We are proud to announce that we now have over 1200 offices certified on campus! “The Green Office Certification program is a great way for us to teach people about the small actions they can take within their office to be more sustainable. We also enjoy hearing what people are already doing to be environmentally friendly,” said Kylie Pedersen, one of the current coordinators of the program. In March 2011, Boston University launched its Green Office Certification program. Modeled from the US Green Building Council’s LEED green building rating program, BU’s system rates individual offices based on daily practices involving energy conservation, waste reduction, recycling, and communications and activities. Individuals can achieve a Certified, Silver, or Gold rating depending on how many points are earned. Once certified, participants receive a badge which can be displayed on their office name plaques. The Green Office Certification program was implemented in order to raise awareness, educate, and provide measurable guidelines for greening the office environment. This initiative was first discussed in May 2010 when Boston University’s Energy Conservation and Sustainable Buildings & Operations Working Groups created a task force to address the impact of the behavior of faculty, staff, and students on campus.
In December 2010 sustainability@BU piloted the program at Sargent College. With ongoing input from faculty and staff, the program was improved, re-piloted, and launched through the University’s Sustainability Liaisons program in March 2011.
The certification process includes specific questions that address day-to-day behavior such as regularly turning off the lights when you leave the office, waste reduction and recycling
- Turn off the lights to your office whenever you leave the room.
- Set your computer monitor to go to sleep after 10 minutes or less.
- Change your computer screensaver to “blank” or “none.”
- Turn off all electronic devices at the end of the day. Devices such as the computer monitor, printers, and fax machines consume energy throughout the day unless they’re manually powered off. Better yet, energy conservation can be optimized if you manually turn off electronic devices when they’re not in use throughout the day.
- Reduce the brightness of your computer to 50-60% of full brightness reduces the energy use of the computer.
- Consider using natural light as opposed to overhead lighting.
- Take the initiative to turn off lights in unoccupied spaces helps reduce energy use but also sets a precedent for energy conservation in your work environment.
Sustainability is about what you do as an individual and what we all do together as a University and society. The Green Office Certification program is designed to identify sustainable behaviors and practices that individuals can adopt in their office setting. sustainability@BU is currently developing green certification programs for departments, laboratories, and dormitories.
You can download the survey by clicking the image above. Please contact us at GreenOffice@bu.edu if you are interested in getting your office certified.