Jessica Godo, the Operations and Events Senior Coordinator at University of Colorado Denver's very own LynxConnect career student services office led the charge in making her office the first to achieve the Bronze Certificate for the Green Offices Program. The Green Offices Program aims to help offices across campus achieve higher sustainability standards. The ASCP helps offices start "greening" their space by providing a checklist of
simple tasks they can integrate to improve in certain aspects of sustainability. Once they've enacted changes in the categories of "Awareness", "Transportation". "Energy", "Water", "Waste Diversion", "Events", and "Purchasing", they schedule a walk through with an ASCP staff member who allots points based on their success in each category and are assigned a level of certification (bronze, silver, gold, or platinum) accordingly. Congratulations, Jessica and LynxConnect and thank you for your unwavering dedication to our campus sustainability mission!
1. What inspired you to pursue the Green Office program? Currently there are no policies, or urgency, on campus requiring all the different offices that work here to think about their carbon footprint and the overall environmental impact their choices have on our planet. Each office can make a huge difference by first being aware of their actions, and then learn how to mitigate those actions and make better, eco-friendly choices. Therefore, it was important to me to pursue the Green Office Program and be a leader on campus for those sustainable actions.
2. Why is this program important to your office? This program is important to me and the office I work in, LynxConnect, as it gives us the framework needed to make positive, sustainable changes. We have four offices within our space, so this program gave us the ability to promote the awareness of the impacts our teams have- from commuting, waste diversion, water and electricity usage, and procurement- and then guidance on alternative, more sustainable options. For example, we require each office to follow the Sustainable Swag Guide anytime they are purchasing items for giveaways or prizes, or to follow the Green Events Guide to help anyone plan an environmentally conscious event or meeting.
3. What does the Bronze level achievement mean to you and your office? The Bronze level achievement means that LynxConnect is just getting started in having a truly sustainable office. We are working on our next level of certification- Silver. By being the first office on campus to achieve the Bronze certification means that we have an opportunity to be a leader for the entire campus. We also plan to leverage this within our own institution to show how easy making eco-friendly choices can be, and the positive impacts that it has on the campus and planet. I recently spoke about my focus on the Triple Bottom Line (people, planet, and profit) within LynxConnect to senior leadership, and their ears perked up. They asked me to continue defining the impacts of the TBL in our office, as they want to learn more about it.
4. What is/was your favorite part of pursuing this program? My favorite part of this program was fully implementing the compost program. Right before the pandemic, we moved into our brand-new space in the Tivoli and signed a compost MOU with AHEC, as having a compost option internally was important to us. Once we returned to campus in Fall 2021, we were ready to hit the ground running, and could fully implement the compost program. We have three bins and clear signage in our kitchen for waste, recycle, and compost – and it’s been great to see everyone read those signs, learn what each bin includes, and divert their waste appropriately. With the compost MOU, we streamlined waste pick-up with AHEC. This means that we do not have desk bin-side service in our office- all staff must take their own trash or recycle bins from their desk and combine them to the large bins in the kitchen. This helps us divert more items from the landfill as folks must sort their items appropriately. We also require guests in our space to follow the waste diversion process and you see a “lightbulb” moment when they realize how much of what is in their hands is recyclable or compostable. It makes my heart happy knowing we divert even the smallest number of items from going to the landfill.