November 16, 2016
AS Sustainability and Recycling Awarded for Campus-Wide Sustainable Offices Program
by Ron Jaradat
Associated Students Sustainability and Recycling is a beacon of progress with their sustainable efforts and impactful achievements at CSUN. This time, for their Sustainable Office Program (SOP) and in the form of the “Best Practice Award for Student Achievement in a Physical Environment,” which was given to our hardworking team at the 2016 CSU Facilities Management Conference that took place October 16-19. This award is given to the program that 1) conducts an intensive assessment process done by the students, 2) creates incentives to motivate campus community participation in sustainability efforts and 3) educates new students and departments to participate each year.
This is the second award received for SOP. The first award was given at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference at CSU Fullerton, on June 27th, 2016, in which they were presented with “Best Practices Award” in front of over 200 esteemed sustainability professionals.
The SOP program was an initiative to provide information and resources for improving sustainability in the office setting. The Sustainable Office Program consists of a checklist and survey that measured the sustainability for each individual office, with scores ranging from: Platinum, Gold, Silver , and Bronze. Under the guidance of Cyndi Signett, the AS Sustainability and Recycling team has been consistently implementing programs to help increase awareness of sustainable practices across campus.
Carlos Iglesias, one of the student leads for the program, beamed with pride as he explained the dedication and active involvement of the campus community: "So many of the personnel who work here on campus have been incredibly eager and open to altering previous, outdated practices in order to meet the criterion set by SOP. During our presentations we often have administrators, staff, and students copiously taking notes and asking several questions on how to reduce waste. They make it very evident that they feel strongly about increasing sustainability campus-wide. It’s meant a lot to our team to see the tangible results of our efforts; to see that the campus is dedicated to decreasing our carbon footprint."
Starting at the grass roots level, SOP has developed into its own independent entity and has grown exponentially, which demonstrates how impactful the combined and joined efforts of the CSUN community can be. The AS Sustainability and Recycling team hopes to carry on the Sustainable Offices Program for years to come, and with the participation of the campus and students, their aspirations are to obtain carbon neutrality by 2040.