“We’re very honored to be the first division to show an active engagement with sustainability in all our offices,” said John Sejdinaj, Vice President for Finance. “We’re thrilled about the collective accomplishments of our dedicated staff members, and hope to encourage more divisions to be certified.”
Green Office Certification is an initiative designed by the Office of Sustainability to engage faculty and staff with the University’s strategic goals of reducing carbon emissions by 50% per square foot and increasing waste diversion to 67%, both by 2030.
The Finance Division includes the Office of Budget and Financial Planning, the Office of the Controller, and the Office of Treasury Services. The teams in the three offices worked hard to earn their certifications, implementing a variety of sustainability measures including recycling all electronics, eliminating mini-fridges, and no longer purchasing bottled water.
“The Finance Division is a great example of how this program can realize multiple benefits for participating offices,” said Erin Hafner, Programs Manager in the Office of Sustainability. “In addition to protecting the environment, these offices are saving money and being good stewards of the University’s resources. Their efforts to achieve Certification also serve to demonstrating their department’s commitment to Catholic mission.”
The certification process covers five categories: education, energy, waste, transportation, and purchasing. Points can be earned for actions such as using “smart” power strips, reminding co-workers to be eco-conscious through email updates, using reusable towels, and encouraging the use of public transportation or carpooling. ‘Innovation credits’ are also available for creative solutions to further sustainability efforts above and beyond the requirements.
There are three levels of certification: Leaf One, Leaf Two, and Leaf Three. Leaf One denotes that 40% of the total points available have been received, Leaf Two denotes 75% of the points, and Leaf Three denotes 95% plus at least one innovation point. Each of the three offices in the Finance Division received a Leaf Two level of certification. Certified offices have the opportunity to re-certify in future years in order to increase their rating.
“Over the last year, Green Office Certification has grown into an integral part of expanding sustainability programming across campus,” added Hafner. “To initiate the process for your own office, please complete the checklist and submit it to the Office of Sustainability. If you have questions, please email us at any time."