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GoldCertificationCOSW Receives Gold Award for Green Office Certification

The COSW Green Initiative’s great improvements in all five of the COSW buildings have earned the college the Gold Award for Green Office Certification from Sustainable Carolina. Currently the COSW is the only academic college to have achieved certification as a Green Office by Sustainable Carolina.

The Green Office Certification program is a self-audit of green practices by participating offices throughout campus. The goal is to help offices reduce their environmental impact by implementing changes towards sustainability. Examples of new changes introduced to the College include placing recycling receptacles by trash bins in common areas, a small mini-bin for trash by each desk, new reusable dishes in break rooms, and new guidelines and tips for green dining and offices.

Spearheaded by Meredith C.F. Powers, a COSW doctoral student, the COSW Green Initiative began in Fall 2013 with the goal of infusing ecological consciousness into the College of Social Work’s policies, practices, and curriculum during the 2013-2014 academic year. Powers said, “Our main goal is to institutionalize this consciousness so that it becomes part of the culture of the college and is able to outlast any one person’s presence.”

Powers sees this certification as just the beginning. The next step is to work towards greening the COSW curriculum by infusing ecological consciousness and its relationship to social justice into all of the classes. Working with Powers is The Green Team Advisory Committee, which includes faculty, students, and staff. Powers said that this process is already beginning with an elective course, “Ecological Justice,” which will be offered this coming Fall.

The Green Initiative is also sponsoring a lecture series, development workshops, and updated online resources for social workers. The next Greening Social Work Series lecture will be held at the Green Quad Learning Center, Building D on Friday, April 25 from 10:00am-11:30am. The presentation will be provided by George Appenzeller, LCSW, LPC, and is entitled “Putting the Environment in Person-In-Environment.”

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