The translational biology, medicine, and health (TBMH) interdisciplinary graduate education program, spanning multiple departments and colleges, is the first university office to receive a gold certification for its sustainability efforts from the Virginia Tech Office of Sustainability.

Based on the health sciences and technology campus in Roanoke, the TBMH program’s administrative team completed Virginia Tech’s Green Office Certification Program in 2020. The program provides faculty, staff, and students the tools they need to make the workplace greener and more sustainable.

The Office of Sustainability continues to partner with Pamplin College of Business students to deploy and enhance the program across all Virginia Tech locations

“TBMH is committed to continuing these efforts, and we also want to find new ways to decrease our environmental footprint,” said Steven Poelzing, co-director of TBMH and an associate professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC.

Small, everyday habit changes can make a big environmental impact over time. Here are some of the tools and action items that helped TBMH achieve its gold certification status:

  • Providing recycling stations beside printers.
  • Using DocuSign to reduce paper documents.
  • Installing motion sensor lights in the suite.
  • Offering vegetarian and vegan options at events.
  • Providing reusable travel mugs to students, as well as a dish drying rack and shelf for reusable mugs and bowls.
  • Taking inventory of supplies regularly to prevent over-ordering.
  • Encouraging students to use the Smart Way Bus to travel between Roanoke and Blacksburg.

“We also encourage other offices and laboratories across Virginia Tech to make the effort to become green certified,” said Veronica van Montfrans, associate director of TBMH.

“We applaud the entire TBMH team for their hard work and dedication in earning Green Office gold certification. Your sustainability achievements serve as a strong example for the university community, especially for those departments interested in starting the program,” said Nathan King, sustainability manager.

Implementation of the Green Office Certification Program is among the many ways Virginia Tech continues to advance its environmental stewardship efforts. Ongoing sustainability initiatives include engaging students in countless hands-on opportunities to bolster campus sustainability, implementing the highest energy-efficiency standards in university buildings, updating and revising the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment, and many more.

For more information about the Green Office Certification Program, please contact sustainability@vt.edu.

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