Oregon State

Jurisdiction: Oregon State
Plan Year:  2004
Progress Report Years: 2013, 2011, 2009

In 2010, the Oregon Global Warming Commission (OGWC) drafted the “Roadmap to 2020,” which included recommendations for how the state could meet its 2020 and 2050 greenhouse gas reduction goals set by the Oregon Legislature in 2007. The Roadmap to 2020 includes a “Materials Management Roadmap” with nine key actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with materials use in Oregon (see strategies below). In its 2013 Report to the Legislature, OGWC noted that 35-48 percent of Oregon’s 2010 consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions resulted from the purchase of materials, most of which are associated with the production of those materials.

The Materials Management Committee, which put together the recommendations for this section, considered products used in Oregon, which made the scope of how the state contributes to climate change much broader than other sections in the overall report. The committee notes that many of the emissions associated with materials used in Oregon do not actually occur in the state, so they are not part of its greenhouse gas emissions inventory. As such, some of the strategies below would result in reductions that would not be captured in Oregon’s inventory.

Materials Management Goals:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with materials use to meet Oregon’s 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goal


  1.  Advocate for carbon price signal across life cycle of products and materials (either by an emissions cap and/or a carbon tax), including imports (border adjustment mechanism/carbon tariff if necessary).
  2. Search and integrate a consumption‐based GHG inventory methodology with the State's conventional inventory, and identify high‐carbon product categories
  3. Develop and disseminate information: easy‐to‐use life cycle metrics for different food types
  4. Establish standards, incentives, and/or mandates for carbon footprinting, labeling of products
  5. Focus product stewardship on upstream emissions and design for appropriate durability, repairability, reusability, efficiency, and recovery
  6. Establish higher standards for new buildings: “net zero” plus offset of materials
  7. Provide consumer education, information, outreach on consumption, materials use, and prevention/reuse, including low‐GHG food and diet choices
  8. Reduce (prevent) waste of food at the retail and consumer level by 5‐50%
  9. Conduct research on highest/best use for organic wastes and the carbon impact of different conversion technologies

Progress Report:
In its 2013 Report to the Legislature, the Oregon Global Warming Commission (OGWC) stated that limited progress was made on the recommendations from the Materials Management Roadmap. The only action for which it gave an “A” score (meaning it is “on track to meet State goals or Roadmap outcomes”) was action #2: Conduct research to develop a consumption-based GHG inventory and inventory methodology. Among other accomplishments for this action, a consumption-based inventory was updated and published for 2010 and a number of local governments are reportedly developing their own consumption-based emissions inventories. See pages 37-38 of the 2013 Legislative Report for more details.

In October 2014, Oregon DEQ published a report entitled Evaluation of Climate, Energy, and Soils Impacts of Selected Food Discards Management Systems, which aligns with action #9. (Note: Pete Pasterz of Oregon DEQ spoke during a West Coast Climate Forum webinar in October 2014 about the report. You can access the presentation and materials here.)

Next Steps:
Oregon admits it has a long way to go to achieve the recommended actions from its Materials Management Roadmap, and that one of the major strategies it was relying on to help stimulate greenhouse gas reductions has not been achieved.

“A carbon price signal across the life cycle of products and materials remains the single untapped policy option with the greatest potential for emissions reductions. To be most effective, such a price signal should address not only in‐state production but also imports. At the same time, much more can be done by producers of high‐impact products, including food, to identify emissions hot spots and work to reduce emissions through supply chain, process, and other changes.”

Additionally, OGWC listed several areas where the state has already begun work and will continue to do so in the next few years. Some of the next steps include:

  • Demonstrating the “cost of carbon” embedded in materials and waste
  • Research of  business opportunities, co‐benefits, challenges, and perceptions regarding carbon footprinting of products
  • Food footprint pilot project in 2014, likely to focus on helping producers identify “hot spots” for potential improvement
  • Better understand and document the carbon footprint of building materials

See pages 37-38 of the 2013 Legislative Report for the complete list.