Zero Waste Program
UT Catering and Food Vendor Sustainability Database
Dynamics of Diversity Certificate
UT Staff Council's Sustainability Committee
Staff value sustainability in a fundamentally different manner than students or faculty. Staff consider the institution primarily as a place where they practice their craft or profession and earn a living, but collegial partnerships and personal friendships flourish as well. Staff interact with each other frequently and intensely, so the institution supports diversity and inclusion training and conflict resolution. A positive campus culture is built on efforts to create equitable access to benefits and services, opportunities for leadership and career growth, and is enhanced by sustainability programs to make the workplace healthier, more comfortable, and a contributor to a cleaner environment.
Staff are entrusted to be caretakers of the University's resources. As such, we encourage staff to engage in sustainability on campus through the following programs and resources.
Formerly the Green Offices program, Sustainable Spaces seeks to empower UT faculty and staff to generate sustainable practices in their workspace. By implementing sustainable upgrades in the workplace, staff work together to certify their office as a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Sustainable Space. More info on this revamped program is coming soon. Contact us if you'd like a sneak peek.
Green Labs, a program within Environmental Health & Safety, serves as a resource to help UT faculty, staff, and students run more environmentally-friendly labs without sacrificing the integrity of their research. The Green Labs team strives to increase the sustainability of labs on campus by helping researchers minimize wastse, reduce water and energy consumption, and utilize the concepts of Green Chemistry.
Resource Recovery's Zero Waste Program offers many resources to support staff in reducing waste while on campus including the Zero Waste Workplace Program and Zero Waste Events. Their website also includes helpful information about how to properly dispose of items on campus from batteries to plastic bottles.
The UT Catering and Food Vendor Sustainability Database provides UT-Austin meeting and event planners with information on the sustainability attributes of over 70 area food vendors. All information in the database was self-reported by the food vendors, and information will be updated annually. If you are a local food vendor and would like to be included in this database or if your business's information needs to be updated, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This resource was developed through the collaborative effort of the Office of Sustainability, the Staff Council Sustainability Committee, and Resource Recovery. Resource Recovery has also created a helpful Zero Waste Event Food Vendor Conversation Guide to help you navigate and facilitate conversations with food vendors about zero waste and sustainability.
The Green Fund is a competitive grant program funded by UT Austin tuition fees to support sustainability-related projects and initiatives proposed by university students, faculty or staff.
The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and Human Resources have collaborated to offer a Diversity Education Certificate through UT Learn Courses. UT Austin employees will be able to learn more about managing diverse teams and working with students, staff, and faculty from all backgrounds as well as how campus climate, Title IX, and implicit bias can affect our culture at work.
UT Staff Council and its Sustainability Committee maintain a close strategic relationship with the Office of Sustainability, providing an outlet for staff to collaborate on and find a voice in sustainability-related initiatives at the university.
The Sustainability Roundtable is a regular meeting of sustainability staff from across campus that fosters collaborations in support of our campus sustainability goals. Contact email@example.com for more information.
- Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE): AASHE's mission is to inspire and catalyze higher education to lead the global sustainability transformation. Create a free account using your university email address to access webinars, case studies, toolkits, and an active community discussion board. AASHE also hosts the annual Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education.
- Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC): Register here using your UT email address to gain full access to a wide array of sustainable purchasing resources and community discussion boards. Resources include case studies of successful sustainable purchasing initiatiaves and guidance for specific purchasing categories (e.g. furnishings, paper products, electronics, etc.). Watch a recording of the SPLC member orientation for UT Austin here. For SPLC, sustainability includes social, economic, and environmental stewardship. Sustainable purchasing is purchasing that builds healthy communities, economies, and environments all along local and global supply chains.
- Global Council for Science and the Environment (GCSE): GCSE advances the use of science to inform environmental decision-making. As a member, UT staff and faculty can access reports that analyze national trends in environmental and sustainability education, receive the GCSE Pathways electronic publication, attend member events and webinars, and participate in Communities of Practice.
- US Green Building Council (USGBC): USGBC is committed to transforming how buildings are designed, constructed and operated through LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Open to full-time UT staff, contact us to receive information on creating a free USGBC account and gain access to LEED courses, credential maintenance webinars, and USGBC events.
- Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN): PLAN is an environmental nonprofit focused on the student-led zero waste movement. UT staff, faculty, and students can create a free account to access a variety of zero waste resources including discount codes for sustainable swag, best practices manuals, and more.