Nicholas Institute and Live for Life are Green Workplaces

Workplaces get creative with sustainability efforts

Live for Life and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions have achieved the Duke Green Workplace Certification, bringing the total to 43 certified workplaces and over 950 staff working in certified workplaces at Duke.  The Green Workplace Certification recognizes work areas that formally assess how they are reducing their environmental footprint.

Live for Life earned certification for 45 staff by completing 42 out of 58 items on the certification checklist.  Live for Life staff are vigilant about saving energy by turning off lights and computers when they are not in use.  They encourage alternative transportation and keep reusable dishware in their break room.  At events and meetings, the department purchases organic and local food and encourages attendees to bring their own mug.

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions earned certification for 30 staff.  Beyond achieving an impressive 54 items on the checklist, the Nicholas Institute has undertaken many unique sustainabiliity efforts.  The Nicholas Institute collects and presents data on their greenhouse gas footprint twice annually and has purchased offsets to account for this impact.  Organic, Fair Trade coffee is served in bulk from a local roaster and grounds are composted.  The Institute surveyed their staff for a better understanding of their environmental behaviors and has plans to run a fun "green hot potato" game that encourages sustainable behaviors.

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.