Green Office Campaign Launched Campus-Wide

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

May 13, 2010 – The “Green Office” Campaign has been launched campus-wide at Southeast Missouri State University.

The effort is being spearheaded by the University’s Sustainability Committee. The Sustainability Committee was formed last year by Southeast President Kenneth W. Dobbins to look for ways for the University to become more efficient.  The Committee is chaired by Dr. Chris McGowan, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, and co-chaired by Angela Meyer, director of Facilities Management.

“The Committee is looking for ways to decrease energy uses and to lessen the impact on the environment,” McGowan said. “The Green Office initiative is designed to create awareness about the normal day-to-day operations of the University. The Green Office Award recognizes those offices that are doing the little things to make Planet Earth a better place to live.”

The Green Office program began as a pilot initiative this semester in Southeast’s College of Science and Mathematics. Last week, the College of Science and Mathematics Advising Office was the first office at Southeast to receive the Green Office Award at the “gold” level.

After the first award was presented, the University’s Green Office Sub-Committee, which piloted the program, has received several inquiries from across the University, thus prompting the campaign to be extended campus-wide.

Offices will be designated as a “Green Office” at “gold,” “silver” and “bronze” levels after accomplishing various tasks on a “Green Office Checklist,” which can be downloaded at http://www.semo.edu/news/images/News_GreenOffice_Checklist.xls.

Offices accomplishing 20 of the goals will be recognized as a “Gold Office.” Those accomplishing 15 of the goals will be designated as a “Silver Office” and those completing 10 will be deemed a “Bronze Office.”

Offices are asked to complete the “Green Office” form and, at the bottom of the second page, the chairperson or director is asked to sign.  The form should then be returned to Wilma Huffman, chairperson, Green Office Sub-Committee, Rhodes Hall, Room 102, MS 6000. 

“If it is a faculty member’s office, they will sign – and then we have asked that ‘members of the office/program’ also sign,” said Wilma Huffman, chair of the Green Office Sub-Committee. “This also includes student workers in that office.  One person can’t reduce an office’s energy use alone. It takes all working within the office, working as a team to make this happen.”

The checklist calls for offices to: recycle paper, aluminum cans and plastic bottles; buy and use recycled and recyclable products; use refillable pens and tape dispensers; purchase a battery charger and use rechargeable batteries when possible; keep mailing lists up-to-date, striving to avoid duplicates; encourage staff to edit documents on-screen when possible to avoid printing multiple drafts; print documents double-sided; and reduce text size when copying in order to use less paper.

Other items on the checklist include establishing a “used goods area” within an office for necessary items such as padded envelopes and folders; turning off lights when leaving the room; turning off computers, printers and other electric appliances when they are not in use; using refillable water bottles; refilling or recycling empty toner cartridges; monitoring copy machine use within offices; using websites or CDs to distribute information; and using ceramic coffee mugs and flatware instead of buying Styrofoam cups and plastic utensils.  

The checklists also calls for offices to use an e-mail signature encouraging the recipient of their e-mails not to print the message, if possible; borrow University resources, such as library materials, rather than making more copies; contact other offices seeking used items rather than purchasing new ones; unplug equipment not being used on weekends, breaks and holidays; and reduce the amount of junk mail and multiple catalogs delivered to offices.