Become a University of Maryland Green Office
Is your office interested in getting certified as a Green Office (GO)? Follow these five steps (in consecutive order):
Determine which staff person from the office will serve as the Green Office representative (GO Rep). The GO Rep doesn’t need to be an expert in sustainability, but someone who enjoys rallying co-workers to reach a common goal. The rep will dedicate approximately 4 hours per month in order to implement the checklist and achieve Green Office Certification. Complete the GO Rep Sign-up form and send it to Green Office Program. Your participation must be supported by your dean, director or department head.
GO Reps agree to:
- Serve as the liaison between the participating office and the Office of Sustainability.
- Schedule a pre and post office audit, in conjunction with the Office of Sustainability.
- Attend a 1.5 hour training, and receive checklists, tools and implementation strategies. Check the schedule and sign-up.
- Allocate up to 4 hours each month on the implementation of the Green Office Program in your office.
- List name and contact information on the Green Office Program website.
GO Reps receive:
- 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
Your Green Office audit will allow you to track progress over time. Student interns with the Office of Sustainability will visit your office to complete the audit before and after you complete the certification checklists, so we can document the progress your office achieved.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your GO Audit.
Inform your colleagues about the goal to achieve Green Office certification, and invite them to sign the GO Participation Pledge together during a staff meeting or another group gathering.
Sign a participation pledge and display it in your office to reminds each of you of the commitment, and set an example for others.
Once you have completed your audit, it's time to select and implement actions from the checklist. Start by reviewing the Bronze level checklist and choose how to start greening your office! All offices must begin at the Bronze level. Then, green your way through Silver and then Gold level certifications.
Levels of Green Office Certification are:
Bronze: Fast and Free Actions are easy to achieve and involve a low time commitment. Everyone should be able to achieve Bronze certification without much effort.
Silver: Simple and Low Cost Actions may involve a small cost or a larger time commitment, and have a greater impact. Take your sustainability initiatives to the next level!
Gold: Invest to Save These actions may involve a 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: Sustainability Solutions Design your own sustainability solution that goes above and beyond the checklists.
If you have been Gold certified for a over 2 years, you can apply for Platinum by contacting email@example.com. Recertification and audits will be conducted every other year rather than annually. Receive a trophy awarding all your work with the Green Office program.
Toolkit: The Green Office Program include with a toolbox of support and supplies to make your implementation as easy as possible, including:
- Stickers, labels and signage with eco-reminders
- Participation incentives
- Purchasing guides
- Email templates
- Useful links, guides, and tips
- Logo to display in your email & web
- PowerPoint presentations
Selecting actions from your checklist:
- Offices select and achieve a minimum of 75% of the actions on the checklist to achieve certification.
- Select the actions you wish to complete together as an office. Everyone works towards completing the same actions as a whole, not individually.
- 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.
Once you have achieved a at least 75% 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 display on your own website that recognizes your certification as a Green Office!
- A digital footer for your email signature file.
- Ongoing support to complete, maintain and advance your certification level.