Sustainable Spaces Spotlight: Safety and Risk Services

Throughout the summer, SFU’s Safety & Risk Services (SRS) office has been very busy working on their Sustainable Spaces checklist. Despite being a 24/7 operation, where it can be tricky to save energy and have a team of almost 50 staff members focus on sustainable behaviours, the SRS Sustainability Team has managed to achieve the silver level of certification.

The checklist focuses on the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental and social. SRS has managed to address an impressive amount for each, through actions such as:

  • Distributing ‘turn it off’ stickers to all staff members reminding them to power down and flick lights off when they leave;
  • Establishing the SRS Sustainability Team of volunteers who meet regularly;
  • Transitioning away single packages to bulk condiments;
  • Switching to reusable stir sticks; and
  • Providing reusable bags in their shared kitchen space. 


Left to Right: Nedia Vanderelst, Laura Vajanto, Marta Spira, Marina Van Driel, and Len Bennett

The relatively recent office space renovations and upgraded technology in the space further improve the efficiency and will contribute to noticeable energy savings.

Of special importance is the Me to We coffee program that the SRS department supports through Van Houtte. This coffee is sustainably sourced (organic, shade grown) coffee with an impactful social component empowering women, their families, and their villages, and funds financial literacy education for these female farmers.

In terms of office supplies, other highlights include the department having 30% post-consumer recycled content paper, having a pen recycling program, and is transitioning from paper to electronic files for their entire unit.

Lastly, though it’s not on the official checklist, the gorgeous amount of greenery and vegetation in Laura Vajanto’s office is worth noting, as plants are great for air purification and can contribute to improved mental health.

Thank you to SRS for collaborating as a team to contribute to the overall sustainability of the university. A huge congratulations on this achievement!

To learn more about the Sustainable Spaces program and to certify your space, visit