office.

Learn more about Friends of Trees »

EarthShare

Vernier developed a partnership with Earthshare so that our employees are able to make regular payroll contributions to over 70 environmental and conservation groups. These conservation groups have accomplished a lot to keep people healthy, reduce the impact of global warming and preserve wildlife habitat.

Learn more about Earthshare Oregon »

The Nature Conservancy

Vernier supports the local chapter of the Nature Conservancy with volunteer hours and financial donations.

Learn more about The Nature Conservancy »
Association of Fundraising Professionals Philanthropy Award

Vernier Philanthropy

We annually contribute to many environmental and other socially responsible charities. In fact, we earned an award for outstanding philanthropic companies.

Learn more about Vernier Philanthropy »
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