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Green Office Spotlight: CU Denver's School of Public Affairs (SPA)

Kim Nguyen, Dean's Office Operations Coordinator, and Dee Dee Flynn, Public Relations and Events Senior Professional at the School of Public Affairs for the University of Colorado Denver, have spearheaded the ASCP's Green Office Certification Program within their office environment. Achieving Silver Status in April 2024, SPA becomes the second Silver office on the Auraria Campus.

The ASCP helps offices start "greening" their office environment by providing a checklist of tasks they can integrate to improve in aspects of sustainability. Once they have initiated changes in the sustainability-related categories, they can schedule an office audit with the ASCP representative who allots points based on their success in each category. They are then assigned a level of certification (bronze, silver, gold, or platinum) accordingly.

Congratulations, SPA! Thank you for your unwavering dedication to our campus sustainability mission.

1. What inspired you to pursue the Green Office program?

“First, the program came from an amazing previous graduate of our program, so it was a lovely connection to our school and the work we do regarding environmental policy and issues. What initially inspired me was that I care about the planet, the people, and our community. I think this is an easy way to make it better” Dee Dee Flynn. “I also care a lot about the planet and because I do the office management piece, I see all the cleaning products we use and the supplies we order, and now knowing what we can do to be better was an inspiration for us” Kim Nguyen.

2. Why is this program important to your office?

“In the School of Public Affairs, we have a number of degrees and programs that surround environmental policy and studies and if that is something we are teaching, it is something we should put into practice. I think this program is a great way to take a look at everything that goes on in the office and how we can make it more efficient” Kim Nguyen. “I think it is important for us to practice exactly what we teach our students and reduce the waste we put out into the community since we do put on a lot of events throughout the year” Dee Dee Flynn.

3. What does the Silver level achievement mean to you and your office?

“I think it’s amazing, yay for the efforts that we have already implemented! The checklist was a great reminder that helped us be knowledgeable about what we can do to be better and all the ways we can be more green. Earning the silver level rather than bronze tells us we have been doing something right. Also, knowing we can still move up to gold tells us there is always room to improve” Dee Dee Flynn. “After sending out an email to our staff and faculty letting them know we have joined the program, we’ve had a lot of great feedback from staff and faculty showing excitement about this program” Kim Nguyen.

4. What was your favorite part of pursuing this program?

"The best part of pursuing this program was the growth aspect and how we can be better as an office, how we can be better stewards of the resources we provide, and how joining this program has already sparked a lot of great conversation between faculty and staff without us having to do too much. I think this shows a great sense of community” Dee Dee Flynn.

5. What are you most excited about going forward? 

" We are most excited for compost bins! Everyone is really excited about this and excited to start composting. We are also just excited to continue to grow toward the gold level and become a greener office" Dee Dee and Kim.



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