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The Office Outside the Kitchen: Lehigh Dining Service's Unique Certification

While most departments slow down in the summer, Lehigh Dining Services kept the ball rolling by completing their Sustainable Office Program certification. This past month, the Lehigh Dining Services office, located in Rathbone Dining Hall, became the 17th office to become certified in the program.  They earned a bronze certification. Lehigh Dining Services eagerly decided to join the program as a part of their ongoing green efforts. Within the past two years they have worked to make Rathbone Dining Hall itself more sustainable. This summer, they decided to focus on their office space.

Lehigh Dining Services had quite the unique certification process. Located inside of the dining hall, Lehigh Dining Services is not the most traditional office space. While most certified offices typically include a kitchenette, with a coffee maker, microwave, refrigerator, etc., Lehigh Dining Services does not. Their office is located on the side of Rathbone dining hall, where students eat each day. Because of their location, there is no need for a kitchenette. Instead, the workers utilize all that Rathbone has to offer. They get their hot morning cup of coffee from the dining hall, rather than from a Keurig, like most traditional offices. They also use the reusable plates and silverware from the dining portion of Rathbone.

Through the Sustainable Office Program, each office has the power to chose what space they wish to certify. An office can be defined as a room with a single desk and computer, or an office can be a building with an entire department. After meeting with the Office of Sustainability, Carrie Gerencher, of Dining Services, decided to define her office as just the space where the employee's work. The space included computers, printers, and other typical office supplies, but excluded all of Rathbone Dining Hall, where students go to eat. Carrie and her team worked hard to make their office as green as they could. Carrie wants change to continue throughout campus.

Join Lehigh Dining Services in their quest for good food and a clean environment and sign up for the Sustainable Office Program here. You can also contact the Office of Sustainability with any questions regarding the program or to set up a meeting at sustainability@lehigh.edu.