The Green Paws Program is a simple, yet effective way for faculty and staff to learn how to use resources efficiently in the office and earn a Green Paws Office Certification for their efforts. The program is organized into four levels of certification that signify an office’s progression toward higher and higher levels of efficiency, health, and environmental sustainability. Through this program, Penn State is creating a baseline of stewardship best practices and working toward the University’s goal, outlined in its Sustainability Strategic Plan to “Incorporate sustainability learning opportunities into daily life across the University, including the built environment and service and program delivery.” More than 2,200 faculty and staff have started this path with the Green Paws Program.
The program is built around four successive Green Paws Action Checklists that outline high-impact actions to use resources wisely in your workspace. Each participating group can work at their own pace and the size of the groups can vary from a few co-workers to more than 20 people. There are several activities that require discussions, benefiting from the group’s experience and expertise, so consider that function when forming your group. This program is open to all Penn Staters at all locations.
To earn Green Paws Office Certification, 75 percent of all employees from your office* or administrative unit must complete all the actions on the checklist. By going through this program with others, you help to create a community that is learning together about making sustainable decisions and creating habits that improve the quality of resources, fiscal stewardship and employee health.
*Office occupant is defined as staff and faculty that are either full-time or part-time. If you have students who are consistently part of your office, they are welcome to join as well.
For more on the Green Paws Program, sign up for an orientation session or contact: Lydia Vandenbergh, 814-863-4893. If you are interested in ways to introduce sustainability practices into your work and home lives, you can also sign up for the AIR Green Team newsletter. Monthly edition include stories of Accomplishments by Penn State sustainability champions, Inspiration and Resources to take action (AIR). To sign up, complete this form and we’ll add you to the growing network of champions reading the short AIR newsletter.