Sustainable Leadership: The Iacocca Institute’s Impressive Gold Recertification

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The Iacocca Institute provides innovative leadership and multifaceted learning experiences to students with a strong focus on global interactions and entrepreneurship skills. In order to optimize industry and social impact, students learn how to explore diverse and cutting edge practices. In April 2016, the Iacocca Institute was not only the 7th office on campus to become certified in the Sustainable Office Program, but it was also the first office to be certified on Lehigh’s Mountaintop Campus. On April 6th, the Iacocca Institute was recertified with impressive progress in their sustainability impact on campus. The Sustainable Office Program is a voluntary, self-guided program, where faculty and staff in offices can take the lead in promoting sustainability in the workplace. Offices that are a part of this program have brought enthusiasm and strength to their own offices, while inspiring other offices to improve their own sustainable practices.

Trisha Alexy and Alyssa Clapp have taken the initiative as the Sustainable Office Representatives and led their office through the certification process. Alyssa was predominantly involved in the first certification, while Trisha helped her office through the recertification process. Their desire to spark change on campus and to set great examples for students to follow is truly what it means to be successful leaders in sustainability. Trisha’s determination to improve her office’s sustainable impact awarded her office the gold certification, with an impressive 95 actions. The Iacocca Institute is especially dedicated to addressing their climate and energy impacts, as well as promoting recycling with as little contamination as possible. As an office, they have discussed addressing thermal comfort with appropriate clothing with all staff members, and thus have been able to adjust their classroom thermostats. Another outstanding and unique program that they offer teaches international summer students how to recycle, since many countries around the world do not recycle or recycle differently than what is offered at Lehigh.   

When the Iacocca Institute was first certified, Alyssa “knew this would be a program that would really be implemented and embraced by the office.” She said that they “are always looking to Lehigh University to provide opportunities like this to get involved.” The Iacocca Institute is continuously invested in making the world a better place and setting a positive example for other faculty, staff, and students to follow.  

The Iacocca Institute continues to research and implement new ways of optimizing sustainability in the workplace and classroom. Their exemplary jump from a bronze certification to a gold certification truly represents their commitment to improving sustainability efforts on campus. With such a strong determination to foster an educational environment that promotes innovation and positive global impacts, we look forward to seeing what their office and their students are able to accomplish in the future. If your office would also like to join the movement and contribute to positive, sustainable change on Lehigh’s campus, you can register here, or email to learn more.