A significant milestone in UC’s sustainability journey was achieved by the UC Health Centre this month, which completed all four stages of Eco Office certification, becoming UC’s very first, fully certified Eco Office! Katie Nimmo, Sustainability Projects Facilitator for UC says “…a sustainable world is essential to the health of our communities, which at a very basic level need clean air, water, and healthy, affordable food. There also is clear evidence that people who live in a polluted, degraded environment have health issues. So it is particularly meaningful to us that the Health Centre is UC’s first Eco Office.”
An impressive achievement by the UC Health Centre is that all staff (just over 20) were involved in the certification process, not just office administrators. Some of the highlights identified through the assessment process were a beautiful medicinal herb garden and a real commitment to address the waste associated with single-use takeaway cups used for the water fountain in the waiting room. The Sustainability Office would like to thank Joan Allardyce, Director of the Health Centre for her leadership on the Eco Office Programme.
Other parts of the university are also starting to engage with the Eco Office programme. The School of Biological Sciences is promising to be a close second to the Health Centre – administrators Lyn de Groot, Nicky Judson and Penny More are not far off from achieving Fern One Certification. And the Student Support Team at Dovedale, led by Manja Peters has started the overall base-line assessment for their team.
In the medium and long term, it is intended that UC administration offices will be invited to work towards becoming Eco Office certified as they re-enter remediated buildings, which will be retrofitted with a range of sustainability features. Over the life-cycle of a building, how people use resources within a building is just as significant as the design of the building itself. Moving into a newly renovated building is a great time to take stock and do things a bit differently.
For more information on the Eco Office programme and how to get involved, check out this link.