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Skidmore College

Sustainable Workplace Operations Program

Sustainable Workplace Operations Program (SWOP)’s mission is to educate community members about sustainability, inspire behavior change, and to encourage participants to make improvements for a healthier, more sustainable workplace and lifestyle. Participants complete the SWOP checklist and earn a badge commensurate with their efforts. 


Faculty and staff are invited to participate as a department or as an individual. If you are interested in becoming a SWOP participant and you are unable to attend the workshop, please fill out this program form, and our Sustainable Workplace Manager will connect with you.  

Registration for the Spring 2023 SWOP Lunch & Workshop is open. Details below.
Sign up here for the workshop.
If YOU ARE NOT ABLE to attend the workshop, but would still like to participate in the program,
use the program form link above to sign up.
SWOP flier

Our program was based on the Sustainability Tracking And Rating System (STARS), a program by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS is a rating system for institutional sustainability at colleges and universities around the world. Skidmore campus earned a Silver rating in 2017.

Curious about SWOP? Follow student program managers Luna and Maggie through a quick demo in and around the Sustainability Office! We’ll highlight some points on the evaluation form and give you a brief introduction to the program.

How can I participate in this program?

We want to make SWOP work for you! We are happy to work with you as an individual, department, office, or even building. Our only restriction is that we ask at least ⅓ of a department is actively involved with the SWOP checklist to receive a departmental ranking.

What if some of the points do not apply to me?

We understand that every office is different, and we have designed our scoresheet with that in mind! Any category that does not apply to you can be filled in as “NA” and your score will be adjusted proportionately. 

This feels too hard… Is this worth doing?
SWOP has been designed to challenge participants. Even the Sustainability Office is a few points short of platinum.

How long does a SWOP certification last?
Sustainability is dynamic! Participation occurs on a semester-by-semester basis. We encourage you to participate annually or each semester as your office and our checklist evolves. Updates to the checklist are made semi-annually, and ranking stickers are labeled by academic year.

How does SWOP work within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our checklist is entirely adaptable to the adjustments the college has made for our health and safety. Our “N/A” system for point adjustment helps us better contextualize participant efforts in the face of the current global health emergency.

I don’t have agency over purchasing in my department. Does this negatively impact my score?

Our purchasing evaluation works on a more office-wide scale than other categories. We can also implement the N/A system to adjust for certain circumstances. Additionally, we are happy to work with you, your colleagues, facilities, and purchasing to help make sustainable changes in your workplace!

SWOP badges, circles in platinum, gold, silver, and bronze, lined up.