FM Trailers Earn Green Workplace Certification

The Pratt South trailer and Annex trailer were awarded Green Workplace Certification for their attention to conservation and resource efficiency.

January 12, 2016 • Dana Schroeder

The University of Virginia employs nearly 15,000 faculty and staff, each with his or her own environmental footprint associated with day-to-day work. Nearly 2,000 of these employees work in Facilities Management and have been grouped into seven workplaces, each pursuing certification under the Green Workplace Program (GWP). In each area, a “green team” is leading the way through a checklist of 60 actions that conserve resources, save money, and advance the three Es of sustainability: environment, economy, and equity.

This week, the Pratt South trailer and Annex trailer were awarded Green Workplace Certification after completing many of the actions from the GWP checklist. The Office for Sustainability would like to thank everyone in these spaces for their attention to conservation and resource efficiency in their work.

Pratt South: Gold-Level Workplace

The Pratt South Trailer is home to twelve FM staff members from Programs and Informatics, Building Services, and Human Resources. Rachel Nelson Maintenance Programs Engineer, led this green team to earn 77/100 points for a Gold-level certification!

One notable accomplishment – recorded in the “Community” section of Green Workplace actions – was that more than half of workplace members took the whole day on September 16, 2015 to participate in Day of Caring at Camp Holiday Trails. Joyce Chewning in Human Resources was a key organizer of this event, from scheduling the non-profits to sending out correspondences and tracking participants. Community is an important aspect of global sustainability, and it happens to also be one of the core values of Facilities Management.

The Pratt South Trailer went above and beyond the Green Workplace checklist to earn “Innovation” points. The green team worked with Joey Tombs to help 43 FM shops switch to a paperless system for preventive maintenance work orders. This switch is estimated to save over 20,000 pieces of paper (and about $165) per year.

Annex Trailer: Silver-Level Workplace

The Annex Trailer is inhabited by Automation Services, Environmental Resources, Sustainability, and Utilities. Lizzie Main, Sakib Ahmed, and Dana Schroeder all helped lead this workplace to a total of 71 points, on the high end of a silver-level certification.

To save energy, everyone enabled GreenIT settings on their computers. This included eliminating screen savers, reducing screen brightness, and setting monitors to sleep automatically after 10 minutes of inactivity. Furthermore, over half of Annex employees took the sustainability literacy training available to all UVA faculty and staff in SSTL.

One other notable accomplishment: Andrea Trimble (Sustainability Director and Annex inhabitant) helped promote health by organizing a series of free lunchtime yoga classes for Facilities Management employees in fall 2015. If you are an FM employee interested in participating in yoga in the future, please reach out to sustainability@virginia.edu.

We are also excited to share some sustainability progress being made FM-wide. Almost all of the green teams in Facilities Management will earn two innovation credits for composting efforts. Whereas employees used to have to bring compostable materials like food waste and fruit peels down to one large compost bin outside the Annex trailer, there are now 15 small counter-top compost bins available in kitchenettes in the trailers, Leake Building, Lacy Building, and the FM Shops. Since composting is easier than ever, we are seeing more compostable material get diverted from the landfill than ever before. Keep up the good work, everyone!

Lastly, the FM Sustainability Council is excited to announce that it has approved a new sustainability vision statement for Facilities Management. The vision is to “inspire the Facilities Management Community to commit to sustainability through active stewardship, engagement, and discovery.”

For more information, visit the Green Workplace webpage.