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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 commiserate with their efforts. 

Faculty and staff are invited to participate as a department or as an individual. Your entire department does not need to sign on in order to be eligible for the program, and you can enter a department with only ⅓ of your department committing. We encourage SWOP leaders to motivate peers to join the program over time. As a team, the group must work as a collective to complete and discuss the SWOP checklist and earn a badge. Individuals are welcomed if they do not have a large department or if they prefer trying the program independently. We have tried to make SWOP flexible and adaptable so that participants have the freedom to define their workplace. 

Our program was based on 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.

To participate in SWOP, participants will…

  1. Indicate interest in participating by completing this survey linked here and below. Entries accepted until Nov 5, 2021 for Fall '21.
  2. Receive a checklist via email with a menu of action items in a variety of categories, including energy, health/well-being, waste, transportaion, DEI, and purchasing.
  3. Check off action items they currently implement in their workplace in order to accumulate points.
  4. Submit completed checklist, and note they are accepted on a rolling basis through November 19, 2021 for the Fall 2021 semester. The checklists will be reviewed by our student Sustainable Workplace Managers, who will connect with the participant to review the submission.
  5. Receive a certification sticker based on the overall points generated over the semester. The levels of certification are from bronze to platinum.

In addition, our student Sustainable Workplace Managers will host regular brown bag lunches. All participants will be notified of upcoming lunches. We welcome submissions of suggested topics for these lunches.

If you are interested in becoming a SWOP participant, please fill out this form, and our Sustainable Workplace Managers will connect with you.  

Upcoming events

SWOP Coffee Hour
Tuesday, 11/8 from 1-3pm
Burgess Cafe
The Sustainability Office and Human Resources
are partneringto host a come-as-you-please coffee hour. Please bring your own mug and visit Burgess to learn more about our new Sustainable Workplace Operations Program (SWOP) with our SWOP managers, Luna and Maggie. This program is designed to helpemployeesbetter understand sustainable workplace practices and how to help implement them. Participants will be evaluated on standardized criteria over the course of the semester and awarded a bronze, silver, gold,or platinum sticker to be displayed as thanks for their participation. Learn more about SWOP at the program website.

Brown Bag Lunches

As a participant of the Sustainable Workplace Operations Program (SWOP), participants are invited to a biweekly lunch-in to discuss topics that address multiple aspects of our community. Attendees should bring their own lunch to listen, engage, and expand their knowledege on a given topic. At these regular lunches, the presenter will offer a 20-30 minute presentation and open up the conversation to the group. As the program continues through Spring '22, participants will have the liberty to work with SWOP managers to craft discussion topics based on their interests.

SWOP Brown Bag Lunch Kickoff: Learn More About Skidmore's Sustainability Initiatives
Monday, 10/25 from 12:30-1:30pm
Wiecking Tent
Please join our first Brown Bag Lunch featuring a presentation from Jen Natyzak, Interim Sustainability Director, to get an overview of the collaborative campus projects supporting our 2025 campus sustainability goals for energy, waste, food, lands & grounds, and engagement. Attendees should bring their own lunch and drinks, and complimentary cider donuts will be offered. Please RSVP with an email to

Meet with Ndakinna: An Introduction to Land Acknowledgements Brought to You by SWOP
Date + Time TBD
The Ndakinna Education Center is an affiliate of the Greenfield Review Literary Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and charitable organization located in Greenfield Center, New York. The Center offers people of all ages unique hands-on learning experiences, principles of indigenous arts of life, team building, character development, and exhibit spaces focusing on regional Native American understandings, Adirondack culture, wilderness skills and awareness of the natural world. We welcome representatives from Ndakkina to lead a brief presentation and conversation.

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