Paying it forward through giving back

Every year, Evergreen rallies trade allies and employees to donate a Giving Back energy-efficiency retrofit project for a charitable organization. These upgrade projects have benefited nonprofits working with seniors, children and families, and communities-at-risk. By investing in facility improvements these organizations might not otherwise be able to afford, we help them enhance their facility performance and better manage their energy consumption to reduce their operating costs. The best part is that nonprofits can redirect those savings into more critical needs that support their mission. Read more about our results in our Community Impact Report.

2020: Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club

Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club is the latest recipient of Evergreen’s Giving Back energy-efficient lighting upgrade. The club offers after-school and summer programs for youth ages 6-18. The nonprofit reaches 200 youth per day, with low-income and people of color making up 80% of the population served.

Lighting improvements will help the nonprofit lower energy use, reduce operating costs and improve the learning environment for kids. The downtown Hillsboro, Oregon-based program expects to save nearly 19,000 kWh and $1,600 in energy costs annually.

Evergreen enlisted Stoner Electric Group to provide labor and support for the project.

Lighting in the older portion of the nonprofit’s building had not been updated in 25 years. The facilities team received frequent complaints from staff and youth about underlit areas, poor-quality light fixtures, and flickering lights.

Evergreen and Stoner installed new LED lighting and occupancy sensors in approximately 8,000 square feet of interior space, including a game room and classrooms used for literacy, art, and computers. Additional upgrades were made to offices, hallways, and restrooms. Exterior lighting was upgraded to LED and included new daylight sensors to turn lights off and on as needed.

The Inukai Club reports that staff, youth and visitors are delighted with the transformation. Lighting is brighter across the different spaces, with more control over lighting in individual offices. The contribution will help the club save energy and reduce overhead costs, plus it gives them flexibility to tackle other capital projects that also need attention.

2019: The Salvation Army Moore Street Community Center

Run by The Salvation Army, Moore Street Community Center serves multiple generations in Northeast Portland. The food bank at Moore Street is staffed by volunteers who stock the pantry and assist visitors, many of whom are elderly or non-native English speakers, to make well-balanced selections. The facility’s gym and other rooms are available for community sports, meetings and other uses.

Parts of the 1920s era building have not been updated in decades. The aging fluorescent lighting was too dim, plus maintenance issues and costs were on the rise. Evergreen’s team helped the Center identify top priority areas for new LED lighting, including the gym, food pantry and additional exercise and meeting rooms. New LED fixtures were selected for the quality of light and to minimize maintenance in the future.

New lighting in the food pantry and entry way not only improved visibility for reading labels and restocking, but has created a warmer, more welcoming environment for clients, volunteers and staff. Occupancy sensors help with cost savings in areas that have intermittent use. New LED fixtures in the gym greatly improved light levels and quality. The team redesigned the lighting layout and selected more durable fixtures that improved output, worked with lower ceilings and better suited activity levels in the basement rooms. In addition to reducing maintenance time and costs, these upgrades are estimated to save more than 29,116 kilowatt hours of electricity or $3,263 in energy costs annually.

Gymnasium Before

Gym before

gym after lighting upgrade

Gym after

YMCA Classroom Before

YMCA classroom before

YMCA classroom after

2019: YMCA Community Family Center

Located in Utah on the campus of a suburban Salt Lake City elementary school, the YMCA Community Family Center is a convenient resource for families and the school. The Center offers preschool, after school, summer day camp and the popular Y I Ski lesson programs. As a nonprofit, they work with a limited budget, so they have to carefully balance program needs with capital improvement projects and maintenance costs.

Good lighting, inside and out, is essential for safety and a positive learning environment. After talking with the community center team about their needs, Evergreen selected a high-performance advanced networked lighting controls system to replace all interior and exterior lighting. The new fixtures with smart features, plus occupancy sensors, save energy and improve light quality. Exterior lighting is set to align with sunrise and sunset each day, and is supplemented by two solar pole lights to improve entrance visibility. A new smart doorbell adds more safety and security. YESCO teamed up to donate a retrofit of the front signage that had not been operational for several years.

To help celebrate the value of this community partnership, Evergreen hosted a barbecue at a community center social event. This upgrade project is estimated to save 10,741 kilowatt hours of electricity or $787 in energy costs a year. The YMCA is very happy with the quality of the lighting, and to be saving money thorough efficient systems too. In fact, their success prompted other area YMCA locations to ask if we could help them in the future.

2018: Maya Angelou Apartments & Community Center

Two local nonprofits, Maya Angelou Apartments & Community Center and Native American Youth & Family Center (NAYA), were the recent beneficiaries of no-cost energy-efficient lighting upgrades valued at nearly $45,000.

The 72-unit Maya Angelou Apartments & Community Center is located in North Portland, providing affordable housing for low-income renters. An adjacent community center offers services and activities to meet the needs of the community’s adults and youth, including art classes, after-school tutoring, and cooking and nutrition education.

Owned by Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc., and managed by Cascade Management, the property’s outdoor lighting needed extensive upgrades. A mix of inefficient and outdated lighting types caused maintenance issues and produced areas that were either extremely dark or overly bright. The areas with limited visibility posed a nighttime safety concern for residents and visitors to the property.

Evergreen’s team upgraded the property’s exterior lighting to reduce maintenance costs, save energy, and improve safety on campus. With the help of Portland Lighting, a lighting distributor, contractors installed occupancy sensors to better control lighting, and installed shields on new fixtures to direct lighting more efficiently. The investment in new outdoor lighting is estimated to save more than 30,576 kilowatt hours of electricity or $3,220 in energy costs annually.

2018: NAYA Family Center

The NAYA Family Center offers a wide range of services for Portland’s Native American community, as well as for Russian and Spanish speakers. Housed in a 25,000 square foot former school in NE Portland, NAYA runs Many Nations Academy, a culturally relevant, student-centered high school program, as well as offers programs for elders, families and community events. A food pantry and administrative offices are also located at the site.

A facility audit showed that seven lower-level classrooms and the gymnasium were the highest priority projects that best fit the lighting upgrade budget. Outdated lighting was not conducive to the classroom learning environment, while ceiling heights in the gymnasium made fixture repair and lamp replacement a cumbersome chore for the maintenance team.

In partnership with EC Electric, Evergreen worked with NAYA staff to identify lighting needs and manage project research. Together, the team installed new LED fixtures in classrooms and the gymnasiums, along with occupancy controls. Now, the spaces have a clean look with improved light levels that benefit both students and teachers. The center’s facilities staff is thrilled with the new lighting as LED technology is longer-lasting and requires less maintenance and repair. Not only were aging fixtures replaced with the latest technology, the lighting upgrade is estimated to save nearly 49,000 kilowatt hours of electricity or $4,868 in energy costs annually.