On February 4, over 120 guests convened to celebrate sustainability leaders, green office liaisons, and participants in the Green Office Program during the 3rd annual Green Carpet Awards. This highly-anticipated event recognizes the participants of the Green Office Program, which encourages the adoption of policies and practices that minimize the environmental impact of office operations. Completion of an annual checklist is required for recognition at the event, and participants are encouraged to set goals for improved performance (and higher scores) in future years. Participating offices range in size from 2 people to 77 office members and include a wide variety of settings, including academic departments, maintenance shops, administrative teams, and campus leadership. All WashU campuses were represented, with people coming from North, West, Danforth and School of Medicine campuses.
In addition to Green Office recognition, the 2018 class of Sustainability Leadership Awardees were acknowledged and each received a handmade award from reclaimed materials. The unique awards were crafted by Perennial, a St. Louis non-profit founded by WashU alumna Jenny Murphy.
Chancellor Wrighton kicked off the event with words of encouragement for the Sustainability Leaders and the green office liaisons. He said that “we stand tall among universities around the world” in regards to sustainability leadership, and emphasized that the efforts of those participating in this program play an important role in advancing the university’s sustainability goals. This is the third (and final) Green Carpet Awards Ceremony in which Chancellor Wrighton will provide the honorary address. We are grateful for his early and continued support of the program!
Phil Valko, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability, followed with remarks that put the individuals’ actions in context with the pressing and urgent need for a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. He called on the sustainability champions in the room to double down on their efforts and continue to involve others in behavior and policy changes at both individual and university scales.
After recognizing each of the newly certified and re-certified offices, the program concluded by highlighting several new programs and resources that support office sustainability: The Green Event Certification Program, a Green Event caterer list, a summer office bike rental option through Bear’s Bikes, and the Office Supply Exchange.
The Green Carpet Awards, a certified Green Event, showcased many elements of green event planning including: a plant-forward menu with locally-sourced ingredients; reusable Greenware dishes (the first event to utilize the new Greenware program); awards and plaques made from reclaimed materials by local artisans; door prizes that support sustainable life styles (reusable straws and cutlery sets, a local coffee gift basket, and a gift basket from the Office Supply Exchange); reusable nametags; and promoting alternative transportation to the event.
For more information on how to participate in the Green Office Program, visit the Office of Sustainability website.
2018 Green Offices