Office environments throughout Washington University in St. Louis’ campuses are major consumers of energy and materials and significant contributors to our waste stream. The Green Office Program is a framework and set of resources that has the potential to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of our university community.
Coordinated by the Office of Sustainability and endorsed by Resource Management, WashU’s Green Office Program aims to encourage offices across all WashU campuses to be champions of our university’s sustainability ethic.
Participation is initiated through a point-based, self-assessment checklist with which offices can evaluate their current practices, set goals, and be recognized for their sustainable practices. As participants complete the checklist, points are automatically tallied. When an office earns points above a set threshold, it will achieve Green Office certification.
Join your peers! As of 2018, 1,800 employees work in offices that earned Green Office Certifications. One hundred and eleven offices maintained or earned certifications in 2018.
How to Participate
- Define office space and elect a Green Office representative. An office is typically defined by physical location, where office equipment, common spaces, and purchasing resources and practices are shared. Large departments with multiple locations may be certified as separate offices.
- Orient yourself and your office to the program by downloading and reviewing the Introduction to the Green Office Program (PPT).
- Download the Green Office Checklist (2019 version) excel file and work with your office to complete the checklist. A survey customized to your office is available upon request to help collect information on individual practices. A kick off meeting is encouraged to raise awareness about sustainable practices and prepare office members for participation.
- The Office of Sustainability is available to support your certification process, by providing an initial or supplementary presentation, making recommendations and facilitating goal setting.
- Submit your checklist HERE. The Office of Sustainability will review your completed checklist and confirm your office’s certification level.
- Offices must be re-certified annually but have the option of resubmitting the checklist after three months to allow recognition for improvements. Certification lapse after 2 years without re-certification.
The Green Office program has four levels of certification automatically calculated as you fill out the checklist. After completing the checklist, the Office of Sustainability will confirm your certification level.
- Platinum: 90 percent and above
- Gold: 80 percent
- Silver: 65 percent
- Bronze: 50 percent
- Registered: below 50 percent (pre-certification)
To celebrate offices that have made strides to reduce their environmental footprint, the Office of Sustainability will recognize certified green offices by:
- Supplying an icon that can be used on the department website
- Providing a plaque/certificate for display at the office
- Including the office on the Office of Sustainability’s “Green Office” list
- Recognizing Green Office Liaisons at the annual Green Carpet Awards Ceremony
The team at the Office of Sustainability is dedicated to making sure your green office champions have the tools and resources they need to advance office sustainability and gain more points on the Green Office Checklist. To receive monthly tips on greening your office, subscribe to the Green Office Program newsletter!
Are we missing a resource that you would find beneficial? Send requests for new resources or send us something you have found helpful: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Introduction to the Green Office Program (PPT)
- Green Office Checklist
- Innovation Points Resource (PDF)
- Email Template for Green Office Reps (DOCX)
- Battery Purchasing and Disposal Guide (PDF)
- Recycling Poster
- Hanging Landfill Bin Policy (PDF)
- Bike Share Program Instructions (PDF)
- Mac how-to guide for double-sided printing (PDF)
- Windows how-to guide for double-sided printing (PDF)
- Space Heater Policy (PDF)
- Impacts of Styrofoam (PDF)
- Light Bulb Guide (PDF)
- Adding a Link to the Office of Sustainability to Your Website (PDF)
- Paper Purchasing and Print Vendor Selection Guide (PDF)
- Sustainable Purchasing with Office Essentials (PDF)
- Toner and Ink Recycling (PDF)
Not finding what you are looking for? Be sure to follow the links in the Green Office Checklist for resources that directly correspond to points.
- Request Green Office Materials and Educational Signage
- Office Supply Exchange: Free re-circulation of office supplies and computer peripherals
- Washington University’s Environmental Purchasing Policy
- Washington University’s Environmental Purchasing Overview and Resources
- Green Glossary of Sustainability
Surplus Property: An online forum for the exchange of goods between WU departments (for sale/free/wanted)
- Office supplies, furniture, equipment and more!
- Responsible Equipment Disposal: Donations, recycling, and appropriate disposal
- Take the Green Monday Pledge: Eat vegetarian one day a week to decrease your carbon footprint
- Alternative Transportation
- Event Greening at WU: Secure a waste station and go Zero Waste for your next event!
- Less is More toolkit