Three New Green Workplaces at Duke

Thirty-five areas have achieved Duke Green Workplace Certification

Three new workplaces, the Read Lab at the Duke University Marine Lab, the Arts & Sciences Deans Offices, and Duke University Press, have achieved the Duke Green Workplace Certification, bringing the total to 35 certified workplaces and over 600 staff working in certified workplaces at Duke.  The Green Workplace Certification recognizes work areas that formally assess how they are reducing their environmental footprint.

The Read Lab at the Duke University Marine Lab earned certification for seven staff by completing 46 out of 58 items on the certification checklist.  The lab purchases recycled-content paper and offers reusable dishware to avoid disposables. Their research boats operate on four-stroke and direct injection engines, which have better fuel economy and emit fewer emissions than traditional two-stroke engines.

The Arts & Sciences Deans Offices completed 55 items on the checklist, which is the highest number of items completed by any department to date.  They discontinued purchase of plastic water bottles among their offices, which have 40 employees.  Based on past usage, this change saves over 1,000 bottles of water per year. The group has also inspired two other large groups to eliminate bottled water.  The workplace also made significant achievements in energy and water conservation, green purchasing, recycling and reuse, and alternative commuting.

Duke University Press (DUP) completed 42 checklist items on behalf of their 100 staff members.  In addition to many actions within energy and water conservation, DUP made several sustainability improvements specific to their operations and off-campus location.  DUP installed an interior bike rack for staff to store their bikes securely and out of the elements, and provides a tire pump as needed.  One staff member bikes from Apex daily. 

Additionally, DUP encourages members of their Editorial Advisory Board to read materials from a wiki rather than delivering print materials.  While they previously sent Duke administrators copies of the latest book covers, along with an order form, they now send this information electronically to save paper, ink, and transportation fuel.  Finally, to encourage a sustainable lifestyle in their work and home environment DUP commissioned a local potter to design reusable mugs for their staff.

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 58 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.