UCSF Sustainability Stories

Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, November 2013

Race to Certification:  Focus on School of Medicine

Deans officeThe Race to Certification is on.  Don’t be left behind—the process is fun and simple.  Last year, the Dean’s Office at The School of Medicine, Information Services Unit, became one of the first workspaces to participate in the LivingGreen Office Certification, receiving a Gold certification.  After the initial success with the process, the Dean’s Office decided to get all its offices certified.  A key motivation to expanding the program, were the expected energy and cost savings, estimated to be in the $250-$500 range by the LivingGreen office. 

Stephanie Belger, Manager of Special Events for the Dean’s Office took the lead on the initial assessment and offers her thoughts on successfully navigating the process:

Identify an Office Lead: In order to expand the program, the first step taken by Belger was to figure out who a contact person would be for each office unit and put them in touch with the LivingGreen Office team.

Schedule a Assessment:  Next, the office leads email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and schedule an initial environmental assessment.  “The office assessment was a great process.  The LivingGreen team checked out everything in our office and came back with a list of recommendations of things that we could do.  We made those changes,” said Belger. 

Inform the Office of Results and Expected Changes:  Belger then sent an e-mail to the entire office informing them of the assessment results and letting them know potential changes to expect around the office.  Some of the changes they implemented included:

*  Programed all printers to enter power save, sleep or stand-by mode when idling for long periods of time.  The energy savings from putting 8 personal printers into power sleep mode is estimated to be: 1,051 kWh and $115.63 dollars per year (assumes a 30w printer is on for 12 hours a day vs. 24 hours a day).

*  Installed a 0.5 gpm aerator on kitchen sink, reducing water consumption by over 70%.

*  Set printers to double-sided (duplex) printing as the default setting.

*  Switched from 30% to 100% post-consumer water (PCW) recycled paper (the double-sided printing helped to offset the cost increase).

These simple changes are saving over $400 annually.