Mobilizing Sustainability at Berkeley - The Greening Operations (GO!) Team

Project Leads: Farah Ereiqat, Claire Evans, Anna Szrendenyi, Sruti Barat, Krishna Kalpathy, Elizabeth Vissars

GO! TeamSponsor: Building Sustainability at Cal

TGIF Grant: $8,800

Project Theme: Waste Reduction

Project Location

2010 Application Submission

Application Metrics

Status: Complete

Project Description: Greening Operations (GO!) Team is a subset of Building Sustainability at Cal. This project funds student interns, or GO! Team Members, to provide UC Berkley with green event assistance, energy and waste audits, and energy and waste reduction plans.

Goals: Provide students with green job skills around issues of campus sustainability and emissions reduction. Recruit and train students to be members of the GO! Team. Conduct outreach to campus buildings, departments, and student groups to offer GO! Team event, auditing, waste, and sustainability education services. Work with Campus Recycling and Refuse Services to develop an extensive composting system for campus. Assist campus in achieving zero waste by 2020. Provide audits (and therefore LEED credits) for buildings looking to achieve LEED EB Certification. Provide "trash-talking" services at campus events and ensure proper pick-up of compostable materials post-events. Give semesterly presentations of GO! Team's achievements at BS@C end-of-semester Final Presentations.

Areas of Focus:

  • Waste and Energy Audits
  • Event Outreach
  • Energy Conservation
  • Waste Diversion
  • Educational Outreach
  • Behavior Change


2011 Project Poster

2010-2011 Accomplishments
GO! Team is comprised of a group of highly trained students whose tasks include conducting waste audits, providing event "trash talking" and implementing composting systems for campus buildings and campus organizations. 2010-2011 was a successful and busy year for GO! Team, completing projects and tasks at International House, the Bear's Lair, Wurster Hall, Doe Library, Rosa Parks Elementary, and the David Brower Center, as well as collaborating with Cal Athletics, Berkeley Project, PP-CS, and the PLAYgreen Festival.

  • GO! Team developed a standardized project management timeline:
    1. Building Managers and Event Coordinators contact GO! Team.
    2. GO! Team Coordinators meet with the "customer" and develop a plan and offer sustainable suggestions.
    3. GO! Team members are hired to implement the plan.
    4. Customer meets with Coordinators and provides initial feedback. 
    5. Project plan is completed.
    6. Coordinators follow-up with the customer to assess the results of the project.
  • GO! Team worked with International House staff and residents to implement composting and recycling in the Dining Hall and Kitchen. GO! Team provided bin recommendations, signage, and education for both the kitchen staff and residents on compostable and recyclable items. Post-implementation audit results showed an average of 125lbs per meal being composted.
  • GO! Team worked with Cal Athletics to improve Game Day recycling efforts during the Fall 2010 Football season at Memorial Stadium. After developing a plan with GO! Team, Cal Athletics secured rolling bins, thirty yarders, and free-pick up services from the City of Berkeley and hired GO! Team to attend all home games and help fans with recycling their bottles and cans and educating them about their waste footprints. GO! Team members were stationed in the Fun Zone and stadium entrance gates and provided "trash talking" in these high traffic areas, ensuring bottles and cans were being placed in the correct bins. Over the course of five home games, GO! Team members worked 120 hours and diverted 15- 50% of the total waste stream per game, the equivalent of 2-9 tons of recycled material per game, or 24 tons total over five games.
  • GO! Team conducted water audits for six bathrooms in the Gardner Stacks of Doe Library. The team identified 8 problem fixtures and leaks and made recommendations for plumbing solutions and sink aerator installations.
    • Potential savings were up to 8gpm*3hours / day = 1400 Gallons per day.
  • GO! Team created a spring 2011 presentation, featuring its projects and accomplishments.

2010-2011 GO! Team Final Report

Project Photos

Final Update:
Through an innovative financial model based on grants from TGIF and Facilities Services, and the Recharge Model, GO! Team only used $2,500 of its 2010 TGIF Grant, allowing $6,300 to go towards the 2011 and 2012 academic years to continue GO! Team's services.

Follow GO! Team's future progress by reading the semesterly reports to Facilities Services.

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.