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Sustainable Office Certification: Certified Offices

Offices that complete Sustainable Office Certification receive a framed certificate acknowledging their success and are recognized at the annual Western Sustainability Awards reception. View the introductory presentation, and read the 3-step certification process to get involved.

In each department, a volunteer facilitator completed a questionnaire, scoring the office for actions already in place and actions initiated during the certification process. Each action is valued at 1-6 points, according to cost, impact and required effort. Additional points were earned for innovative actions developed by and adopted as standard practice within the office or department.

(Click on the plus to read the office's special commendation.)
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bronze


AS Board of Directors (11 student staff)
Sustainable Office (SO) Facilitator: Max Zentner
Action Score: 61/148; Certification Level: Bronze

Expand MeSpecial Commendation

The AS Board is sweater-conscious, and office staff manage personal comfort levels with layering rather than using space heaters or turning up the thermostat. Nearly half the staff regularly relies on buses for transportation. The office uses rechargeable batteries, has disabled the screen savers on their computers and disconnects personal electronics when not in use. For special events serving food, the office provides reusable dishes and utensils or compostable ware and emphasizes tap/bulk dispenser water use, not purchasing bottle water for events either. Through mapping their office energy inventory the AS Board is continually striving to reduce energy use and improve their SOC scores.


silver


Western Libraries Circulation (5 staff, 10 student staff)
SO Facilitator: Clarissa Mansfield; Supervisor: Kim Marsicek
Action Score: 85/145; Certification Level: Silver

Expand MeSpecial Commendation

The printers in Circulation are older and will not accept once-used paper without jamming. Circulation makes other efforts to reduce printing, and then collects any paper printed on one-side only for scratch-paper, sharing it with the Writing Center. Circulation has switched from using paper cups to designating a shared space for coffee-making and washable mugs, and designated an area for re-usable office supplies, available to Library staff. They also collect and return packing materials to inter-library loan for re-use.


gold


Provost's Office (18 staff, 6 student staff)
SO Facilitator: Melinda Assink; Supervisor: Catherine Riordan, VP for Academic Affairs
Action Score: 93/145; Certification Level: Gold

Expand MeSpecial Commendation

The president's/Provost's office is a high profile place, with 20 staff, who meeting the public and assisting administrators and University officials engaged in meetings, events and travel on behalf of the university. This office plans and follows through with sustainable catered events, including composting food and food-soiled paper. Energy saving measures include disabling screen savers on all office computers, changing hibernate settings with the help of the office IT specialist, and wearing sweaters for comfort, while keeping thermostats set to 68F.


gold


Environmental Health & Safety (9 staff, 4 student staff)
SO Facilitator: Sue Sullivan; Supervisor: Gayle Shipley; Division: Business & Financial Affairs
Action Score: 97/145; Certification Level: Gold

Expand MeSpecial Commendation

EHS staff set up a separation area for all their waste materials, including paper towel compost, food waste compost, recyclable aluminum, glass & plastic. They have reduced landfill waste in their office by over 75%, and take compostable paper towels and food from their office waste to the SSC food Plus container located near their building.


gold


Financial Aid Department (28 staff, 31 student staff)
SO Facilitators: Kathleen Nolan, Program Coordinator, and Marye Scott, Student Employee
Action Score: 109/145; Certification Level: Gold

Expand MeSpecial Commendation

This is a large department, consisting of four office work areas, sharing a kitchen and break room. This office has received an award for going to all paperless processing, and had many action items in place before applying for sustainable Office Certification. They still found more they could do to reduce their impact, and are working these actions in to their policies. The Conservation Facilitator team surveyed office staff anonymously, to get an idea of actions and attitudes supporting sustainable actions, and are working to ensure that efforts are equitable, and do not adversely affect workloads or working conditions in the department. The office has implemented waste sorting that removes compostable food waste and food-soiled paper from their offices, kitchen and break room waste stream. Desk reference manuals are now paperless using One-Note, enabling simultaneous access and immediate update of all desk reference guides.


gold


University Advancement Services (4 staff, 5 student staff)
SO Facilitator: Jennifer Hoover; Supervisor: Donna Janigo
Action Score: 102/145; Certification Level: Gold

Expand MeSpecial Commendation

All five Staff in the Foundation Services Office bike, bus or walk to work daily, and regularly bicycle to off-campus meetings and retreats. In addition to separating recyclable material, staff also separate compostable food waste and dispose of it in the Food Plus container located next to the Miller Hall dumpster. Sustainable office orientation for student staff has been incorporated into office routine.


gold


Center For Service Learning (4 staff, 3 student staff)
SO Facilitator: Alex Allyne; Director: Tim Costello
Action Score: 105/148; Certification Level: Gold

Expand MeSpecial Commendation

Recycling paper, and turning off appliances and lights is a standard practice in the Center for Service Learning. Everyone in the office walks, bikes or rides the bus to work. For special events when food is served, food waste and recyclables are separated, reusable dishes, linens and utensils are used, and pitchers or water stations are used instead of bottled water. Even though compostable food waste needs to be carried outside the office for disposal, the group decided to adopt a food+plus kitchen pail and now compost or recycle all of their lunchroom waste.


platinum


Teaching-Learning Academy (2 staff, 8 student staff)
SO Facilitator: Shevell Thibou; Director: Carmen Werder
Student Co-Facilitators: Simon Bakke, Caroline Dallstream, Kali Legg
Action Score: 136/145; Certification Level: Platinum

Expand MeSpecial Commendation

Having reached the Silver level in 2012, TLA continued to improve, reaching Platinum after a year of deliberate effort throughout the department. TLA has expanded their influence beyond their own office by sponsoring weekly Western sustainability Lunch & Learn Conversations, and encouraging other members of the Library Learning commons to join SOC. TLA maintains containers for food waste compost, pens/pencil and container recycling in the multi-use area outside their office. Re-usable mugs are provided for TLA participants, and sustainability success stories are shared with folks throughout campus and community, during bi-weekly TLA sessions. TLA staff assisted the Office of Sustainability in developing an office energy inventory that is now included in the SOC scoresheet. Energy reduction efforts include turning off computers and printers after hours and on weekends, facilitating and rewarding carpooling to conferences, and choosing conference venues based on reduced environmental impacts.


gold


International Programs & Exchanges
SO Facilitators: Hannah Nevitt, Dan Lindeman, Laurie Nesheim; Supervisor: Krista Mantello
Action Score: 107/148; Certification Level: Gold

Expand MeSpecial Commendation

IPE is located in LEED-certified Miller hall, but faces challenges due to their widely-spread office structure. Not to be deterred, their group efforts include minimizing or eliminating desk-side trash bins, to maximize recycling. They are the first group on campus to adopt trash mini-bins. IPE earned a 100% score for energy reduction actions, and pay special attention to special events & travel. Separated compost collection is available in Miller, and all staff make a point to use it. The shared printer is only turned on when there is a need to print.


gold


Business & Financial Affairs
SO Facilitators: Mary Seaton; Supervisor: V.P. Rich Van Den Hul
Action Score: 113/148; Certification Level: Gold

Expand MeSpecial Commendation

Office Staff engaged in education regarding compostable materials and composting practices, and now separate all waste materials, including compostable bathroom paper towels as well as food waste. Attention is paid to waste & energy impacts at meetings. VP BFA office earned a 100% score in purchasing practices. There is an exemplary level of participation in safety and emergency preparedness, including CERT and CPR training. Half of the office group participates in Whatcom Smart Trips, with several daily carpool and bus commuters.


gold


Psychology Office
SO Facilitators: Mike Valente, Andrea Swanson
Action Score: 111/148; Certification Level: Gold

Expand MeSpecial Commendation

The Psychology Department is located in AIC, a Leed-certified building, with motion-activated light sensors and many other energy-reducing features. Even so, an Energy inventory revealed that by turning off computers and monitors at seven staff workstations when they are not in use (nights, weekends, holidays)the office reduces energy costs by $380.00 per year and reduces CO2 emissions by 5,900 pounds per year. The department staff added compostables collection in the break room/kitchen/conference room, and collects paper towels for composting in the labs and classrooms. Faculty and student s participate in the Sustainable office Program. Not satisfied with these efforts, the department is actively looking for re-use and recycling for Styrofoam packing material, and investigating a departmental bike for on and off-campus meetings and errands. Psychology received SOC status through the initiative and efforts of original Facilitator Monica Aebly, and are continuing practices with after Monica has moved to another office on campus.


gold


Facilities Development & Capital Budget
SO Facilitators: MaryLynn Dawe; Supervisor: Diana Rosen; Director: Rick Benner
Action Score: 91/148; Certification Level: Gold

Expand MeSpecial Commendation

Staff have started using natural lighting where possible, turning off overhead lights. During colder weather, sweaters and layers are the norm, keeping office temperature at 68F. Work with IT staff to reduce energy draw from idle computers is developing. Reusable mugs and dishes are available for visitor use, and all staff have a reusable mug and/or water bottle. Currently coffee grounds are being collected for compost, with a strong interest in composting food waste and bathroom paper towels.


silver


Dean's Office, Woodring College of Education
SO Facilitators: Miranda Myers Barker; Supervisor: Carole Teshima
Action Score: 82/148; Certification Level: Silver

Expand MeSpecial Commendation

Computers, printers & copiers are turned off overnight and on weekends, and natural lighting is used everywhere possible, turning off overhead lights. Special attention is paid to reducing packaging and food waste at special events, by ordering platters, rather than individual portions, using water stations rather than bottled water, and by carrying through with a compost and recycling plan for each event. Completion of a computer energy inventory reveals that by turning off computers overnight and on weekends, the office reduces over 10,000 lbs of CO2 annually, savings $680.00 in electricity costs.



2014 Sustainable Office Certifications in Progress

  • Student Business Office, Old Main
    SO Facilitator: Mary Nichols; Manager: Bob Putich
  • WWU Records Center/Center for Pacific NW Studies/Washington State Archives
    SO Facilitators: Tony Kurtz, WWU; Megan Shoemaker, Washington State Archives
  • Human Resources
    SO Facilitator: Nick Sanchez

energy

Contact

Carol Berry, Campus Conservation Program Manager
Carol.Berry@wwu.edu | (360)650-7979

Jenny Godwin, SOC Program Assistant
Jeannine.Godwin@wwu.edu