Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

VA Portland Health Care System

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My HealtheVet badge
EBenefits Badge

Environmental Programs

Portland VA Medical Center - GEMS - Green Environmental Management SystemsPortland VA Medical Center Green Environment Management Systems (GEMS)


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to delivering quality health care to our nation’s Veterans.  Recognizing that accomplishing this mission includes a great deal of fiscal accountability, the VA is committed to lessening environmental risk factors and associated expenses by focusing on new ways to prevent pollution, reduce waste,  and conserve natural and cultural resources.  Following the VA lead, the Portland VA Medical Center (PVAMC) employs processes that affirm environmental accountability into day–to-day decision-making and long-term planning.

Our new Bend Clinic is LEED Gold Equivalent. Click here to read more about our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment. 

Our GEMS Committee is proud to present the following in the last couple years.


  • Energy Star award recipient since 2003.
  • Replacement of equipment to increase efficiency such as boilers, chillers, heating, ventilation and cooling fans.
  • Water reduction measures include, low flow toilets and showers, waterless urinals, and using water tank for irrigation. 


  • Ethanol-mixed fuel vehicles account for 90 of the 172 vehicles in the VA fleet. Also, in the process of installing E-85 alternative fuel vehicle stations at Portland and Vancouver campuses.
  • Portland VA promotes biking, public transportation by offering free bus passes to employees, as well as requiring employees to carpool.
  • The mercury reduction program eliminated 90% of mercury containing equipment.
  • Green chemicals are often required for purchase.
  • Integrated Pest Management Plan uses alternative methods, such as traps, bait, heat, and steam to control pests instead of harsh chemicals.
  • Partner as much as possible with community hospitals and sustainability organizations for environmental awareness activities.
    • Portland VA has been a recipient of several national sustainability awards.
    • Significant reduction in ozone depleting refrigerants.


  • Active recycling program consists of: tires, cardboard, paper, yard debris, batteries, electronics, plastics, tin, glass, scrap metal, construction debris, and surgical wraps
  • Reduction of our regulated medical waste by 30%, and sending remainder of regulated medical waste to an energy plant for production in the local community.
  • Our paper shredding contract that recycles all paper protects patient confidentiality and saved about 403 tons of paper, 6, 845 trees, 1208 cubic yards of landfill space, and 805 barrels of oil.
  • Pharmacy waste program disposed of approximately 9485.7lbs of non-hazardous and 2607lbs of hazardous pharmacy waste to keep medications out of the landfills and waters
  • Electronic waste for FY 2011 recycled 63,134 lbs. and donated 10,480 lbs.
  • A new food composting program collects approximately 500 lbs. of food per day for compost.

For additional information, please contact Portland VA GEMS Coordinator, Wendy Trapp at (503) 220-8262 ext. 55417 or e-mail at