Graduate Division Earns Gold Certification
In our efforts to be more eco-friendly, the UCLA Graduate Division has made great progress in reducing waste and costs, as well as saving energy since the launch of its Green Team in Fall 2010.
Spearheaded by Sonya Gavin, Director of the Graduate Division’s Operations and External Relations unit, the Green Team is comprised of nine staff members from across the Graduate Division. The team meets three to four times a year to find ways in which the Graduate Division can be a more eco-friendly workplace and to foster staff engagement in sustainability efforts.
As a result numerous reduce, reuse recycle practices have been introduced and enthusiastically adopted throughout the office. Such practices include purchasing recycled office supplies, biodegradable event supplies, fair trade coffee, and environmentally-safe cleaning supplies. Additionally, the office encourages staff members to reuse office supplies, such as binders and file folders, when possible.
In terms of energy-saving methods, the Graduate Division has installed motion-sensitive lights, changed copier settings to double-sided and black-and-white printing, and set computer monitors to sleep after 15-20 minutes of inactivity, among a longer list of its new green practices.
A push for increased recycling has also been one of the Green Team’s initiatives, as single stream recycling bins have been placed at each staff member’s desk and in all common areas. Recycling bins for batteries and CDs are also now in the office. As a new re-use practice, the Graduate Division has also been donating its old and unneeded office furniture to local schools and nonprofits through L.A. Shares.
Finally, in a move that affects not only the Graduate Division but also academic departments and graduate students, our Academic Services office has gone paperless in its admissions process, thereby significantly cutting down on both paper and ink usage. In conjunction with our efforts to go paperless, our Academic Services office is now receiving only digital manuscripts through the recently launched Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Filing, a process through which graduate students must submit their manuscripts online. We estimate that this saves about 200 reams, or 100,000 sheets, of paper each year. Similar transitions from paper-heavy to online processes are being implemented in our Fellowships & Financial Service office; Budget, Personnel and Analysis; Diversity, Inclusion and Admissions and the Dean’s suite.
For these and many other other green initiative efforts, we are proud to have earned Gold Certification from the UCLA Sustainability Committee in Spring 2011. Looking forward, the Green Team plans to continue its work to make the Graduate Division even more eco-friendly as well as help staff find ways to adopt green practices in their homes and personal lives.