onsemi Gresham Wins Green Business Award

Sep 1, 2021 9:00 AM ET

The onsemi Gresham manufacturing site earned a city of Gresham’s Green Business award for 2020. Utilizing the concept of the hierarchy of waste as the driving force, onsemi achieved a gold level certification, one of the award’s highest levels. The certification requires honorees to meet more than forty elective aspects of sustainability.

Gregg Hayward, business sustainability outreach coordinator with city of Gresham, city council members and the onsemi Gresham site leadership met virtually in November 2020 to celebrate the team’s success. Hayward commented, “The onsemi Gresham team’s work is one of the - if not the most - significant piece of work I have had the good fortune to assist with in terms of greenhouse gas impact in my career.”

The city’s Green Business program helps businesses conserve natural resources, protect the local environment, and help the bottom line. It also provides environmental sustainability assistance to businesses large and small across Gresham. This entails on-site assistance (distanced during the pandemic) to provide site evaluations on Gresham Green Business criteria along with detailed on-going follow-up and connections to content experts as needed. 

The program seeks to bring businesses together to learn from one another through coffee hours at Gresham Green businesses and other training events as well as through direct connections to each other. There are more than 50 active Gresham Green businesses and more than 700 businesses certified by their local jurisdictions in similar programs across the Portland metro area. Collectively, these initiatives are what help make the Portland region nationally recognized as an environmental leader.

onsemi has a long history of working with the city of Gresham to be a more environmentally sustainable business. Since 2000, onsemi and the city have worked on many beneficial projects such as Strategic Energy Management (SEM), a program implemented through the Energy Trust of Oregon that assists businesses in reducing energy usage. Through this program, the businesses are provided with technical professionals that can help identify energy savings opportunities alongside company employees, while helping to create a framework for action and accessing financial incentives and savings along the way. 

The Gresham Green Business certification onsemi received was in part due to the dedicated efforts of employees Patt Johnson and Mike Hewitt, Gresham site’s green team leads, and Blake Lackey and Mark Hyzer, Gresham site’s strategic engineering management team leads. They have been working collaboratively with a green team of 10 plus members from across the site, meeting regularly and tracking progress along the way. 

Blake Lackey, who worked in partnership with the Strategic Energy Management program and led the onsemi energy efforts, shared that they began with a “treasure hunt” to identify a few areas where changes could be made to save energy. This was a comprehensive walk-through of the business, in which several actions identified were then prioritized by cost savings, time and the investment needed to make these changes. The team acted on more than 30 changes and completed more than 15.

Lackey mentioned, “At first, I thought we were not going to find much, but it was worth exploring. We started inputting data and updating the model and began to see the savings. We were excited to see the results. We even implemented ideas from 10 years ago and those opportunities started adding up fast too!”

The team implemented the following actions that led to receiving this sustainability award: 

  • Saved 7.9 million kilowatts (kW) hours of electricity through a partnership with the Energy Trust of Oregon’s SEM program.

  • Kept 60+ storm drains, bioswales, retention ponds and grasslands across the 83-acre site healthy and functioning well.

  • Used certified green cleaners and replaced printer paper with recycled content on property.

  • Set up composting for the site cafeteria’s kitchen waste. 

onsemi is one of the largest businesses in Gresham, in terms of employees, and the efforts they’re making not only create a significant environmental benefit for the company but for Gresham as a whole,” said Jerry Hinton, former council member for the city of Gresham. 

onsemi is proud of what the Gresham site has accomplished and encourages its team to continue to increase its sustainability efforts locally to help build a better future.  

Please visit the onsemi Climate and Sustainability web page to learn more about the company’s commitment to driving sustainability.