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Harvard College Library News: News from around the libraries

Human Resource Services Reaches Green Leaf Four

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From left, Valerie Sacchetti, Abbey McGuire, Diane Cox, Jennifer Goldstein, Anna Anctil, Lisa Plosker, and Sherrie Whang display HCL Human Resource Services’ Green Leaf Four certification from the Harvard Office for Sustainability.


November 22, 2010 – Staff in HCL Human Resource Services (HCL HRS) recently received Green Leaf Four certification from Harvard’s Office for Sustainability (OFS), becoming just the eighth workspace University-wide, and the third library workspace – along with HCL Operations and Houghton Library – to reach the Green Office Program’s highest level.

Among the requirements needed to reach Green Leaf Four: units must implement at least three “green” projects. In HRS, staff members are encouraging hiring managers to pursue certification as a recruitment tool. Other projects included adding information on Green Leaf certification to all HCL job postings; discussing sustainable practices, like double-sided printing and energy conservation, with new employees during orientation sessions; promoting HCL’s sustainability efforts during the annual HRS Open House; and automating HR processes whenever possible.

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“Overall, it was a fairly straightforward process for us,” said HRS Director and Green Leaf team lead, Anna Anctil. “Each level in the certification is more challenging, but we found them very doable. As an organization, HCL is set up to help people succeed – that made it easier for us to take many of these steps.”

When it came to the certification process, HRS staff members were highly motivated. The unit quickly received Leaf One certification, prompting Houghton Green Team representative Monique Duhaime to encourage staff to pursue the other three levels together.

For HRS, Anctil said, the certification is a signal that sustainability must be a consideration in everything they do going forward.

“Many items in the higher certification levels are focused on the way we operate, as opposed to one specific activity,” she said. “As a result, sustainability has become part of our everyday thinking.”

In addition to helping HCL contribute to Harvard’s sustainability goals, HRS staff members believe Green Leaf certification could prove to be a useful recruiting tool in the future.

“One of the things we would like to explore is working with managers of other departments to highlight green certification during the recruiting process,” said HRS Associate Director Sherrie Whang. “If we can emphasize the things that make our workspaces unique or attractive, it will help us to get the kinds of candidates that would be successful at HCL, and being green is one of those things.”

In addition to HRS, several other HCL units have already been certified. Harvard Map Collection and Tozzer Library have each reached Green Leaf One, with Tozzer planning to continue working on additional levels. Although it is not an HCL unit, the Harvard University Archives resides in Pusey and is represented by Senior Reference Archivist Tim Driscoll on the HCL Green Team. The Archives is already Green Leaf Two certified, and is working toward Leaf Three.