Before I get started I want to thank Rhys Gerholdt and Carbon Free DC for coordinating this event and I sincerely thank you all for coming and taking time from your busy schedules this evening. It’s fantastic to see that there is an a strong interest in running an office more efficiently.. As we are all aware, running an office takes a good deal of resources including supplies, energy, water, equipment and human capital. All of these things don’t come cheap. My name is Hermione Phillips and I work for World Wildlife Fund.I’ve worked for WWF for about 5 years and manage the Facilities & Administration department. Current projects I am working on are the replacement of our roof, the LEED EB certification for our building, and the energy and cooling efficiency of our LAN room. For those of you who don’t know what LEED for existing buildings is, it basically is a point based system that measures the performance of a building. About two years ago or so I was asked to help lead the green team. I said sure, no problem, I love a good challenge and at the end of the day the bulk of green team feedback has been focused on improving operation practices, specifically the bulk of the requests were directed to Facilities. Let’s face it we’re all very busy. Adding one more task of being responsible for a green team or having to meet with your organizations green team may give you the “ugh” kind of feeling. You may think wow, there’s soooo many things that can be done to make our department greener, the work we do more environmentally friendly, or your operations more sustainable. For most organizations the green team does not make participation, mandatory but without participation it can be tough to get the ball of change rolling.
World Wildlife Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental conservation through science. Through collaboration between markets, government and people we work diligently to carry out our mission. Our number one priority is conservation, it’s simply what we do!
We’re one of the largest environmental organizations in the world and we are part of a network of 30 independent national organizations that operates in 60+ countries. WWF has approximately 1.2 million members in the US and 5 million globally. I’m providing the numbers to demonstrate the degree of responsibility we have as an organization. We have a responsibility to ourselves, our colleagues, to our supporters and to the world to walk our talk to achieve our mission of conservation.
The WWF Green Team is a collaborative group of WWF employees who brainstorm greening activities at the organization. The purpose of the Green Team is to be the “voice of green” for WWF and help develop paths to green our workplace. All team members are volunteers from various parts of the organization who have a passion for greening in and out of the workplace or simply want to learn more about what WWF is doing to minimize our environmental footprint. The Facilities team is committed to making sure we do what we can to minimize our impact on the environment through the processes we use and the purchasing choices we make. We will continue to look for areas where we can implement more green processes and products in facilities.
Wow! Greening my organization sounds great… where do I sign up? Hold on bucko we need to figure out a few things before we get startedBefore reinventing the wheel…. Do your homework. Find out if there already is a green team or any form of a greening position within your organization, and if so… find out more about how active they are, what they’ve already tackled, and what their future goals are. No green team? Now it’s time to figure out the purpose and intent of having a team. A good way to do this is by answering the question… “How can the organization benefit form having a green team?” For WWF the original intent was to create more “watch dog” group. As we progressed the green team has become more of a sounding board and group to share ideas. You cannot do this standing alone! You must have an advocate. It is critical that you engage decision makers or those who help support the decision makers in your organization. I am by far NOT the number one decision maker in this building but I manage the day-to-day operations of the facility and am able to integrate greening into our work and recommendations that make both financial and environmental sense.
With any type of collaborative work it is important to communicate with the right people,If you are a building owner, you should be engage in the operations of your building. A well performing building needs to look good, and operate efficiently. If you are the Office Manager and leasing space talk to your Property Manager. He or she likely has a strong influence on building guidelines and operation standards. They can also guide you on what types of changes you can do within your space. This is important as you want to stay in compliance with your lease! If warranted consult your legal team for support. In Washington DC recycling is MANDATORY! Yes, MANDATORY! A Property Manager is key to talk to about recycling, and trust me Property Managers know a thing or two about talking about trash! At an organization level, your Office Manager is a great resource. This person is in the know of day-to-day operations and is often in tune with who makes the decisions. A good green team needs their Office Manager on board to help support and make the magic happen. My assumption is that 100% of this audience uses a computer in some way. Our friends in IT play a big role in greening our operations. And may I add, the changes are often ones that don’t cost the organization a single penny! We’ll talk about this one a bit later.In a perfect world we would be able to get through life without having to buy a single thing. The fact of the matter is, running an organization does involve purchasing. Whether it’s computers, paper, building materials, or contracted services, you need to involve your sourcing team or individual. Before you get started, I do recommend talking to your supervisor. He or she may be able to provide you with resources of who to talk to in the organization.This also goes for your colleagues. It is likely there are others within your organization who would like to see improvements in how internal sustainable practices are managed.
To communicate you have to be able to listen and be open to change. Don’t feel like you are being attacked when listening to suggestions and on the delivering end… don’t harp on past practices, look to the future as an opportunity for improvement. This was a lesson for me, I personally felt like “Man I must be doing something wrong here"… all I am getting is this negative feedback” The real problem didn’t have anything to do with me. The problem was that staff didn’t feel like anyone was listening, they didn’t have an advocate in building operations, and they simply didn’t know what was going on. Much of the time we were doing what they were recommending, it simply was not being communicated.Fast forward to now… For our Green Team we communicate primarily by use of a distribution list that we had created simply called “Green Team”. Anyone can use it and people can be added or removed from the distribution list as they like. We also hold meetings about 3-4 times per year. More often then not someone will simply send an email or drop by with an idea and then things start rolling. For example a team member sent an email out about taking our composting to the next level to incorporate food. (Currently we compost our coffee and tea bags). It’s a work in progress but by sending this one email it gets the wheels rolling and invokes change. We have a Wiki site that can be used by staff to post greening ideas, create discussion groups and post links. It’s helpful as a central place to share information. For a while we sent out “Green Tips”. These were simple tips that staff could use in and out of the office to help live more environmentally friendly lives. Some of the tips included taking the stairs, using one paper towel vs. two, using cold water whenever possible and what not. With vacation schedules and the holidays I got a bit out sync with getting greening tips out but have sense been working to include a green tip each week in our all staff newsletter.Within our intranet we have a Green Team website. I’m ashamed to admit this but the information is terribly outdated, but with every problem step 1 is admitting there’s an issue. Communication is something I am still working on, check back with me this summer. I promise I’ll have it all updated.
The number one question I get asked is “Is this recyclable?” Answering this questions goes back to communicating with the right people. Often people will think that what they can recycle at home applies in the office. The fact of the matter is that not all recycling companies recycle the same things. When looking at our recycling program pretty much everything except for used paper towels, wrappers and food can be recycled. You can help by recycling in the office and at home. For information about your home recycling I strongly encourage you to contact your local recycling facility. To continue on, let’s talk about some simple ruls for recycling.
#1 Reuse items whenever possible. #2 Clean- Rinse or wipe any food or other debris off the items. This reduces the risk of contamination.#3 Sort- Always place recyclables in the appropriate bin. Always keep paper separate from commingled recyclables. #4 If you are not sure if something can be recycled, just ask!
We had a lot of recycling gossip going around the building. This guide is one that I used in a previous presentation to help clarify some common misconceptions.
I’m too hot… I’m too cold. Individual thermal comfort is very hard to manage. Knowing how to control the temperature is half the battle. For our building we program the range of temperatures provided to each thermostat which is approximately 70-76 degrees. Depending on the time of day, outside weather, and how the person is dressed can really impact what’s comfortable.The air for our building shuts off at 7pm. WWF has a compressed work week so our office is closed every other Friday. For days we are closed, we shut the heating and cooling off. We also do not have cleaning services… As a staff member, I love having every other Friday off. It’s great! Staff feedback is important. If we don’t know you are uncomfortable, we can’t adjust the temperature. Regardless of the season, it’s a good idea to dress in layers. In the morning you may be warm because you walked to work, and after lunch you are a bit cooler because you just ate. Thermal comfort varies throughout the day.
Ditching the water bottles is pretty obvious, it’s a waste. Use cups or glasses that can be reused. Instead of using a single serve items such as a can of soda, buy a 2-litter bottle. You’ll save money from paying for the packaging and convenience and reduce your waste. For twenty bucks you can buy a bag of groceries to make your lunch and snacks for a week. The food will taste better (hopefully) and save you money. BUY LOCAL- A 500 mile radius is what many consider “Buying local” but before you bust out your google maps look around where live and work. The fewer miles your food travels the less fuel is used and the smaller the carbon foot print. Our staff work with a local farm to purchase veggies shares. Each week veggies are delivered and the farm takes away our coffee and tea bag compost. It’s a win-win for us GO MEATLESSSo going vegetarian or vegan ain’tyothang. Well, how about you try going meatless for just one day a week? Go meatless for a day because… “Growing” meat takes a lot of resources. Animals eat an increasing proportion of grain produced from agriculture. The energy it takes to produce a pound of meat greatly exceeds the energy demands of growing vegetables. And when you choose organic veggies, you help the environment even more!Land Use- The largest environmental impact of agriculture in general is the use of land as pasture. More pasture is used for cattle than all other domesticated animals and crops combined.Water use- It can take as much as 3,682 liters of water to produce one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of boneless beef in the United States. Pollution Stinks- Animal waste, methane from the “you know what” all add up to a stinky situation…. You get the picture.
Using less hot water saves energy! Simplebehavior changes can help reduce your hot water usage including:Changing the water thermostatWashing your handsCleaning the dishesCleaning around the houseRunning the dishwasher
Configure the power management features on your office and home computer so that your monitor turns off when not in use. For example I have my monitor to shut off after 2 minutes of being inactive. 1 minute was too short for my work. You may be surprised, or perhaps not, at the number of people who just leave their computers on 24/7. This shortens the life of the equipment and is an unnecessary waste of energy. Having said that, there are few systems that are required to be on 24/7… so don’t just go around shutting computers off Purchasing energy efficient blade servers that use 40% less power than traditional servers. I can’t really go much further into this one as I don’t have the proper IT background. BUT if you are interested in knowing more, please contact me and I will get you in touch with the folks in our IT department. Unplugging items is a personal goal for me. I’m good at unplugging things I don’t use on a regular basis, but I still have some room to grow. It’s a challenge.
Obviously air travel has a huge carbon foot print. Unfortunately, the reality is that travel is something most organizations must do. Having alternatives to air travel also helps. Measuring travel miles will help your organization wrap their head around the volume of mileage and also help travelers be mindful of their foot print. Investing in technology to attend meetings virtually will definitely help reduce your air miles. I’m personally a big fan of Skype and use it while my husband travels and I know that others in the organization use it for speaking with colleagues in other parts of the world. WWF offsets 100% of their air travel. Now, offsets are not a cure all to the climate problems we have, but they do go towards helping to strengthen renewable energy which is a plus. The downside is that it doesn’t come cheap. Now that many airlines allow only one checked bag, it makes sense for your wallet and the planet not to take your entire house with you. The challenge? Take one bag!Use a packing check list and stick to it!Check out what local amenities are provided.
By double side printing you are cutting your paper use by 50%... 50%! It’s so easy! Make it a standard practice for printer setups, copiers, etc. And when receiving printed materials ask that they be printed double sided or better yet ask for no handouts. Who’s buying the paper? Contact them and find out their purchasing standards. WWF supports the purchasing of paper that is FSC certified and ideally 100% recycled. I do realize there is a higher expense for such paper so changing the source of your paper may be a hard financial decision for some organizations to make. Changing your monitor settings to shut off when not in use, extends the life of the monitor, and saves energy.
I hope that you leave this evening with a greater understanding of how a green team works, the challenges we face, and take away tools to improve greening practices in your work environment. Does anyone have any questions?
How To Create a Green Team
WWF's mission is the conservation of nature. Using the best
available scientific knowledge and advancing that knowledge
where we can, we work to preserve the diversity and
abundance of life on Earth and the health of ecological systems
• protecting natural areas and wild populations of plants and
animals, including endangered species;
• promoting sustainable approaches to the use of renewable
natural resources; and
• promoting more efficient use of resources and energy and
the maximum reduction of pollution.
• We are committed to reversing the degradation of our
planet's natural environment and to building a future in
which human needs are met in harmony with nature. We
recognize the critical relevance of human numbers, poverty
and consumption patterns to meeting these goals. 2
• One of the largest environmental
conservation organizations in the world
• Network of 30 independent national
• Operates in 60+ countries.
• 1.2 million members in the US
• 5 million members globally
Our Dream Green Team
Our Green Team is the “voice of green” for our headquarters
All team members are volunteers from various parts of the
• have a passion for greening in and out of the workplace or
• want to learn more about what WWF is doing to minimize our
Getting things Started
• Do your homework!
• Determine the intent
• Engage decision makers or those who help
support the decision makers of your
Who should I talk to?
• Property Manager
• Office Manager
• Department supervisor
• Everyone… Talk to Your colleagues!
• Be open & welcome change!
• Email Distribution
• Electronic Boards
• Weekly Announcements –
What Can I Recycle?
Paper Products Batteries
Aluminum, Steel & ALL Plastic
Tin Cans Brown, Green &
Techno Trash Ink and Toner
Simple Rules for Recycling
#2 Clean to avoid contamination
#3 Put it in its place!
#4 Ask Questions
Guide to Basic Recycling
• ONLY PAPER
• Examples: white or color paper, sticky notes, glossy or coated
Paper paper, magazines, newspapers or clean cardboard, (stapled
• NO used paper towels or napkins
• Clean plastic, cans, all clear and color glass bottles
• Examples: yogurt containers, plastic food trays (frozen, or deli
Mixed style), plastic bags, plastic utensils, plastic drinking
cups, aluminum, tin and steel cans.
• NO dirty plastics, tinfoil, food wrappers
• Non-Recyclable Items
• Examples: used paper towels or napkins, tinfoil or other
Trash miscellaneous food wrappers, food, biodegradable plates
cups and utensils.
• NO recyclable items
Battle of the Temperature
•Set a thermostat temperature range and educate users.
•Program the turn-on and turn-off times.
•Install a programmable thermostat.
•Dress in layers.
Thermostat Control- SUMMER Setting
Minimum airflow for warm up.
76 Degrees Duct heaters are OFF during
Maximum airflow for full cooling.
Got more questions?
Go to the home page! 13
Thermostat Control- WINTER Setting
Minimum airflow with electronic
76 Degrees duct heaters for warm up.
Maximum airflow with electronic
70 Degrees duct heaters OFF for cooling.
Got more questions?
Go to the home page! 14
Catering & Meals in and out of the Office
•Ditch the water bottles
•Skip the single serve; hello bulk
•Brown bag it
Your Hot and Your Cold!
•Turn down your water thermostat
•Use cold water in lieu of hot water whenever possible
Try using cold water to….
•Wash your hands
•Clean the dishes
•Cleaning around the house
•Run the dishwasher
Greening with IT
• Turn monitor off when not in use.
• Shut down your computer and monitor nightly.
• Use blade servers - 40% less power than traditional servers.
• Unplug items that do not require energy 24/7.
•Monitor travel miles
•Fly less and fly when it’s absolutely
•Offset carbon footprint
Standards/ Sourcing/ Behavior
•Provide secure bicycle parking for bicycle commuters
•Provide lockers and showers for bicyclists and pedestrians
•Offer a pretax deduction for Metrochek for transit riders
•Provide shuttle service to-and-from nearby Metro Stations
Paper – Paper Read All About It!
• Printing – Double side everything! Printers & Copiers
• Thanks but no thanks.
• Purchase paper that has recycled content…. 100% Preferred
• Comes from a sustainable forest. FSC is highly recommended.
• Think Twice- Does this reeeally need
to be printed?
World Wildlife Fund
1250 24th St. NW
Washington DC 20037
Hermione Phillips, LEED AP