Employees from northwest Portland-based Chris King Precision Components spoke about sustainability in front of Mayor Potter and City Council last week.
Production manager David Prause and IT manager Selena Deckelmann testified in support of a new report released by the Sustainable Development Commission titled, “PDX: The World’s Sustainability Center: A blueprint for global leadership in sustainable economic development.”
Chris King is identified by the City of Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development as belonging to the “sustainable industries cluster” and was one of over 20 businesses interviewed to help formulate recommendations presented in the Commission’s report.
In his testimony, King’s David Prause told City Council that sustainability must be a belief, not a buzzword,
“…to develop sustainable practices throughout an organization, everyone must be involved, the push for sustainability should be fundamental in how everyone thinks about things, fundamental in how everyone responds to issues, and fundamental in how everyone makes decisions…pursuing sustainability can’t be brand or a department, sustainability needs to be a core value, in which everyone in the organization believes.”
Selena Deckelmann (pictured above), said the story of Chris King started with sustainability. After holding up one of his famous headsets to Council members she said,
File photo: 3/4/07
“About 32 years ago, Chris King made his first headset from ball bearings someone else threw away. He was trying to solve a problem — headsets never lasted for more than a season — but he ended up solving two. He saved something from the trash, and, created something useful…this is another way to think about sustainability, it’s using what you have to solve your problems.”
Deckelmann urged Council to use the City’s purchasing power to buy local and use 100% post-consumer paper products. She also reminded them to encourage businesses to produce less wastewater and to streamline Portland’s business permitting process.
Chris King Precision Components is recognized as a leader in sustainable manufacturing and in an industry rife with overseas manufacturing, they still produce all their products in the U.S. Back in January, the company was recognized as a “Green Giant” by Bicycle Retailer & Industry News magazine.
- Read about about Chris King’s sustainable practices on their website.
- View the Sustainable Development Commission’s report (online PDF).
- Browse Chris King photos in my archives.
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Hooray for Chris King: thanks for urging the city government to take a few small steps forward in their sustainable practices. Let’s hope they take on the achievable goals you suggested as their own.
On a side note, I wanted to give props to the Chris King IT department for another reason: they have been regularly donating their used technology to Free Geek for years. Even though it seems like a no-brainer to many of us, it is a unique business that takes the time, and pays the small fee, to reuse and recycle their old computers instead of just throwing them in the trash. And Chris King has obviously made a business-wide decision to do so.