ROCHESTER, Minn. — A Mayo Clinic Office of Sustainability on Tuesday encouraged 243 employees designated Green Advocates to "attend or learn more about" climate change events scheduled for Friday, Sept. 20, if "work or personal schedules allow."

"You may have heard about events being planned around the world on September 20th aimed at bringing greater awareness to climate change and sustainability," reads a communication from the Mayo Green Committee to a Green Advocates recipient list in an email obtained by Forum News Service. "The events have grown from groups of students promoting action on climate change and its impacts, to multiple events around the world that includes people of all ages partnering with students to raise awareness and inspire action."

The email, with a subject line titled "September 20th Climate Action Events," provided a link to local events, adding "If your work and personal schedules allow, we encourage you to attend or learn more about many of the initiatives." After thanking the recipient list "for all you're doing to make Mayo Clinic a greener and more sustainable organization," the last line of the email stated that "In Rochester, MN, there will be a Climate Strike event at 11:30 am on Friday, 9/20."

"As part of a number of green initiatives and sustainability efforts, Mayo Clinic recently developed a Green Advocate program, a group of staff volunteers who plan to serve as sustainability champions for their work units," says Mayo spokesperson Kelley Luckstein of the communication. "The email to this group was to make them aware of the event but was not a mandate to attend. Mayo Clinic has long encouraged staff to participate in the community. However, staff are advised to follow Mayo’s policy and participate on their own time."

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The lunch hour event in Rochester begins at 11:30 am Friday in the Peace Plaza, followed by a march to City Hall at noon with a rally scheduled for 12:30.