Get Started

Become a University of Maryland Green Office

Is your office interested in becoming a Green Office? Great! Follow these five steps (in consecutive order) to get started:

Step 1: GO Rep
Step 2: GO Audit
Step 3: GO Pledge
Step 4: Get GOing!
Step 5: GO Certification

Step 1: GO Rep.

Select a staff person from your office to become your Green Office representative (GO Rep). Your GO Rep doesn’t need to be a green guru, but rather someone who enjoys rallying their co-workers to reach a common goal. This person will need to dedicate approximately 4 hours per month to implementation of the program. Complete the GO Rep Sign-up form and send it to Green Office Program via Interdepartmental mail. Your participation must be supported by your dean, director or department head.

GO Reps must agree to:

  • Be the liaison between your office and the Office of Sustainability.
  • Complete a pre and post office audit, in conjunction with the Office of Sustainability.
  • Attend a 1.5 hour training where you will receive checklists, tools and implementation strategies. Check the schedule and sign-up.
  • Allocate up to 4 hours of your time each month (30 days) on the implementation of the Green Office Program in your office.
  • List your name and contact information on the Green Office Program website.

GO Reps will receive:

  • Training
  • A free ready-to-deliver sustainability program
  • Free incentives and tools for your office
  • Ongoing support and assistance
  • GO Reps discussion group: a community of practice for GO Reps

Step 2: GO Audit.

Your Green Office audit will allow you to track progress over time. Once you have achieved certification, we will come out and conduct the audit again. Student interns with the Office of Sustainability will visit your office to complete the audit.

Contact to schedule your GO Audit.

Step 3: GO Pledge.

Make an announcement to your entire office about beginning your Green Office journey and ask them to sign the GO Participation Pledge.

Sign your participation pledge and display it proudly in your office. This will remind you of the actions you have agreed to work towards and let others (including office visitors) know that you are taking action to reduce your environmental footprint. Your Terp Pride will grow because you are taking a step to be a campus leader.

Step 4: Get GOing!

Once you have completed your audit, you will be given access to the Green Office ELMS page. Here, you can download the Bronze level checklist and start greening your office! All offices must begin at the Bronze level. Once you have completed Bronze, green your way through Silver and then Gold level certifications.

Your office will work your way through three levels of certification:

Bronze – This checklist is also known as “Fast and Free.” These actions are easy to achieve and involve a low time commitment. Everyone should be able to achieve Bronze certification without much effort.

Silver – This checklist is also known as “Simple and Low Cost.” These actions may involve a small cost or a larger time commitment. This level should broaden your definition of sustainability.

Gold – This checklist is also known as “Spend to Save.” These actions may involve a larger cost that may need to be planned in your annual budget cycle. They also involve integrating sustainability into the culture of your office through policy changes.

Platinum – If you have been Gold certified for a over 2 years contact and let us know what your office is doing that goes above and beyond Gold… You’ll receive a trophy award for all of your great work with the Green Office program, and audits will now be conducted every other year.

Our checklists come with a toolbox of support and supplies to make your implementation as easy as possible. They include:

  • Email templates
  • Website links
  • Logos
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Stickers
  • Posters
  • Participation incentives
  • Purchasing guides


  • Your office must select and achieve a minimum of 75 percent of the actions on each checklist to receive certification.
  • Your office as a whole, rather than individuals, must select the actions you wish to complete. In other words, everyone must work towards completing the same actions.
  • The list is designed to be adaptable for the variety of offices on campus. Not all actions will apply to all offices. As a result, you need to select those actions that CAN be achieved by your office. For example, Bronze action #13 says, “We ensure that windows are tightly closed during heating and cooling season.” If you work in a building with sealed windows (that don’t open), this particular action would not apply to your office.

Step 5: GO Certification

Once you have achieved a minimum of 75 percent of the actions on your checklist, send it to the Office of Sustainability for recognition. Your office will receive:

  • An award to hang in your front office (or other common area).
  • Acknowledgement of your certification level on the Green Office website.
  • A digital logo to place on your own website that recognizes your GO status.
  • A digital footer for your email signature file.
  • Ongoing support to complete, maintain and advance your certification level.