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Denise MacDonald of CUPE 3012 wanted to improve the environmental record of her workplace.  Sister MacDonald knows that many of us make environmental changes at home, but often those same changes don’t happen at work.  She decided to change that and has been rewarded by successfully negotiating a Green Policy for her workplace.

The policy commits her employer and her fellow CUPE Local 3012 members at the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation to “conserve the earth’s resources in our professional lives.”  The aim of the policy is to: “improve our quality of life by reducing air pollution and the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.”

MacDonald says a workplace environmental policy makes sense because, “It makes people aware that they can make a difference at work and in their every day lives.”  She believes other CUPE Locals should adopt green workplace policies.

MacDonald has been a committed environmental activist for many years.  She got the idea to green her workplace on her own.  She then contacted CUPE National to get environmental information and resources (such as Healthy, Clean & GREEN) to help guide her to develop a policy.  A few months later, Sister MacDonald has her policy.

The green plan for MacDonald’s workplace focuses on reducing waste, conserving energy, using alternative forms of transportation, conducting green meetings, and using sustainable purchasing practices to lower the environmental impact of work.  The full policy can be read here.

Adopting a workplace environmental policy is one way CUPE members can participate in greening their workplaces, while helping to make our communities more sustainable.  CUPE’s Strategic Directions document from 2007 National Convention calls on Locals, with the assistance of CUPE staff, to meet global green targets by cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions.
For more information on how to develop a workplace environmental policy, contact Matthew Firth (mfirth@cupe.ca) at CUPE National office.

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