On January 27, the first annual Washington University Green Carpet Awards recognized the 55 university offices that certified or re-certified with the Green Office Program in 2016. To certify, an office must first fulfill requirements that promote a sustainable workplace and environment, ranging from sourcing recycled-content paper to eliminating individual space heaters.
Since the program began in 2012, 70 offices have gone through the certification process. Offices represent all university campuses and range from one-person offices to offices of 60.
Thirty-eight offices were new to the program in 2016. Five of the re-certified offices improved their certification level from the previous year, and five offices received the highest certification level: Platinum. The awards ceremony included a luncheon of locally-sourced dishes, the presentation of certification plaques, and, of course, a green carpet!
The program opened with remarks from Chancellor Wrighton, who stressed the university’s emphasis on creating a sustainable future through research and campus operations. He commended the office liaisons for the important role they play in creating a culture of sustainability at the university. The Office of Sustainability presented the Office of the Chancellor with a plaque recognizing their certification at the Silver level in 2016, their first year of participation in the program.
The ceremony also featured guest speaker, Mickey Croyle, the Green Office liaison from the Radiation Safety office on the School of Medicine campus. Her office has received a Platinum certification for the past two years. Mickey shared her experiences in the program, explaining the collaborative efforts within her 17-person office that have created a sustainable environment with a focus on the office community.
The annual ceremony will honor university offices working toward sustainability, encourage individuals to develop innovative sustainable strategies, and strengthen the network of the Green Office community across the university. In addition to recognizing the 2017 certified offices, a new awards program will recognize exemplary leadership in fostering campus sustainability in two categories: People and Projects.
The Office of Sustainability aims to certify 100 offices by the end of 2017 and encourages new offices to initiate the certification process. If your office is interested in certifying, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or visit the Office of Sustainability website.
This article was written by Cara Cook, a Green Office Program Associate.