TCRSS participated in the launch of the Office of Sustainability’s Green Offices Program. The program is a points-based certification process that empowers members of UT faculty and staff to elicit change in their workspace. The student-led program, within the Campus Environmental Center, seeks to advance the University’s sustainability goals and commitment to being stewards of the environment.
After being accepted to the program, we were provided with a lengthy Certification Checklist that was broken up in categories of Awareness, Transportation, wellness, Energy & Water, Waste & Recycling, Purchasing, and Innovation. Each category contained a list of sustainable changes to implement in our office’s daily activities. Among these were minor changes such as posting information on Campus recycling policies and energy saving tips, as well as some major changes such as changing our primary transportation method from single person cars to walking, biking, or public transportation and scheduling walking meetings rather than the usual conference room. Points are awarded for each change, with the bigger changes earning higher points. At the end of the term, the amount of points you earn determines the level of certification you receive.
The program also asked each participating office to designate a Green Office Steward to serve as the office’s representative and champion of the program. Our Center Coordinator Kelli Anne Royse was up to the task and quickly began going down the checklist and implementing both operational and cultural changes toward more sustainable practices. When the 4 month program ended, we had earned 84 points achieving the Gold level of certification!