The Office of Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR) recently achieved Gold level in Planet Blue’s Sustainable Workplace Certification Program. Encouraging “U-M staff and faculty to join in working towards a more sustainable university through participation,” the Certification Program leads offices through the steps necessary to make sustainability a regular part of their practices. Each year, the Certification Program awards Gold level to offices that have engaged in 90% of the Program’s recommended sustainable behaviors. OSCR was one of the twelve 2014 recipients.
OSCR began its path to Gold during the Fall 2013 semester, working closely with the Office of Campus Sustainability to identify methods to reduce waste and energy consumption. “This was a University-wide initiative,” explained Claudette Brower, OSCR Office Supervisor and leader of OSCR sustainability efforts, “and we knew we could do more.” Following Claudette’s leadership, OSCR installed motion-sensor power strips, placed blue recycle bins at every work station, and worked closely with the building Regional Energy Manager to regulate office temperatures. Especially mindful of paper waste, OSCR replaced paper plates with reusable plastic or ceramic dishware and made the transition to using paper that has 30% or greater post-consumer recycle content. While OSCR’s success is evident, its commitment to sustainability does not stop here. In accordance with the goals outlined by President Emeritus Mary Sue Coleman in 2006, OSCR will continue to contribute to the campus-wide effort to reduce waste and energy consumption significantly by 2025.