In locating a company for maximum growth, all long-term competitive advantages must be considered – including the availability of natural resources and environmental attributes. Greater Portland’s location within the heart of the Pacific Northwest offers access to clean air, abundant water, and sustainable energy.
Companies are rapidly moving the issue of water scarcity from the sustainability agenda to a key business risk consideration. As shown in this map, locating a business in the Greater Portland region alleviates the risk of having a limited water supply.
West Coast Nonattainment Areas
Many areas along the West Coast carry a “nonattainment” designation, meaning the air quality in that region does not meet (or “attain”) federal standards. Companies that operate in regions with nonattainment status are subject to more stringent environmental regulations. Unlike several areas marked on the map, Greater Portland does not have this designation, so companies that operate here will benefit from less stringent regulations.
While all industries can be vulnerable to power disruptions, Greater Portland's geographic location provides a competitive advantage. The region experiences minimal lighting strikes and has a very low risk for both earthquakes and hurricanes, three of the prime considerations when weighing business interruption risks.
Lightning Flash Density
Portland General Electric (PGE) has been a key partner in sustaining the growth of the Greater Portland computer and electronics industries. PGE's three regional Reliability Centers serve power-sensitive firms, from semiconductor plants and high-technology operations to diverse manufacturing facilities, where uninterrupted service is critical to operations. PGE's robust system is 99.983% reliable – the highest reliability rating in the nation.
For companies locating on the West Coast, the Greater Portland region is the best option for minimal earthquake seismic activity. As indicated here, the Portland region experiences minimal earthquake activity in comparison with other West Coast locations.
Hurricanes are an emerging concern for companies, including companies considering a location for expansion. As indicated here, the Greater Portland region is highly unlikely to experience hurricane activity. The economic effects of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi in late August 2005, were far-reaching, making it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. This type of natural disaster in unlikely to occur in this region.
Sustainable Power Generation
Greater Portland offers an inherent existing strategic advantage to companies looking ahead and considering future carbon cap and trade policies that may emerge in response to climate change considerations. In 2013, over 40 percent of Greater Portland's net electricity generation came from conventional hydroelectric power plants and renewable energy sources. This is remarkable in comparison to the national average of 11.7 percent.