A sustainable workplace promotes the health and well-being of employees in addition to promoting the wise stewardship of resources, prudent financial planning and environmentally responsible operations.
Sustainability is a core value at NC State University. Showcase your campus department’s commitment by attaining a Sustainable Workplace Certification.
What makes a workplace sustainable?
Utilize the following resources to guide your campus department to Sustainable Workplace Certification. The certification form is based on these resources.
Does your workplace encourage the following sustainable practices for office equipment?
- Pull the Plug. Unplug electronics not in use or utilize a smart power strip that automatically cuts electricity to idled devices.
- Turn It Off. Electronic devices are powered down at the end of the day.
- Care to Share. Equipment in the office is shared between co-workers, such as printers, copiers, scanners, coffeemakers and refrigerators.
- Save the Screen. Replace screen savers with power settings that turn monitors to sleep mode when inactive for 3 minutes. Set hard drives, printers, copiers and scanners to enter sleep mode after 30 minutes of inactivity.
- Hit the Switch. Make sure lights are not left on when in use and utilize natural lighting when possible.
Does your workplace encourage the following sustainable practices for indoor air?
- Check your Temperature. Ensure optimal thermostat settings for energy savings in both heating and cooling modes: 68-71 degrees Fahrenheit in heating mode, 72-75 degrees Fahrenheit in cooling mode.
- Keep the Indoors In. Close doors and windows when indoor air is being heated or cooled.
- Bring a Sweater. Utilize extra clothing layers rather than a space heater if the office temperature is uncomfortable.
- Breathe Better. Improve workplace air quality by minimizing artificial fragrance use and adding leafy plants to the office space.
Does your workplace encourage the following sustainable practices to minimize water use?
- Turn Off the Tap. Avoid letting water faucets run unnecessarily.
- Fix it Fast. Report drips and leaks to your building liaison or Facilities Customer Service Center at 919-515-2991 to minimize water waste.
Does your workplace support and exemplify the following Be Well Wolfpack initiatives?
- Share information and resources regarding emotional well-being such as stress, time or sleep management.
- Provide employees with information such as the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program and Employee Wellness Programs.
Does your workplace support and exemplify the following Eat Well Wolfpack initiatives?
- Share information on the benefits and guidelines of healthy eating.
- Provide healthy food and drink options (i.e. vegetables, fruit, water, etc.) when hosting meetings, conferences and special events.
- Encourage healthy eating habits by informing employees of health guidance resources for healthy eating such as Wolf Approved.
Does your workplace support and exemplify the following Live Well Wolfpack initiatives?
- Leadership in your workplace demonstrates an understanding and commitment to work-life balance.
- Encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day to recharge.
- Provide employees with information regarding the Learning & Organizational Development Center.
- Disseminate diversity education information from the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity or take steps to ensure an inclusive and supportive environment for all employees.
- Provide employees with information regarding Staff or Faculty Senate
Does your workplace support and exemplify the following Move Well Wolfpack initiatives?
- Disseminate information or otherwise engage employees with physical activity tips and benefits.
- Make active workspace tools such as standing desks or active sitting balls available to all employees.
- Engage in office walking challenges or other fitness challenges to encourage increased employee activity.
Does your workplace support following Wolfpack Wellness initiatives?
Does your workplace demonstrate a commitment to fostering community stewardship?
- Get Paid to Give Back. Employees are reminded and encouraged to utilize 24 hours of annual volunteer community service leave given to NC State employees.
- Together for Good. Group community service events for the workplace are discussed and encouraged.
Does your workplace demonstrate a commitment to raising sustainability awareness?
- Be in the Know. Subscribe to the Sustainability at NC State e-newsletter.
- Challenge Yourselves. Your workplace incentivizes organization and participation in workplace sustainability competitions to encourage employees and staff to decrease use of paper, plastic, gasoline, water, energy, etc.
Does your workplace encourage the incorporation of sustainable initiatives into office culture by discussing or otherwise engaging employees and staff on the following topics?
- Spread the Word. Inspire a campus partner to attain a Sustainable Workplace certification.
- Sustainability Through and Through. Review associated commitments and sustainability goals with staff and employees.
- Does your workplace employees and/or set aside time in meetings to take the Sustainability Orientation module on REPORTER?
- Does your workplace encourage employees to subscribe to the Office for Equity and Diversity (OIED) newsletter, Diversity Digest?
- Does your workplace encourage employees to attend or arranged for group attendance to an OIED Signature Event on campus?
- Does your workplace encourage employee engagement with historically excluded communities on campus, either by providing information about campus community centers or partnering with any of the following for a workplace event?
Does your workplace promote alternative transportation?
- Carpool with fellow university employees or utilize Share the Ride NC.
- Share information about Employee Commuter Benefits.
- Share information about electric vehicle charging stations and their availability on campus.
Does your workplace promote sustainable alternatives to workplace travel?
- Use the Wolfline bus system for transport around campus and the GoRaleigh system for transport around Raleigh and neighboring cities.
- Share information about bicycling to and around campus including free registration and bike racks.
Does your workplace promote sustainable alternatives to workplace travel?
- Walk to campus meetings and/or integrate walking meetings into office practices.
- Utilize virtual meetings where appropriate to minimize transportation energy use.
- Use group travel for meetings requiring multi-occupant transportation with NC State Fleet Services.
Does your workplace take steps to limit its office product consumption?
- Borrow Instead of Buy. Rent, share or borrow items when possible rather than purchasing new.
- Reduce Cartridge Clutter. Use recycled or refillable toner cartridges to save money and resources.
- Shop Savvy. Go to the Waste Reduction and Recycling Office and attend NC State Surplus Sales for gently-used office supplies in lieu of purchasing new products.
Does your workplace ensure the sustainability of purchases?
- Do your Homework. Research the environmental and social responsibility features of purchased products.
- Seal of Approval. Look for seals of sustainability on purchased products such as Forest Stewardship Council, Green Seal, GreenGuard, Cradle to Cradle, Energy Star or EPEAT.
Does your workplace promote sustainable purchasing practices?
- Make it Easy. Use the online marketplace system for ordering and limit campus’ paper-based purchasing orders.
- Buy Local. Support a sustainable economy by purchasing from locally-owned businesses.
- Think Ahead. Purchase reusable, recyclable, compostable or products with high post-consumer recycled content.
- Buy in Bulk. Limit packaging by purchasing in bulk or items with minimal packaging.
Does your workplace encourage employees to eat locally and exercise sustainable food sourcing for employees and office events?
- Eat Local. Share information about the importance of choosing local products.
- My Roots are at NC State. Employees are aware of on-campus food options and NC State Dining‘s commitment to sustainability.
- Cater Better. Opportunities for sustainable choices, such as minimizing waste using reusables or compostables, are discussed with caterers for office events.
Does your workplace encourage employee engagement in waste reduction practices?
- Recycling. Employees are educated on accepted recyclables and how to recycle right on campus.
- Self-Service Recycling. Employees have access to deskside recycling bins.
- Shred Right. Employees are aware that shredded paper should remain bagged and placed outside next to the blue recycling dumpsters.
- Look for Yellow. Information is shared on how to use the yellow electronics recycling carts located outside each building on campus.
- Site Evaluation. Your workplace has requested a site evaluation from Waste Reduction and Recycling to review your workplace bins (size, style, amount, location).
- Strive for Zero. Your workplace has become a Zero Waste Workplace to optimize bin efficiency and add composting for food waste and paper towels.
Does your workplace promote sustainable printing/paper use practices?
- Print Less. Share electronic files instead of printing a document when possible.
- Double up. Print double-sided when possible and use one-sided sheets for note-taking that would have otherwise been prematurely recycled.
Does your workplace promote strategies for office waste reduction?
- Dump the Junk. Reduce junk mail by sending it to Unwanted Mail, Campus Box 7540.
- Pass it On. When cleaning out unwanted office items, ask coworkers if they could use the items. If not, request a reusable office supply cart from Waste Reduction and Recycling.
- Clean it Out. If an office or department is engaging in a move or cleaning, do not overload shared recycling bins with unwanted papers and files. Instead, request clean out carts from Waste Reduction and Recycling.
- Learn at Lunch. Request a waste and recycling presentation to learn more about campus waste diversion tactics, including recycling, composting and zero waste.
Does your workplace promote minimizing food and food-related waste?
- Bring Your Own. Use a reusable bag when shopping. Bring your own reusable mug, water bottle, cup, dishes and eating utensils to work.
- Pack&Go. Utilize NC State Dining’s reusable to-go containers at dining halls.
- Wolfpack Certified Sustainable. When hosting workplace events, incorporate sustainable event planning tips from the Sustainable Event Certification website.
- Go for Zero. Request recycling and compost event bins to achieve a zero waste event.
- Choose To Reuse. When planning events, utilize reusable items such as cups, plates and utensils. If disposable items are necessary, choose compostable single-use items from Waste Reduction & Recycling.
- Waste Less. Food waste at workplace events is minimized with appropriate food planning. Plan for leftovers by providing take-home containers for guests and/or having a food-donation option ready.
How to Certify Your Workplace
STEP 1: INCORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY
Use the resources above to integrate sustainability into your workplace. The certification process uses a point-based system to evaluate your workplace based on the incorporation of sustainable practices. Certification is offered at the champion, steward and contributor levels.
- Contributor: 19-37 of total survey points
- Steward: 38-56 of total survey points
- Champion: 57 or more of total survey points
STEP 2: SUBMIT CERTIFICATION
Certify your workplace by completing the online certification form. The certification form is based on the above resources. Workplace certifications should be renewed every 3 years.
STEP 3: PROMOTE YOUR ACHIEVEMENT
Be sure to use the certification as a way to promote your department. Display your sustainable workplace certificate in your office and share the news on your department website and social media channels.
|Workplace||Certification Level||Date Certified|
|Chancellor’s Office- Internal Audit Division||Champion||December 2023|
|College of Engineering Communications||Champion||October 2023|
|Department of Mathematics||Champion||September 2023|
|N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative||Champion||August 2023|
|William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation||Champion||August 2023|
|NC Clean Energy Technology Center||Champion||July 2023|
|Clinical Studies Core, College of Veterinary Medicine||Champion||July 2023|
|Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC)||Champion||July 2023|
|College of Sciences||Champion||July 2023|
|NC State University Libraries||Champion||March 2023|
|Wellness and Recreation||Champion||December 2022|
|University Sustainability Office||Champion||September 2022|
|EcoVillage Living and Learning Village||Champion||August 2020|