The Center for Health & the Global Environment (CHGE) at Harvard Medical School has been active in greening its office practices through the Harvard Office for Sustainability’s Green Office Certification Program. To date, the CHGE has achieved Leaf 2 Green Office Certification - the first office to do so at HMS! Located at Landmark Center, the CHGE is the perfect flagship office to achieve this certification since its mission is to promote environmental education at medical schools and to promote awarenss of the human health consequences of global climate change.
Green Office Certification involves is a series of checklists that help Harvard staff to evaluate the overall environmental performance of their offices and to identify new resource conservation opportunities. It is also an essential tool in order to help Harvard meet its sustainability goals – including the greenhouse gas reduction goal to reduce emissions by 30% by 2016. Led by Heather Foley, Staff Assistant at CHGE, the entire office has shared responsibility for completing the checklists - like reminding meeting attendees to bring their own reusable mugs to meetings when beverages will be served and purchasing at least 30% recycled content paper. "All of our faculty and staff members have been giving plenty of input & asking some interesting questions about what we can do to be a greener office. Our office loves the program!" says Foley.
The CHGE has been active in various other events sponsored by the HMS Sustainability Program in partnership with Harvard's Office for Sustainability, including participation in two sustainability fairs at HMS during Earth week 2009. Founder and Director of the CHGE Eric Chivian and Associate Director Paul Epstein also have collaborated with the Students for Environmental Awareness in Medicine student club in order to present at faculty lunch lectures and during the kick-off of Harvard's greenhouse gas reduction goal last October.