Our Commitment to Environmental Responsibility
At Portland Design Works, working hard to reduce our impact on the environment has always been part of our culture. Bikes are low-impact vehicles that produce zero emissions, so we already have a running (rolling?) start from which to strive for even higher levels of environmental responsibility. We believe that we can make a change toward more sustainability within the bicycle industry; we are small but mighty and we're proud to be leading the way. In 2022, we recommitted to purchase carbon credits to offset 50% of our emissions from the previous year. We understand environmental responsibility is way more than simply throwing money at a problem, so here are some of the other things we do to try to be better stewards of the earth:
- We avoid using plastic in our packaging, and use it sparingly in our goods
- Employees commute by bike at an over 90% rate!
- Our warehouse is powered by 100% renewable energy
- We host workshops with Northwest Trail Alliance to build and maintain trails to connect people with nature and encourage healthy, active lifestyles
- We upcycle our cardboard boxes into packing material in our warehouse, replacing conventional plastic bubble wrap and harmful styrofoam peanuts
- We’ve replaced conventional plastic packing tape with recyclable paper kraft tape for shipping orders
- Pallet wrap is like plastic wrap for huge mountains of cartons that we ship to retailers. It uses a lot of plastic and unfortunately there aren’t many biodegradable options in the US yet, but we were able to find a netted material that uses half the plastic and is fully recyclable
- Speaking of recycling, the rules for recycling plastic can be convoluted. Most recycling services won’t take the worst offenders, like plastic bags and pallet wrap (see above.). Luckily, there is a facility near our warehouse that accepts plastic bags so we gather up anything we accumulate and bike it over periodically
- We design our products to be both durable and rebuildable, and work with customers on fixing their current PDW gear instead of buying new
- We are a proud member of 1% For the Planet and donate at least 1% of our top-line revenue to non-profit organizations that share our values of protecting the planet and enriching people's lives through cycling
- We measure our carbon footprint annually to check our progress and see where we can improve
- We manufacture almost all of our gear in Taiwan, where manufacturing and labor costs are much higher than places like Vietnam or China. While this makes our goods more expensive, it also means we are able to produce a much higher quality product. It also means we are not profiting at the expense of underpaid workers or lax environmental laws. Check out this article on how Taiwan achieved one of the highest recycling rates in the world!