Green Office measures at University Services


Promotion of suitanable development at University services

The measures to promote sustainable development at University Services are integrated into the unit’s quality management system. University Services has concluded a Green Office agreement with WWF Finland, through which it seeks to promote sustainable development.  The contact person for matters relating to Green Office is the university’s Quality Coordinator Saila Vaittinen.  The measures to promote sustainable development are described in the quality manual of University Services and in the university's Environmental Policy. The Environmental Policy is approved by the Director of Administration after hearing feedback from University Services’ management review.

As from the beginning of 2017, the university's activities relating to Green Office have been integrated into the activities of the Advisory Board for Sustainable Development. Comprising representatives from the university’s various units and the Student Union, the advisory board promotes sustainable development and responsibility at the university, is responsible for annual sustainable development reporting, and carries out sustainable development audits at the university.

Specific Green Office measures at University Services

The activities of University Services comply with the Action Programme for Sustainable Development at the University of Eastern Finland. The specific goals of University Services include reducing the consumption of electricity and office paper, as well as travelling between the campuses. The consumption of office paper is monitored on the basis of paper orders. Travelling between the campuses, on the other hand, is monitored as agreed in the 2011 sustainable development audit.

Although the Green Office agreement has been concluded between WWF Finland and University Services, which is responsible for providing the university’s supporting services, the Green Office principles are adhered to in all units of the university.

Waste sorting

University Services complies with the university’s Waste Management Plan's instructions. All offices have separate boxes for the collection of office paper. Staff lounges are equipped with bins for the collection of biodegradable waste, and disposable plates,
cups and cutlery are not used at all.
The collection and recycling of ink cartridges and problem waste is organised in a centralised manner.

Environmental aspects in procurement

University Services complies with the university’s procurement instructions, which are taking into account also environmental and sustainable development issues.
We use eco-labelled office paper and other environment-friendly and less energy or water consuming  products. Some of the electricity we use is green energy (ecologically produced).  To utilise solar energy, the university installed its first solar panels on the rooftop of the Mediteknia building at the Kuopio Campus in 2016. More solar panels will be installed later, after gaining some experience from the first ones. 

Travelling and commuting

Competitive tendering relating to charter buses for inter-campus travel is carried out on an annual basis, and we generally prefer car-pooling and public transportation in our travel. Bus stops for local and express buses are located in the immediate vicinity of both campuses, making available a wide range of bus connections. 

We also seek to reduce inter-campus travel by preferring video conferences, Skype meetings and meeting recordings, as well as recoded lectures, etc.

We support bicycle commuting by participating in the nationwide Kilometrikisa cycling campaign every year. There are bike maintenance stations on both campuses: under the Carelia building’s open shelter (by the library entrance) and under the Canthia building’s open shelter (by entrance A). Guidance on how to use the bike maintenance station is provided to students and staff members in the spring or autumn in collaboration with the Student Union.

Campus Gardening

Campus gardening is possible on both university campuses during the summer. Campus gardening is something students and staff members can engage in. There are designated gardening areas on both campuses. The university provides garden boxes or equivalent as well as soil, and gardeners purchase their own seedlings or seeds and take care of the watering and other upkeep of their garden. The Student Union participates in campus gardening, and an annual agreement covering students is concluded between the university and the Student Union.

Information Dissemination

The Green Office contact person disseminates information about the university’s Green Office activities in connection with the activities of the Advisory Board for Sustainable Development via mailing lists of the advisory board, University Services and the university’s network of persons in charge of quality assurance. Information about the activities is also disseminated to the academic community via Yammer, Heimo and Kamu.  The university’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter) are also used to disseminate information about Green Office activities and other matters and events related to sustainable development.

The university has a sustainable development website on which information about sustainable development, Green Office and related events is gathered. University Services has also published its own Green Tips

Instructions and training

The Green Office contact person prepares instructions and materials, and organises Green Office training as deemed necessary for all members of the academic community.

Consumer Habit Questionnaire

Green Office consumer habit questionnaire has been sent annually to all university services staff to be answered.  The consumer habit questionnaire and it's answering percentage is a part of university's annual reporting to sustain our Green Office agreement.

Office inspections and audits

WWF carries out an office inspection at the university every three years. The university carries out sustainable development auditing every second year, and University Services participates in these audits in accordance with an agreed schedule.