Communications office, others join growing “green” list

The Office of Communications has earned the UO’s highest distinction for earth-friendly operations, adopting policies and practices certified “green” by the university.

The department was one of seven recognized during the latest round of green-office certifications by the Office of Sustainability.

Under the Green Office Certification program, campus offices and departments can promote environmental awareness by committing to reduce impacts and adopt best practices. The program uses a point-scoring system to award certificates at the bronze, silver, gold or platinum level.

Offices score points by filling out a scorecard that covers energy use, transportation, purchasing, materials management and events. Under energy use, for example, offices can set computer monitors to automatically go to sleep after five minutes of inactivity, and computers after 15; under purchasing, for example, offices can ensure that all paper products are made from 100 percent “post consumer waste” content.

During the latest round of certifications, the Community Service Center and Technology Transfer Services earned gold certification. Four others were certified at the bronze level: Athletics Business Office, Capital Construction, Human Physiology and Purchasing and Contracting Services.

The platinum-level certification of the communications office earned a visit by university President Michael Gottfredson and Steve Mital, director of the Office of Sustainability. The communications office is the second on campus to earn the highest ranking, joining the biology department.

Matt Cooper, communications specialist, spearheaded the effort with office manager Amber Andri.

“This was a team effort – I’m proud my colleagues and the university make sustainability a priority,” Cooper said. “I’ve wanted to do something like this at my workplace since I saw Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’”

- by Joe Mosley, UO Office of Strategic Communications