Sustainability | Meals on Wheels People


Our sustainability statement

Meals on Wheels People is committed to responsible stewardship of resources and leadership in sustainable business practices.  Concern for the environment and promoting a broader sustainability agenda are integral to the management of the organization.  We promote good sustainability practices, strive to reduce the environmental impacts of our activities, and help our clients and partners do the same.

The Green Committee of the Board of Directors is responsible for promoting sustainability in eight areas of practice:

  • Sustainable Facilities
  • Clean Energy
  • Transportation
  • Sustainable Operations
  • Waste Reduction and Recycling
  • Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
  • Sustainable Food Service
  • Sustainable Water Systems

Our Sustainability Statement is based upon the following principles:

  • To comply with, and exceed where practicable, all applicable legislation, regulations and codes of law.
  • To integrate sustainability considerations into all our business decisions.
  • To minimize resource use in and the environmental impact of all central kitchen, operations, and office activities.
  • To ensure that all staff are fully aware of our Environmentally Sustainable Procurement Guidelines and are committed to implementing and improving them.
  • To make clients and suppliers aware of our Environmentally Sustainable Procurement Guidelines, and encourage them to adopt sound sustainable management practices.
  • To review, annually report on, and  continually improve our sustainability performance.

Meals on Wheels People: SOlar and battery storage!

The Meals on Wheels People PV panel and battery storage project has been made possible through funding entirely by the City of Portland, Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund. 

With full funding received from Portland Clean Energy Fund we have been working on installing solar panels and 256kWh of battery storage for emergency food storage backup here at our Central Kitchen. Installation and project completion estimated to be late summer or fall of 2023!

Thank you PCEF!

Meals on Wheels People: Driving Sustainable Transportation!

With funding received from PGE Drive Change Fund we have a fleet of electric vehicles to deliver meals up and running successfully and 4 EV chargers at our Central Office for staff, community, and our volunteers. Thank you to @PortlandGeneral for investing in the electric future. PGE Drive Change Fund is funded by the DEQ’s Oregon Clean Fuels program @OregonDEQ.

Thank you Portland General! Read more about this investment.


  • Resource Center facility built with energy efficiencies in mind including roof design for solar (2002)
  • Board of Directors started Green Committee as a board led entity (2014)
  • Window Film installed at the Central Office (2015)
  • Central Kitchen equipment upgrades (2016)
  • Refrigerator trucks converted to idle on electric vs diesel (2016)
  • Menu planning with Food Waste Management study results in mind (2016)
  • Large scale composting program launched at Central Office break room and Central Kitchen (2017)
  • Composting programs run at multiple sites in conjunction with community partners (2017)
  • Year 2 of Strategic Energy Management through Oregon Energy Trust proposal accepted (2017-18)
  • Reduction of disposables at Centers and Central Office (2018)
  • Reusable Tray Test Pilot wrap-up and results (2018)
  • Updated HVAC system at the Central Kitchen (2019)
  • Motion detectors on lighting in Central Office (2019)
  • Certified GOLD by the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work (2018 to 2021 program end)
  • Initial LED lighting upgrades at Central Office (2020)
  • EV charger installation at Central Office for free community and staff electric vehicle charging (2021)
  • PGE Drive Change Fund grant fully funded purchase of electric refrigerated cargo van and Nissan LEAF for Meals 4 Kids program (2021)
  • Partnership with James Recycling to recycle all hard to recycle items like cling wrap at the Central Kitchen (2022)
  • Green Committee restarted after 3 year hiatus – staff led and board attended (2023)
  • Solar panels and battery project funded by PCEF in 2022 – to be installed summer 2023
  • Free sale for employees and community of used office equipment and supplies, organizational schwag, leftover event supplies (ongoing)
  • Solar panels and battery storage in design and permit phase at new 4035 SE 82nd Ave site (construction 2023-2025)
  • Complete energy efficient building practices and equipment in partnership with Oregon Energy Trust at new 4035 SE 82nd Ave site (construction 2023-2025)
  • (4) EV chargers planned for new 4035 SE 82nd Ave site for staff and community (construction 2023-2025)
  • Oregon Business 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon (2022 and 2023)

Future initiatives:

  • Completion of LED lighting upgrades with modernized lighting controls
  • Plastic reduction including packaging at the Central Kitchen
  • Single use plastic bags for client meal delivery replacement with reusable bags
  • Intensifying food waste reduction through investigating measuring and tracking programs

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