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County honors trio of sustainable firms

Lake Oswego businesses Autodesk, Inc., Flying Elephants Deli and Oswego Veterinary Hospital all have something to BRAG about.

On Friday, each business will receive a Distinguished BRAG Award (Business Recycling Awards Group) membership certificate and a recycled glass plaque on behalf of the Clackamas County Recycling Partner-ship.

Lake Oswego Mayor Ju-die Hammerstad will present the awards at a ceremony to be held at 8 a.m., Friday at the Lake Oswego Fire Station, 300 B Ave., as a part of a Lake Oswego Chamber of Com-merce Networking event.

BRAG memberships go to high-achieving Clackamas County businesses that recycle all 'curbside' materials regularly, prevent waste with at least six ongoing activities, consistently buy recycled products and demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement.

'These three businesses are on a quest toward sustainability,' said Clackamas County Sustainability Analyst Susan Terry. 'They are saving resources and serving the community ... They know that doing the right thing for the environment is also good business for their customers and themselves.'

Autodesk, a leader in 2-D and 3-D design software, recently renovated two floors at 5400 Meadows to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum standard.

Autodesk Facilities Coordinator Shawn Howard has led the effort toward a sustainable workplace. Employees meet regularly to hear from experts and share ideas; the company recycles, provides 'Green Clean' kits for employees to clean their workspace, works with property manager Shorenstein Realty Services to provide 50 percent renewable energy for the entire office park, and co-sponsors plastics recycling events.

Flying Elephants Deli at 5885 Meadows recycles, composts food scraps and donates extra food to charity. The deli purchases fresh local food and has a policy to buy from local vendors. Employ-ees save energy in a variety of ways, including heating soups on an induction cook top and rinsing dishes with low-flow sprayers.

'Like Autodesk, Elephants is constantly searching for ways to become more green - right down to office paper and supplies,' said Terry.

Oswego Veterinary Hos-pital, at 590 Third Ave., consistently uses the three Rs: Reduce, reuse and recycle. Located in an expanded home, the vet hospital recycles pet food cans and X-ray film and takes sharps and outdated medicines to Metro South Recycling. Employees use durable plates and mugs, and wash and reuse towels and bedding for animal cages.

'The staff and ownership are obviously very thoughtful,' said Terry. 'Part of their vision statement is to become even more green than they already are.'

The Clackamas County Recycling Partnership is a cooperative of local garbage and recycling companies, the cities of Barlow, Canby, Damascus, Estacada, Glad-stone, Happy Valley, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Molalla, Oregon City, Sandy, West Linn and Wilsonville and Clackamas County.