Marlo DeVouge is an office administrator for the Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research (ISTAR). Under DeVouge’s leadership, her office in Calgary was the university’s first off-campus space to be Green Spaces Certified.
Leading Change Fearlessly
“Being a change agent means not being afraid to help people find out what they could be doing better or where they think they are right now.”
“Sustainability started as a personal interest and I’ve always enjoyed learning about it. When I learned about Leading Sustainability at Work, I wanted to sign up. It worked out because it went hand-in-hand with projects we were working on in our office. We had previously been Green Spaces Certified, but it lapsed.”
“We realized we needed to get everyone on the same page and have a baseline for our future projects. The team was enthusiastic to get on board; we’ve had proposals to go paperless, for example. I signed up so I could act as our team’s sustainability coordinator.”
An Unexpected Benefit
“When I was taking the course, I was looking more at the waste side of sustainability—how we could reduce our footprint and save resources. The course spends a lot of time on health and work-life balance, too, and I thought it was really applicable to our office. We’re a small office, but we work hard. It was nice to be able to bring those ideas in and found out what could make them happier so they could continue to work hard and efficiently without getting burned out.”
Go For It!
“Don’t worry about having a project before you go into the course. You’ll have so many discussions that will help you gather ideas of what you can do. If you have an interest in your business or department, or you think that your office can benefit from sustainability—and they all can—go for it.
A Valuable Experience
“Something that was really valuable was having access to case studies to see what other organizations have tried and seeing what worked or didn’t, which lays the groundwork so the changes we want to see will be accepted by everyone and not just be a one-person initiative. Now we’re having more team discussions on how to go greener, and we’re lookin at what kind of professional development opportunities are available to us.”
A Successful Outcome
“Since finishing the course, we certified both our Calgary and Edmonton offices with Green Spaces [link to Green Spaces page]. I was aiming for bronze, but we managed to get both spaces silver, and are only a few steps away from gold, which is our new goal. Our Calgary office is the first off-campus space to be certified, which is really exciting.” “I also benefited a lot personally. From the networks I was making in the course and dome of the events, I’ve been able to make changes in my own life. For example, I started vermicomposting in my own home.”