Creating Green Offices at HWS – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Creating Green Offices at HWS

After a very successful Green Room Certification (GRC) program kicked off the year, the Office of Sustainability is launching a new program to green up office spaces on campus.

The Green Office Certification program highlights many of the same issues as GRC, while focusing on the unique differences between residential and office spaces. Jamie Landi, sustainability manager, explains that the goal of the program is as much to start a conversation within departments about green work practices and sourcing as it is to educate individuals about their spaces.

The program is based upon a model similar to that of the GRC program. Environmental representatives will each be assigned to work with different academic departments and offices on campus toward achieving Green Office Certification. In order to achieve certification, staff and faculty members must complete a 15-minute educational program with their environmental representative and meet the criteria presented.

There are certain aspects of the program which are fairly easy to achieve, such as pledging not to use plastic water bottles at office events or keeping windows closed during the winter when the heat is on. Other aspects are going to be more complex and will inspire a dialogue about issues surrounding sustainability. For some departments, this might mean taking more public transportation when traveling, pledging to use the most fuel efficient rental cars, or purchasing recycled paper.

“I am tremendously excited by our 25 percent participation rate with the Green Room Certification program” says Landi. “I hope to build on that success by getting staff and faculty on board.”

There are 40 EcoReps involved in the program this year who have volunteered their time to contribute to sustainability efforts on campus. Each EcoRep is assigned a specific area on campus, such as the Hill or JPR, in which they are responsible for coordinating green events and working with resident assistants to make sure that the building is functioning as sustainably as possible. In addition, EcoReps have now been assigned to work with specific academic and professional spaces across campus to help them meet the Colleges’ sustainability goals.