Yale University

Working at Yale

Working Green: Three cheers for the Tompkins house

tompkinsThe Ray Tompkins house sits quietly beside Payne Whitney Gym. It is home to the Yale Athletics Department and to the staff members who are committed to helping Yale student-athletes be the best they can be.  Recently, the house has had a win of its own:  It has achieved full certification in the Office of Sustainability’s Green Workplace Certification Program.

The program, which was established by the Office of Sustainability on December 1, 2010, has made it easier for staff members and their departments to adopt sustainable practices in the University’s workplaces, becoming active participants in Yale’s Sustainability Strategic Plan.  The program has four different levels of certification (Y-A-L-E) and ten Action Areas (transportation and travel, solid waste management, energy, procurement, kitchens and shared areas, community engagement, and innovation items).  Workplaces are able to move up the certification ladder by implementing more and more sustainable measures to gain more and more “points.”  A workplace gets full Y-A-L-E certification once it has reached 60 points – with over 120 possible points, there is ample opportunity for each workplace to reach certification.

Thanks to the commitment of the Bulldog Sustainability team, The Ray Tompkins house has reached its goal with 60 points and a Y-A-L-E. As the staff members in Athletics know well, no pain no gain: They have worked hard to put the following specific steps into practice:
 •Putting recycling bins present near all trash cans
 • Providing plenty of bike rack space 
 •Holding paperless staff meetings
 •Eliminating desk-side printers/copiers
 •Implementing energy-saving power settings as defaults on all computers
 •Providing reusable cups and plates

In addition to finding creative ways to practice sustainability at the Tompkins House, the Bulldog Sustainability team is hoping to make more efforts at Ingalls Rink and Payne Whitney Gym by reducing waste and developing new transportation solutions.  These ideas will take the efforts of students and staff alike, and are a strong force in achieving environmental goals and bringing the campus together. 

The next application period for the Green Workplace Program will take place in September 2011. If your department would like to participate in the certification program, visit the Green Workplaces website for additional details or contact green_workplaces@panlists.yale.edu.