Green Offices: A Path To Platinum

Washington University’s Campus Operations office, which includes Office of Sustainability and Dining Services staff, is now the largest office to earn Platinum certification through the Green Office program. Sarah Greenberg is a Green Office Associate and championed the process in July.

“Achieving Platinum isn’t easy,” she explains. The first time Campus Operations completed the Green Office certification in 2012, it achieved Silver certification. “When we filled out the checklist for re-certification, we received Gold certification and still had a lot of work to do to reach the next level.” Sarah evaluated checklist questions that could move from “no” to “yes” through additional staff buy-in. Some questions required partnering with a particular staff member to earn points; for instance, working with the office’s Administrative Assistant to cancel unwanted subscriptions and fix the office bike up for use. Other checklist items required getting the entire office together.

“To energize our office and encourage attendance at a meeting about our certification,” Sarah notes, “we brought food!” “We earned six more points over snacks while discussing alternative transportation options, recycling protocols, and printing settings. It only took one hour and sparked interesting conversation. We experienced some questions and initial hesitation from staff about certain new practices, but good communication, team goal-setting, and support from other office members helped us reach Platinum!”

If you and your office would like to become a certified Green Office, visit the website to download a checklist. Offices simply need to elect a Green Office Representative, fill out the checklist, and email it back to Members of the Office of Sustainability are also available to present the program to your office and walk you through checklist.