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Two New Workplaces Receive Green Workplace Certification

Two New Workplaces Receive Green Workplace Certification

The Organization for Tropical Studies and the Nicholas School of the Environment DEL Program are certified green

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The Organization for Tropical Studies and the Nicholas School of the Environment DEL Program have each earned the Duke Green Workplace Certification, bringing the total to 21 certified workplaces at Duke.  The Green Workplace Certification recognizes work areas that formally assess how they are reducing their environmental footprint. The Organization for Tropical Studies achieved 46 items out of 57 possible items on a checklist that measures workplace sustainability.  The Nicholas School of the Environment DEL Program completed 47 items.

Sustainable practices in both workplaces include eliminating unnecessary electronic equipment, using reusable bags instead of disposables, and seeking local, organic and vegetarian options when food is provided. They keep washable dishes and utensils in their kitchens to avoid disposables and have set all computers to default double-sided printing. 

Additional points were awarded to each for creative actions taken by the workplace.  The Nicholas School of the Environment DEL Program uses a shuttle that runs on biodiesel for all of their events, and has moved all of their course materials online for the DEL MEM and Executive Education Courses. The Organization for Tropical Studies is looking into retrofitting some areas of their older house buildings on Swift Avenue in order to make them more energy efficient. They would like to better insulate windows and doors for energy efficiency and are switching out excessive fluorescent lighting for more focused LED overhead lighting coupled with LED desk lamps for additional light if needed.

Duke's Office of Sustainability administers the Duke Green Workplace Certification, which begins when a representative from a work area attends the free "Leading for Environmental Sustainability" workshop. As part of the workshop, participants receive a checklist of sustainable practices ranging from double-sided printing to using eco-friendly dishwashing soap in a break room. A work area that can demonstrate it follows at least 40 of the checklist's 57 items can apply for certification and permission to post the Duke Green Workplace seal in its office and on materials.

View a complete list of certified offices and the actions they completed to earn certification.