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OIE is one of the thirteen sustainable offices at UGA. The initiative, developed by the UGA Office of Sustainability, seeks to involve faculty, staff, and students in creating a culture of sustainability on campus. By following a tool kit on how to develop a sustainable environment at work, OIE has provided its staff with many different ways to engage with pro-environment daily habits. Recycled-content carpets in the offices, recycling and compost bins, adjusted printer settings, and convenient bike racks are some examples of OIE commitment to promote environmental awareness.

“The Office of International Education was one of the first and most enthusiastic supporters of the Sustainable UGA Office Program, “ said Kevin Kirsche, director of the Office of Sustainability. “Not only have the staff maintained their commitments to reduce energy, water, waste and carbon emissions since 2011, OIE has continued to pilot new programs such as break room composting and to establish a culture of sustainability that is reflected in individual daily actions right here on campus, at UGA Costa Rica, and in programs throughout the globe.”

Quint Newcomer, director of UGA Costa Rica and OIE’s green champion, is the direct contact between OIE and the Office of Sustainability. Newcomer has been an active advocate for environmental awareness, as he brings to work his eco-friendly habits, and supports OIE’s participation in the Green Office Program. “This program encourages my co-workers and me to participate in sustainability-minded activities and actions that I am already doing at home as an individual, but that would be harder to do in an office setting," said Newcomer. "The structure and guidance of a protocol / set of indicators and the support to implement these activities is provided by the Green Office Program.” 

Newcomer’s commitment to the environment is also reflected in his work at the UGA campus in Costa Rica. The campus is a certified sustainable operation where faculty and students are engaged in different green initiatives including the UGA Costa Rica Reforestation Program, the water treatment and energy-generating system, and through community outreach.
Click here to learn more about how to become a sustainable office at UGA.