Environmental Sustainability

Realizing that our greatest impact is through our students, we developed a sustainability vision statement to focus our work.

Vision & Guiding Principles

Catlin Gabel commits itself to becoming a sustainable school by:

  • Educating students to develop the wisdom, vision and drive to create a sustainable society
  • Modeling sustainable practices throughout the school
  • Inspiring others to join with us in our commitment to sustainability

Guiding Principles & System Conditions

  • Eliminate our contribution to systematically increasing concentrations of substances extracted from the Earth's crust.
  • Eliminate our contribution to systematically increasing concentrations of substances produced by society.
  • Eliminate our contribution to the physical degradation of nature.
  • Eliminate our contribution to the creation of barriers that keep people from meeting their human needs.


Sustainability was a shared core value that came out of our Imagine 2020 Conference in 2006 that included 70 stakeholders in the Catlin Gabel School community. Participants spent many hours going over what we felt our students most needed to be responsible citizens in our future world.

In 2007, 45 members of the school community, including staff, faculty, students, parents, and alumni, were trained in the Natural Step process that encourages systems-thinking to create the conditions for profound change to occur. This process has been used by a number of businesses and colleges and is part of a global effort to inspire organizations to work together to build a sustainable society. We formed topic teams for each system component of the School:

  • Administration: Green vs. Sustainable - Triple Bottom Line
  • Education:
  • Extra-curricular:
  • Facilities:
  • Food Service:
  • Technology:
  • Transportation:

Education for Sustainability: Environmental & Social Literacy

Teaching our students to be stewards of our earth may be the most important thing we do if we wish to ensure that future generations have a quality of life.

Catlin Gabel joins others around the world who are updating curriculum to include essential notions of sustainability while at the same time trying to model sustainable practices on our campus and in our school lives.

"Inspired learning leads to responsible action." How can our students know they can make a difference?

Education for Environmental & Social Literacy

Energy, Natural Resources & Eco-System Services

Energy: Catlin Gabel School Campus Energy Dashboard - Energy History 2000-2016

  • Electricity
  • Natural Gas
  • Solar
  • Wind
  • Motor fuel

Natural Resources: and natural assets called Eco-System Services

Sustainability Indicators:

  • Energy: Total consumption in MMBTUs
  • Energy: Ratio of renewable energy to non-renewable energy
  • Groundwater: Water level in aquifer wells
  • Land Use: Percent of impervious surface
  • Tree Canopy: Percent of total canopy cover



Environmental Health and Safety

Environmental Health

Nutrition and Fitness

Emergency Preparedness

  • 100% of School buildings are out of the flood plain


Purchasing - Materials Resource Management

Catlin Gabel commits itself to becoming a sustainable school by modeling sustainable practices throughout the school. The school is tracking the following sustainable purchasing practices:

Status of Sustainable Practices

  • Admissions: Applications for admissions are taken online. Student handbook and student directory is online.
  • Cleaning Products: 95% of products are Green Seal, Sustainable Earth or DfE certified.
  • Communications: Alumni communications, all-School news and division newsletters are electronic.
  • Copy Paper: 30% post-consumer content (FSC & Green Seal certified)
  • Curriculum: End-of-year student reports and student transcripts are online.
  • Employment: Job applications and reference letters are taken online. Employee handbook and directory are online.
  • Facial Tissue: 10% post-consumer content (Green by Design)
  • Paper Towels (singlefold): 100% recycled fiber; 40% post-consumer content (Ecologo)
  • Paint (latex): Miller Paint Acro-Pure Zero VOC (Green Seal Certified)
  • Paper Towels (Cormatic Roll): 100% recycled fiber; 40% post-consumer content (Ecologo)
  • ProTeam Intercept Micro Filter bags: Green Label Certified
  • Technology: Equipment End of Life -

Recognition of Progress

Oregon Sustainable School Award 2012

U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Recognition

Tualatin Valley Water District - 2011 Water Hero Award TVWD News Release

Social Sustainability

Community Needs

Social Justice - Responsibility - Equity

Community Partnerships - Family Participation


Zero Waste

Waste as an indicator is at the heart of sustainability in a practical measurable way.

Total Campus Waste: Total Waste Chart 2015-16


Landfill contributions:

  • Benchmark [2006-2007]: 65 tons
  • Year One [2007-2008]: Actual: 46.35 tons
  • Year Two [2008-2009]: Actual: 32.49 tons
  • Year Three [2009-2010]: Actual: 30.48 tons
  • Year Four [2010-2011]: Actual: 27.02 tons
  • Year Five [2011-2012]: Actual: 28.6 tons
  • Year Six [2012-2013]: Actual: 30.32 tons
  • Year Seven [2013-14]: Actual: 30.23 tons
  • Year Eight [2014-15]: Actual: 31.92 tons
  • Year Nine [2015-16]: Actual: 32.92 tons


Landfill Trend 1999-2000 to 2015-2016

Comprehensive Recycling Plan 2014-15

An independent preschool through 12th grade day school in Portland, Oregon
8825 SW Barnes Road,
Portland, Oregon 97225 |
503-297-1894 |

Explore why Catlin Gabel is a national leader in progressive education.

We welcome more than 100 new families annually to our inclusive community from the Portland area and beyond.

A demanding and engaging program in which each student is the unit of consideration

Playing sports involves life lessons in determination, grace, and resilience. We invite everyone to be part of a team.

Extensive support ensures our students are successful.

Learn about Catlin Gabel news and events on campus and beyond.

We foster a community that appreciates our differences and recognizes our essential unity

Every gift benefits our students. Every volunteer hour builds our community.

powered by finalsite