CSUMB Green Office Certification

By Tessa Munson
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Clouds form as the sun sets over Monterey Bay near Del Monte State Beach.

In order to quantify green initiatives on campus, California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) student Robert Harding, in collaboration with the Sustainability Office, has developed a series of surveys that he says are “designed to provide a metric to campus officers as to how sustainable their practices are, and what they can learn to make improvements.

“The other goal is to indicate to people outside the office all the sustainable accomplishments the office has reached,” Harding hopes this program, the CSUMB Green Office Certification, will help the CSUMB campus, as well as other organizations, determine which environmental policies and practices best serve the people they represent.

Harding has been working with the Campus Planning and Development Office on the pilot release for these surveys. The pilot run is currently underway, with plans to make the program official during the Spring 2019 semester.

The first survey that CSUMB officers will complete is the application. The application provides information to Harding and his team about the location, department, size and other details the office requires to make informed judgments.

The second survey is the General Office Certification Form. This form includes a series of questions for officers in regards to energy use, water consumption, kitchen/common areas, product and service sourcing, waste and events or notifications. This survey is designed to address the office of application as a whole.

One of the questions from the energy section of the survey reads, “Are the computers set to sleep mode when not in use?” The answer selections read, “1) Yes – after 5 minutes or less, 2) Yes – after 15 minutes or less, 3) Yes – after +15 minutes or more, 4) No, 5) I don’t know.” Once users have completed the set of questions, the survey will generate a rating for the office of application in terms of how eco-friendly the collective office runs.

The final survey is the Individual Green Office Certification Form and is designed to address individuals within the various offices at CSUMB. The sections in this form include, appliances, office space, kitchen and common areas, transportation, and training and informative meetings. Many of the questions in the General Office Certification Form overlap with the questions in the Individual Green Office Certification Form. The main difference for this survey is that it addresses individuals within the offices at CSUMB, rather than the offices as a whole.

Harding said: “The Sustainability Office began the CSUMB Green Office Certification Program with the intent to educate, promote campus wide sustainability goals, and help cultivate a conversation with CSUMB staff and faculty about ways to have a sustainability orientated office.” Harding and the Sustainability Office are excited to unveil this project next semester to help reduce CSUMB’s overall carbon footprint.

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