Green Office Tools
Staff throughout the university support campus sustainability. Here's what you can do!
- Participate in the Sustainable Office Certification program.
- Become a Department Conservation Coordinator.
- Hang the What You Do poster in your office.
- Post the "Top 10" Sustainability Action Poster in your office.
- Use the Green Office Tools:
Sustainable Office Certification Program
Sustainable Office Certification reduces costs, protects the environment, conserves resources and promotes fairness, safety and health. The program supports actions and provides a simple way of measuring efforts that happen at the office level. Participating Offices are recognized for their level of achievement, as a way of showing thanks and appreciation for measurement of work well done.
A Department Conservation Coordinator is a staff or faculty member in a participating department, with the following qualifications:
Students may serve as assistant Conservation Coordinators in departments with a staff or faculty DCC.
Sustainable best practices in Western's working, learning, and living spaces make a difference. Use your power for good.
When office paper can no longer be used, it should be recycled. Most campus offices have bins for paper recycling at desks and common areas, with contents periodically transferred to the large blue barrels in building hallways. Most offices reuse paper ream boxes as their recycle box for under desks or near copy machines. This is encouraged because it’s reusing and the boxes are easy to replace if lost. If you want a bin for this use you can order a blue plastic bin that has “Recycle” printed on it through Keeney’s, or contact the Office of Sustainability for possible custom solutions.
68 degrees is the targeted heating set point in all campus buildings.
Room temperatures will typically vary a few degrees above and below the set point throughout the day, depending on a variety of factors. A room or area may seem warmer or colder, depending on proximity to system fans, windows or vents, and in relation to outside temperatures.
Facilities Management is committed to solutions providing comfort and functionality, while working to reduce utilities costs and supporting university climate action commitments.
All members of the university community are asked to support the 68F set-point through common-sense actions: (Click on the to learn more.)
Winter Tips for staying comfortable while conserving heating energy
Rooms and offices with adjustable heating units
If it's too hot or too cold...
To report a heating or air circulation issue in your area
At Western, heating is provided by a central steam plant fired by natural gas, and piped to most buildings on campus. However, heat delivery and temperature monitoring systems vary within each building, depending on age, academic function, engineering and architecture. The architectural differences in our buildings can be charming, but also challenging. Newer buildings, including the LEED construction on campus in the last few years, have been engineered with internal heating and air circulation controls that can be monitored and adjusted remotely. As part of WWU Facilities Management's support of the university Climate Action Plan, retrofitting is scheduled in a number of older campus buildings also. This will enable FM staff to check and adjust settings in most buildings immediately, and schedule necessary on-site visits in a timely manner.
Adjustment of building heat set points to 68F and lengthening late-night setback time will be completed by November 2011. The expected benefits are a reduction natural gas and electricity costs of $42,000 annually.
Re-calibrating the campus-wide heating set point to 68F is an adjustment of 2 degrees in most campus buildings. Most building occupants are unlikely to notice the change. In order to optimize energy cost savings and CO2 reduction, Faculty, staff and students throughout campus are asked to support the winter set-point. Common-sense actions and awareness of energy conservation will enable Western to reach its next climate action goal (36% drop in emissions by 2020), on the way to climate neutrality by 2050.
Quick ways to reduce personal electricity consumption. This graphic PDF can be attached to an email and forwarded throughout a department, as a reminder. Department Conservation Coordinators can order full-color prints to post in prominent locations. Stickers or clings to post as reminders to switch off lights, computers and other power-using devices can also be requested.
Turning computers and monitors off at night will reduce electricity consumption impacts and costs substantially. For more strategies, Read these guidelines for computer electricity reduction.
The cost of electricity may seem small, but multiply that by the number of computers on campus and it's easy to see how turning off our screen savers and setting computers to standby mode can get WWU closer to energy conservation and carbon reduction goals.
One Action That Always Saves Energy
Simply push the power button on your monitor to shut it off whenever you get up from your computer. Turn it back on when you sit down again. Your computer will use about 55% less electricity while the monitor is off, and your files will be right there when you turn it back on. You can put a small note on the corner of your monitor to remind you that just the monitor is off. After a while you'll remember to look for the monitor "on" light, and turn it on first, before you go to the computer button.
Returning the screen to active mode is as quick as hitting the spacebar or shaking the mouse.
If you are not able to change your computer's power settings without administrative access, you can go to standby manually: Start>Shut Down>What do you want the computer to do?>Standby
When you return to work, pushing the power button
To Determine Your Computer's Operating System
If this procedure doesn't work for you, your computer may have a different operating system than the general campus standard. You may need to contact your area IT specialist to request that your computer settings be adjusted for optimal energy savings.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Services & Programs
Carol Berry, Campus Conservation Program Manager
Carol.Berry@wwu.edu | (360)650-7979