The Green Office program gives offices of any size the knowledge and resources to become more sustainable, both economically and environmentally. By becoming certified through the program, an office signifies that they have made a tangible and measurable commitment to learning about sustainability, better understanding the impacts of their actions on the greater campus community and the world, and creating a healthy and sustainable work environment.
The program piloted in the summer of 2016 and has since grown to include 14 offices. Five of these have become Office of Sustainability-certified Green Offices this spring.
Offices achieve certification by completing actions identified to result in environmental, economic, or social sustainability improvements for a workplace. Action items fall into following categories: energy, waste and recycling, paper and printing, transportation, kitchen, and social sustainability. Offices can also submit their own customized innovation ideas to earn points toward certification.
The first five certified Green Offices are:
– The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Academic Programs Office already supports environmental sustainability through their range of academic programming, making the Green Office program a perfect way to showcase this commitment in practice as well as principle.
“When just one office acts sustainably, it may not seem like it’s making a big difference – but when more offices join in the collective an individual benefit will be obvious.” — Elizabeth Cameron
– UHS Counseling Services provides no-cost mental health services to UW–Madison students. While their focus is on personal well-being, they are using the Green Office program to expand their view to the well-being of the UW–Madison campus and planet as a whole.
“We have a lot of student interns that work here who might not know how UW’s waste systems work. The other day one of our interns was frustrated because he didn’t think he could compost his compostable K-Cup, but through the information we learned through the Green Office program we were able to direct him to the campus map that shows all of the compost locations on campus.” — Peggy Hines
– The LGBT Campus Center is a resource and an inclusive community for people of all experiences, communities, and perspectives across the range of LGBTQ identities and allies. As a student-facing office, the LGBT Campus Center has a direct opportunity to share sustainability knowledge with these students.
“At our most recent retreat, we brought reusable mugs instead of styrofoam.” — Cory Sprinkel
– The Division of Facilities Planning & Management is responsible for the physical development, construction, maintenance, and safe operation of the campus.
“Our office includes a wide range of staff responsible for stewardship of campus resources — from inside classrooms to outdoor natural areas. It is a natural extension of our interests and values to care for the environment, and this extends to how we try to conserve energy and reduce waste in our office environment.” — Daniel Einstein
– The Morgridge Center for Public Service connects UW–Madison students, staff, and faculty to local and global communities to build partnerships and solve critical issues through service and learning. They are using the Green Office program to address the issue of environmental sustainability.