Two New Green Workplaces Certified

62 workplaces including over 1,450 staff are currently certified

The Sarah P. Duke Gardens and the Post Doc Office 2407 in Civil & Environmental Engineering bring the total to 62 workplaces that have achieved the Duke Green Workplace Certification. The Green Workplace Certification recognizes work areas that formally assess how they are reducing their environmental footprint.

The Sarah P. Duke Gardens earned certification for 25 staff members by completing 44 out of 58 items on the checklist. The Gardens staff stopped using plastic "K-cup" coffee in favor of compostable coffee pouches, which they actively compost on site at the Gardens.  Other waste reduction measures include encouraging meeting attendees to bring their own mug and using reusable dishware and utensils for events.  Staff have cancelled junk mail, set computers to double-sided printing and reuse scrap paper to reduce waste.  The department also shuts down electronics to save energy and encourages use of alternative transportation.

The Post Doc Office 2407 in Civil & Environmental Engineering completed 45 out of 58 checklist items, earning certification for four staff members.  The department does not produce any hard-copy publications, opting instead for electronic alternatives.  The department saves energy and reduces waste in many other ways, such as enabling energy saving settings on copiers, recycling ink cartridges and using reusable bags. Staff purchase recycled content paper and office supplies when possible.  Impressively, three members of the office have taken a coffee mug pledge to never again use disposable cups. 

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.