Wednesday, March, 29 | 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Session: A1: Federal and State Energy Programs | Track A: Optimizing Energy Efficiency

David Wortman

State of Oregon | Statewide Sustainability Officer

Presentation Title:

Developing Innovative Public Policy as a Roadmap of Efficiency, Equity, and Good Governance


Using behavioral energy efficiency alone, the Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS) launched a successful sustainability program in 2007 that saved over $500,000 per year in utility costs. While the Great Recession of 2008 challenged the program, its revitalization in 2016 showed the enduring value of sustainability as a driver of efficiency, innovation, and good governance.

Since the first bottle bill in the 1970s, Oregon has enjoyed a long history in energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. A combination of state legislation, executive orders, building codes, and public policy has built a unique framework. Oregon state agencies developed sustainability plans, operational practices, and behavior change programs.

While the governmental umbrella oversees all state agencies, each has its own culture and managerial style. Developing policy that bridges these dynamics has required a delicate touch, rooted in science, equity, and behavioral best practices. For enduring change, such policies need to be justified, trusted, and relevant to leadership, while also supporting staff.

The session will explore:
• The Past: Program creation including key tactics for staff transition and fiscal challenges.
• The Present: Program re-boot and responses to political climate.
• The Future: The roadmap that allows this work to thrive.


Dave Wortman, LEED AP BD+C, ISSP-A
Statewide Sustainability Officer, Department of Administrative Services

As Statewide Sustainability Officer for the State of Oregon, Dave leads the Office of Sustainability in the Oregon Department of Administrative Services. He collaborates with the Governor's Office on executive orders and state policy, and coordinates statewide enterprise efforts for implementation of sustainability practices across Oregon state government. Dave facilitates the Interagency Sustainability Coordinators Network and supports the Oregon Sustainability Board, an 11-member, Governor appointed Board overseeing state agency sustainability plans and implementation. In addition to his work at the state of Oregon, over his 25-year career Dave has been a journalist, researcher and sustainability consultant in both the U.S. and Australia.

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