Bringing Together Social Justice and Sustainability

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The Center for Gender Equity became a silver certified office in the Sustainable Office Program (SOP) earlier this month. The Center for Gender Equity utilized the program to engage both the students and staff in their office to make their work space more sustainable. They are the first certified office that incorporated their student staff into the baseline survey and had their students take the lead on greening their office.

Each office that participates in the SOP must select a Sustainable Office Representative (SOR), who will stay in close contact with the Office of Sustainability and lead the sustainability efforts in the work space. For the Center for Gender Equity (CGE), the SOR is Khalid Khamis, a third year student who works in the office. Khalid took his passion for social justice that he uses in his gender equity job and brought the idea of sustainability into his office. He says, “The SOP is important because it highlights our responsibility to help the environment and protect its resources. It’s especially important because it pushes for environmental justice. At the CGE, we promote equity and social justice and we cannot ignore the issues that affect our planet which impact us and the generation after us.” By filling out the baseline survey and checklist of actions, Khalid learned a lot about the internal operations of his office. He notes, “It was just interesting learning about what we purchased and how sometimes we don’t quite think of how sustainable the product is.”

The Center for Gender Equity was able to evaluate what they currently do, and set goals to improve their future operations. Being only 14 sustainable actions away from a gold certification, they are interested in working hard to further green their office and then recertify for a higher level. By involving both student workers and staff, the Center for Gender Equity managed to engage a lot people in their sustainability efforts. The SOP is a three step program that your office can participate in, as well! To help improve sustainability in the workplace, register your office here.