Staffers from SFU's seven offices certified as "sustainable".

Faculty and Staff

Seven SFU offices certified sustainable

May 25, 2017

By Mandy McDougall

Purchasing from local vendors, brewing fair trade coffee, and opting for reusable dishware are just some of the steps you can take to achieve the official “Sustainable Offices” certification as part of SFU’s new Sustainable Spaces program.

“By certifying your office, lab, dining venue or event as a Sustainable Space, SFU food vendors, event organizers, students, faculty and staff can receive recognition and help the University achieve its sustainability vision and goals,” says Rachel Telling, program manager, Sustainability Office.

To date, SFU’s Graduate Student Society, Department of Human Resources, Department of Economics, the Vancouver Administration office, Science and Environment Co-Op, Embark, and the Sustainability Office have all received certification as Sustainable Offices.

The Sustainable Spaces program originally began in 2010 as a university-wide Green Labs and Green Offices program piloted by SFU Sustainability ambassadors. Its success has led to a universal initiative that now includes dining facilities and events across all three campuses, and also involves faculty, staff and students.

The expanded program places an emphasis on social and economic sustainability, not just environmental sustainability. Actions such as adhering to ethical procurement policies and researching full product life cycles ensure that multiple aspects of sustainability are considered.

Officially certified spaces—ranked as either Bronze, Silver or Gold, depending on the number of applicable items completed—can receive support from the Sustainability Office to apply for sustainability-related funding initiatives. As well, there are toolkits available to advance sustainable efforts in workspaces.

“The initiative encourages teams to come up with creative and innovative approaches to sustainability,” says Telling.

“Notable actions by Sustainable Offices so far include purchasing a reusable coffee filter, pledging to take public transportation to campus more often, and investing sustainably.”

SFU offices, labs, events, and dining venues certified as a Sustainable Space are adopting measurable tactics towards achieving the goals outlined in SFU’s 20-Year Sustainability Vision and Goals.

Certify your office as a Sustainable Space between May and August 2017 to be automatically entered to win a bi-weekly draw.