William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 2nd Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
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As leaders, our mission is to develop a sustainable culture throughout State Government. We will model this culture in TDEC and assist state agencies in implementing best practices that improve efficiency, reduce environmental impacts, and contribute to fiscally-sound government. Action-based approaches will focus on travel, building and purchasing.
The Office of Sustainable Practices is a proud participant in the Governor's Working for a Healthier Tennessee initiative. The goal of Working for a Healthier Tennessee is to encourage and enable state employees and other insurance plan members to lead healthier lives. The initiative includes employees and spouses in general government, higher education, and local government. There are three key focus areas for the program- Physical Activity, Eating Well, and Tobacco Cessation.
A Wellness Council appointed by Commissioner Martineau made up of staff from across TDEC's divisions coordinate TDEC's participation in Working for a Healthier Tennessee. The Council takes a fun and easy going approach to employee engagement offering modules like support groups, regularly scheduled fitness classes, contests like Biggest Loser Challenges, and frequent communication with tips, recipes, and success stories. Departments earn points for the activities they sponsor and quarterly awards support healthy competition between departments. TDEC was recently the champion in the tobacco cessation category.
Sustainable State Government manager, Christina Treglia, serves on TDEC's Wellness Council and leads the Activity and Support Groups team for our department. Christina says, "The project is a great way to explore the environmental/social nexus of sustainability. There are a number of ways that the two intersect such as encouraging walking and biking as transportation methods and promoting local agriculture."
The full Office of Sustainable Practices has participated in several ways. One of our favorite wellness activities is hosting mini walking tours that give our staff an opportunity to get a little physical activity while getting first-hand exposure to environmental best practices. One tour visited Nashville's Deaderick Street which uses green infrastructure techniques to both reduce the environmental impact of the area as well as making the street more inviting to pedestrians. We also host healthy snack breaks, encourage employees to use their rest periods for physical activity, and support special events such as the TDEC Wellness Fair.
The results are already starting to show. More employees than ever are making an effort to eat healthy and increase their physical activity. Divisions are incorporating stretch breaks, hikes, and healthy potlucks into their regularly scheduled meetings and events. We are looking forward to seeing how much our staff has improved their health when we get our annual health assessment for the department.