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The Department of Economics Paves the Way for RBC Offices

Recently, the Department of Economics became the first office in Rauch Business Center to become certified through the Sustainable Office Program. The Department of Economics achieved a bronze certification, completing just over 25 percent of the possible sustainable actions. The department is paving the way for other Rauch offices and academic departments to help make Lehigh’s campus a more sustainable place. The Chemistry Department became the first academic department to become certified in 2016, making the Department of Economics the second.

The Sustainable Office Program began at Lehigh in the spring of 2015 and over 15 offices have been certified. The program includes three steps; the registration, the baseline survey, and the checklist of actions. It is a voluntary, self-guided program designed for faculty and staff to take the lead in promoting sustainable practices in the workplace.  Rene Hollinger, the coordinator for the Department of Economics, certified the main office.  Rene became the Sustainable Office Representative and she helped to make the main office in the Department of Economics more sustainable.

Rene orders supplies for the department in bulk and with reusable packaging. She also actively participates in many events on Lehigh’s campus, such as the BeWell Program, the Move-Out Collection Drive, and more. Rene was surprised with how easy it is to get certified through the Sustainable Office Program. Rene said, “It only takes a few minutes to complete the survey. More offices should look into it. You would be surprised that you are probably worthy of the "bronze" as was my department (although we were only 10 points shy of the "silver").” Rene is now interested in re-certifying the Department of Economics in the future.

Rene believes that all RBC departments should improve their sustainable practices and join the program. Begin the first step of the process by filling out the registration form. A Sustainable Office team member will further discuss the program with your office before beginning. Help spread sustainable practices throughout your building or department!