Bianca Greeff, Graduate Assistant.
14 departments across the University of Utah are currently participating in the Sustainability Office’s Green Office Certification, with six already certified.
Green Office Certification helps the University achieve its sustainability goals through inviting broad participation. The program is managed by Karren Nichols, Administrative Officer in the Sustainability Office.
Karren Nichols reviewing office initiatives.
“Green Office Certification helps colleges and departments foster and adopt more sustainable practices within the workplace,” Nichols explained.
Any college or department on campus can participate in Green Office Certification. The process begins with a certification form. After completing the form, it is submitted to Nichols, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon receipt of the form, Nichols coordinates a green-office specialist to walk through the space.
The benefit of having a specialist walk through your space is that they might notice something you overlooked on your form. The specialist can identify further cost or resource saving changes that can be made, as well as noticing what eco-friendly behavior may already be in place for the office.
“Sustainability has been growing over the last eight years on campus,” Nichols explained. “A lot of people are already engaging in eco-friendly behavior, and they just don’t realize that is what it is.”
Depending on the score, offices are awarded a bronze, silver, or gold certification. The green-office specialists works with each office to make sure they meet at least the bronze level. After initial certification, the specialists will continue to help offices until obtain gold.
Myron Willson, Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, and Karren Nichols presenting the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center their Gold certification.
The College of Humanities Dean’s Office and the Second Language Teaching & Research Center are certified bronze. City & Metropolitan Planning is certified silver. Gold certifications include the College of Architecture + Planning Dean’s Office, the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center, and the Office of Sponsored Projects.
By helping offices meet specific minimum requirements around, and related to, recycling, green purchasing practices, transportation, energy, and other common office activities, the program is also helping the University of Utah meet its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
“By shifting daily behaviors, we can work together to make a big impact on campus as well as in the community,” Nichols said.
By collectively leveraging our individual office habits, together we can become more sustainable.
Certify your office today.