Northwest Center crew at work at the Ballard Locks in Seattle.

Our Mission and Business Commitment to People and Planet

Looking up at the back of a Northwest Center blue truck with the words Donate Here.

Driving Change Since 1967

Sustainability is at the heart of Northwest Center’s work toward an inclusive world. In 1967, our original Social Enterprise, The Big Blue Truck, was among the first to embrace the circular sustainable economy, collecting and selling used clothing to generate revenue for programs for people with disabilities. This model established a commitment to sustainability that has grown ever since.

Integrating Sustainability Across Northwest Center

Northwest Center has integrated sustainability into the five pillars that now define our work: People, Partnerships, Operations, Governance, and impact in Communities.

Ten Sustainability Goals

Our commitment is captured in our ten sustainability goals:

  1. Create a more equitable world by working to eliminate ableism and create equity for people with disabilities.
  2. Advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  3. Advocate for our mission at all levels of government and in communities.
  4. Evaluate environmental elements of our businesses and move toward sustainable consumption and production.
  5. Maintain a culture of continuous improvement and growth.
  6. Ensure Northwest Center complies with environmental policies and creates best practices that go beyond policies.
  7. Work with suppliers to adopt Northwest Center’s sustainability policy.
  8. Educate staff about the sustainability policy and encourage adoption of its ideas and spirit.
  9. Ensure sustainability goals are documented in strategic plans and implemented, reviewed, and improved.
  10. Establish accountability through the Northwest Center Board of Directors, which provides oversight and governs the execution of Northwest Center, including our commitment to sustainability.

Working with employees, clients, communities, customers, policymakers, and suppliers, we are committed to achieving these commitments and the vision of an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world.