Individual Sustainability Certifications

Most sustainability certifications and rating systems currently focus on products, buildings, companies, and even nations, but few focus on the individual.  Businesses often use passive behavioral programs to alter employee behavior in the workplace, and there are self-reported tools, such as JouleBug, to reward and keep track of sustainable actions, but no individual certification that enables individuals to credibly demonstrate their environmental responsibility. This project investigates the potential of certification programs that measure energy consumption, water use, and waste generation at the individual level, and require regular check-ins in order to maintain certification.  Working with companies in the Charlotte area, the project has developed a pilot version of such a program called CertifiedSaver.  Users can sign up for the beta version of the pilot website at  Team members are currently documenting whether and how individual employees and consumers are participating in the program.  The project is also investigating the extent to which such an individual certification program has spillover effects on workplace water and energy use.

Researchers involved in this Project: Becky Johnson ’16, Graham Bullock, Arun Karottu.