Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

This submission reflects this organization's contribution to the climate effort, representative of their current actions and commitments as well as the ways in which they intend to step up and collaborate with others.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)'s Climate Action Contribution

About Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)'s Climate Efforts

Climate change is a crucial science topic. The choices that we make today will affect us and future generations. We can’t slow climate change without public engagement since it will take individuals working with their communities to make changes.
Because OMSI values the Pacific Northwest communities we are part of, we provide ongoing climate education. As a forum for fostering evidence-based public engagement, OMSI can help people in our region make informed decisions that support a healthy, sustainable future for everyone.

OMSI’s goal is to advance climate literacy, foster productive conversations about climate change, and work with regional partners to move our communities towards community-level solutions to climate change.

OMSI is taking action by:
Teaching climate literacy and fostering conversations about climate change through exhibits, live programs, and trainings for staff and volunteers: OMSI recently completed a new interactive traveling exhibition, Under the Arctic: Digging into Permafrost, that explores the nature of permafrost and its impact on global climate change. The national tour begins in January 2019.

Using renewable energy: OMSI’s main campus in Portland, Oregon gets about 25% of its electricity from Clean Wind power and hosts a solar charging station for electric cars. Solar panels provide part of the electricity to Hancock Field Station, OMSI’s outdoor school in central Oregon.

Using less energy: From 2011 to 2017, OMSI’s main campus reduced its electricity use by more than 8.6 million kWh by switching to more energy efficient heating and cooling equipment and lights. This kept more than 7,055 tons of CO2 from entering the air. In the spring of 2018, by making energy efficiency changes to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, OMSI has reduced its total electricity use at the main campus by more than 5%. OMSI’s outdoor schools have installed energy efficient equipment. Campers at the schools weigh food waste after meals to raise awareness of the energy required to grow, process, transport, store, prepare, and dispose of food.

Climate Action Commitments

Current Climate Actions Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) Is Taking:


Commit to Reducing Materials Consumption and Waste

Institutions can significantly reduce the impact of materials use through life-cycle planning, choosing low-impact materials, and developing convenient, clear, waste-management approaches. Begin by conducting materials or waste audits for regular activities such as exhibit construction, special events, office operations, food service areas, and gift shops. Then, by piloting new practices in specific departments or single events or time periods, you can develop tools and procedures that significantly reduce waste through simple practices. Associated with this commitment, institutions could:

  • Commit to Zero Waste (90% diversion from landfil)
    • Recommended Targets:
      • Divert 60/75/85% institutional waste from landfil by 2020/2025/2030
      • Reach zero waste to landfill by 2030
      • Set construction waste diversion targets by project
  • Commit to Eliminating Single-Use Consumer Plastics
    • Recommended Targets:
      • Eliminate single use water bottles on site by 2020
      • Institute a plastic bag ban on site by 2020
      • Eliminate single use beverage bottles on site by 2022

Commit to Community Education and Communication

Commit to offering education opportunities that are designed for staff, adults, and children, and feature information on clean energy, stewardship, individual/household climate actions, climate advocacy, and any other applicable subjects. The importance of building environmental literacy in changing habits and perceptions is profound, and organizations and institutions trusted to convene the community are among the most impactful educators.


Commit to Increase Your Use of Renewable Power

Increasing your percentage of renewable energy sources is a key component of reducing overall GHG emissions. Installing onsite renewable generation, like solar panels, is a good long-term strategy if possible. But renewable energy can also be procured through Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), renewable power purchasing agreements (PPAs), and in some locations from retail electricity providers or local utilities that offers a high percentage of renewable power. Also consider becoming an EPA Green Power Partner.

Organization details

OMSI is a non-profit hands-on science museum. We serve over 1 million visitors every year at our main campus in Portland, Oregon and our outdoor schools in Newport and Fossil, Oregon. OMSI has one of the largest science outreach education programs in the United State, serving seven Western states. We also have the largest museum-based, traveling science exhibits program in North America. OMSI has developed over 50 interactive science traveling exhibits.

Mission: What we stand for
Inspire curiosity through engaging science learning experiences, foster experimentation and the exchange of ideas, and stimulate informed action.

Vision: Where we're going
OMSI, collaborating with partners, will ignite an education transformation at the intersection of science, technology and design, and weave a thriving innovation district into the fabric of Portland, that spreads opportunities across the Northwest.
Cultural Institution
Portland, OR
Secondary/Communications Email