How To Green Your Office

The categories below are actions and initiatives required to achieve Green Office Certification. Click an action to download a PDF file that outlines how to implement each action or initiative.

Waste Reduction and Recycling

W1
  1. We conducted, or hired a consultant to conduct, an audit of our waste stream.
4 points Download "How To" PDF
W2
  1. We have held at least one Office Clean Out Day that promoted recycling and reuse in the past year.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
W3
  1. We list any used equipment, furniture and supplies on Ben's Attic, donate, or list on Craigslist before disposing of furniture.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
       

PAPER & OFFICE SUPPLY WASTE

W4
  1. We set double-sided printing as a default on our office computers, and we placed a visual prompt on our copy machine to remind members of our office to double-side copy.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
W5
  1. We have an office policy to use reduced paper margins in order to decrease the length of documents we print.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
W6
  1. We hold zero-waste staff meetings (at least 80% of the staff meetings are zero-waste).
2 points Download "How To" PDF
W7
  1. We use an electronic timesheet system.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
W8
  1. We use electronic financial reports.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
W9
  1. We keep a stack of previously used paper near printers to be used for scratch paper or internal memos, made into notepads, or loaded into a designated bypass tray on printer for printing internal or draft single-sided documents.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
W10
  1. We have a designated area in our supply closet, or elsewhere in our office, for sharing office supplies that can be re-used (file folders, binders, pens, paper clips, etc).
1 point Download "How To" PDF
W11
  1. We have a designated person in our office who unsubscribes people from:
    1. a. Receiving multiple copies of the Gazette, Almanac and Current.
    2. b. Junk mail.

a. 2 points
b. 2 points
Download "How To" PDF
       

MUGS, DISHWARE, UTENSILS & FOOD WASTE

W12
  1. We remind staff to bring their own mugs and have reusable mugs available for attendees to meetings in our office.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
W13
  1. At our events and meetings:
    1. a. We use reusable cups, dishware, and utensils.
    2. b. We have a composting service and use compostable cups, dishware and utensils.

a. 3 points
b. 3 points
Download "How To" PDF
W14
  1. We compost all of our organic waste in house or have it picked up.
4 points Download "How To" PDF
W15
  1. In the lunch/break room, we have replaced disposables with permanent ware (mugs, dishes, utensils, etc.) and use refillable or bulk containers for sugar, salt & pepper, ketchup, etc. to avoid individual condiment packets.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
W16
  1. We have installed a Quench filter or purchased an activated carbon filter (i.e. Brita) and have eliminated purchases of any bottled water.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
       

RECYCLING

W17
  1. We reviewed proper recycling practices at a recent staff meeting or through an office email to ensure that all members of our office are aware of the rules and had their questions answered.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
W18
  1. We provide recycling bins in our meeting, conference, and class rooms.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
W19
  1. There are recycling bins in all common areas where trash bins are present, such as kitchens, break rooms, mailrooms, and copy rooms.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
W20
  1. We have eliminated desk-side trash containers and switched to desk-side recycling with central trash locations.
    1. We have eliminated liners in desk-side recycling bins.  (1 pt) (in addition to the points in W20)
4 points Download "How To" PDF
W21
  1. In our office, recycling signs are clearly posted on or near recycling bins.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
W22
  1. We recycle inkjet and laser jet cartridges.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
W23
  1. We do a large e-waste drive annually or more frequently.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
W24
  1. We recycle all electronics that leave our office.
4 points Download "How To" PDF
W25
  1. We provide a box or bin for writing implement recycling. These collection areas have been publicized and there are signs indicating what can be recycled.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
W26
  1. We provide a box or bin for cell pnone recycling. These collection areas have been publicized and there are signs indicating what can be recycled.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
W27
  1. We have purchased a battery recharger for the office. We use rechargeable (instead of disposable) batteries for our portable electronics.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
W28
  1. There are at least two reusable bags in the kitchen or break room for our staff to use in place of plastic bags when shopping or buying lunch, supplies, etc. Alternatively, we store used plastic bags for reuse.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
P1
  1. We have created a comprehensive inventory of office and other consumable supplies to avoid over-ordering.
4 points Download "How To" PDF
       

PAPER PRODUCTS & OFFICE SUPPLIES

P2
  1. We commit to consolidate orders so that we do not make purchases:
    1. a. Less than $50
    2. b. Less than $100

a. 2 points
b. 3 points
Download "How To" PDF
P3
  1. We purchase copy, computer and fax paper with a minimum:
    1. a. 30% post consumer waste content.
    2. b. 100% post consumer waste content.
    3. c. Chlorine free (can be in addition to other points).
    4. d. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified (can be in addition to other points).
a. 1 point
b. 3 points
c. 1 point
d. 1 point
Download "How To" PDF
P4
  1. We purchase letterhead, envelopes and business cards with minimum
    1. a. 30% post consumer waste content.
    2. b. 100% post consumer waste content.
    3. c. Chlorine free (can be in addition to other points.
    4. d. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified (can be in addition to other points).
a. 1 point
b. 3 points
c. 1 point
d. 1 point
Download "How To" PDF
P5
  1. We purchase janitorial paper (toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels) with minimum (If we do not make purchasing decisions, we have contacted our B.A. and requested the indicated purchase):
    1. a. 35% post consumer waste content.
    2. b. 100% post consumer waste content.
    3. c. Unbleached and/or chlorine free (can be in addition to other points)
    4. d. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified (can be in addition to other points).
a. 1 point
b. 3 points
c. 1 point
d. 1 point
Download "How To" PDF
P6
  1. We purchase folders, notepads, post-its or other paper products with a minimum:
    1. a. 10% post consumer recycled content.
    2. b. 30% post consumer recycled content.

a. 1 point
b. 2 points
Download "How To" PDF
P7
  1. We have replaced solvent-based permanent ink markers/pens with water-based ones.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
P8
  1. We purchase only recycled or remanufactured laser and copier toner cartridges.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
       

PRINTING & PUBLICATIONS

P9
  1. We require our external printing contractor to use:
    1. a. Vegetable-based inks for all publications.
    2. b. Paper with 30% post consumer waste content.
    3. c. Paper with 100% post consumer waste content.
    4. d. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified (can be in addition to other points).
a. 4 points
b. 1 point
c. 3 points
d. 1 point
Download "How To" PDF
P10
  1. We ask our designer to design publications that require fewer varnishes and coatings, and can be easily recycled.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
       

FOOD PURCHASES FOR EVENTS

P11
  1. We use either our caterer’s reusable dinnerware or compostable event options.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
P12
  1. We have the caterer provide drinks and snacks in bulk rather than individual containers.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
P13
  1. We purchase food in bulk trays and avoid purchasing cardboard and plastic-boxed meals.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
       

FURNITURE & EQUIPMENT

P14
  1. For new office furniture:
    1. a. We work with our Interiors Coordinator to reuse furniture from Ben’s Attic before purchasing new office furniture.
    2. b. We buy refurbished furniture.
    3. c. We buy new furniture with at least 50% recycled content.
a. 4 points
b. 3 points
c. 2 points
Download "How To" PDF
P15
  1. Any new equipment we purchase is ENERGY STAR rated, if applicable. If ENERGY STAR is not available, we work with our vendor to purchase the most efficient option.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
E1
  1. We have control over our thermostat and keep it set at 68 for heating and 78 for cooling.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
E2
  • We have coordinated with our Building Administrator to identify areas that do not require heating or cooling during off-hours, breaks or other periods of time.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
E3
  • We leave clear space in front of all of our radiators and vents.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
E4
  • We have designated a person to report all complaints and temperature fluctuations in our office.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
       

PRINTERS & COPIERS

E5
  1. We examined our office’s use of networked printers and other electronic devices, and worked with IT to consolidate use.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
E6
  1. We have sleep mode and auto-off enabled on all copiers and all printers.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
       

COMPUTERS & RELATED EQUIPMENTT

E7
  1. We enabled power management settings on our computers. If changing these setting requires administrative rights, we’ve contacted our IT group for assistance.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
E8
  1. We shut off our monitors and/or manually send our computers into energy saving modes (standby or hibernate) when not in use.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
E9
  1. We have arranged with our IT group to be able to shut down our computers at night and it is now office policy to shut down computers at the end of the work day.
4 points Download "How To" PDF
E10
  1. We have converted our office to virtual desktops.
4 points Download "How To" PDF
E11
  1. We use power strips and surge protectors with an on/off switch or “smart strips” for electronics, chargers, and appliances/devices with digital clocks and switch them off each night. 
4 points Download "How To" PDF
E12
  • We encourage our staff to get rid of “old” computer equipment that no longer meets power standards.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
E13
  • We send, or will send, an e-mail to our staff before holidays and breaks containing an energy saving checklist for leaving their office.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
       

LIGHTING

E14
  1. Lights are turned off when not in use during the day and at night, including in common areas such as kitchens, conference rooms, storage closets, and bathrooms:
    1. a. We have installed motion sensors.
    2. b. We have posted prompts near light switches to encourage energy conservation.
a. 1 point ea.
b. 1 point
Download "How To" PDF
E15
  1. Hard-wired lights without on/off switches have been retrofitted to be controllable and provide the appropriate lighting levels.
4 points Download "How To" PDF
E16
  • We have worked with our building administrator to assess overhead lighting lumens/foot-candles in the office and switch to more energy efficient bulbs where possible.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
E17
  • All of our workstations and desks have task lights fitted with CFLs or LEDs, which we use when working afterhours, at times that the office is mostly empty, or at other times when full overhead lighting is not necessary.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
E18
  • We have put office funds toward replacing within the next 3 years our T-12 fluorescent lighting with energy-efficient T-8 or T-5 fixtures with electronic ballasts or other equivalent efficacy lighting.
4 points Download "How To" PDF
E19
  • We turn off lights and use natural lighting when possible.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
       

WINDOWS

E20
  1. We have an office policy that blinds/shades will be closed during peak summer to reduce heat coming in windows.  (3 pts)
3 points Download "How To" PDF
E21
  1. We have an office policy that blinds/shades will be closed at the end of every day during winter heating season. We have appointed an individual to be responsible for closing them every day.  (3 pts)
3 points Download "How To" PDF
       

OTHER ENERGY ACTIONS

E22
  1. Microwaves, coffee makers, small appliances, printers, copiers, etc. are unplugged at night by a designated person or are programmed to shut off through a timer or plug load controller.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
E23
  1. We have received 95% participation in a thermal comfort survey and have shared the results with Facilities.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
E24
  • We have a policy prohibiting the use of space heaters and no one in our office uses a space heater.
4 points Download "How To" PDF

 

WR1
  1. We have had Facilities install a kitchen sink aerator with on/off lever that does not exceed 1.5 gallons per minute.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
WR2
  • We have designated a person to report any sink leaks (kitchen, bathroom or lab) to the BA immediately.
1 point Download "How To" PDF

 

H1
  1. In our kitchen, we use:
    1. a. environmentally preferable dishwashing soap.
    2. b. environmentally preferable all-purpose cleaner in place of harsh chemical cleaners.
a. 1 point
b. 2 points
Download "How To" PDF
H2
  1. We have at least:
    1. a. 1 plant per 5 people in our office.
    2. b. 1 plant per 2 people in our office.
a. 1 point
b. 3 points
Download "How To" PDF
H3
  • We have walkoff mats at the entrance to our office or department.
3 points Download "How To" PDF

 

T1
  1. Members of our office are aware of Penn/Philadelphia’s alternative transportation programs and the associated resources regarding public transportation, carpool/vanpool, bicycling, and transit news. Information about the applicable programs (including bike maps, car share info, etc.) is displayed permanently in the office.  (2 pts)
    1. We have enrolled all eligible and interested employees in incentive programs for taking public transportation, carpooling, or bike riding.  (2 pts) (in addition to the points in T1)
2 points Download "How To" PDF
T2
  1. There is bicycle parking located convenient to our building. If not, we contacted Facilities/Operations at our school/unit to see if relocating existing bike racks or obtaining new racks is a possibility.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
T3
  • We offer telecommuting opportunities and/or flexible schedules so workers can avoid heavy traffic commutes.
4 points Download "How To" PDF
T4
  • The following % of our office has filled out the Penn Transit Commuter and Parking Survey:
    1. a. 50%
    2. b. 75%
a. 1 point
b. 3 points
Download "How To" PDF
       

WORK-RELATED TRAVEL

t5
  1. When planning work-related travel, we consult websites to explore greener transport options through PlanetTran, PhillyCarShare and ZipCar.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
t6
  • When choosing lodging, we give preference to lodging with one of the following certifications: US EPA Energy Star Label for Hospitality, LEED, Green Hotels Association or EcoRoom.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
t7
  • We offset our travel using a carbon offset program.  Note: to receive these points, copies of receipts showing the amount of carbon offset must be submitted to sustainability@upenn.edu.
4 points Download "How To" PDF

 

I1
  1. This department, school or center has a sustainability coordinator.
4 points Download "How To" PDF
I2
  1. This office has a Green Team that works with a Staff Eco-Rep in our school or center.
4 points Download "How To" PDF
I3
  • We have information about our office’s environmental efforts and what we are doing to meet the Green Office program standards posted in an easily visible location for staff and visitors to see.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
I4
  • We have a designated section of an office bulletin board, or have a separate board for posting tips and information about green practices, events, and groups.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
I5
  • We recognize staff members for their environmental stewardship efforts.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
I6
  • Our office has hosted a Sustainability 101 presentation at a staff meeting or sent staff from our office to an external Sustainability 101 presentation in the past two years.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
I7
  • We have shown a sustainability-focused video to our staff in the past two years.
1 point Download "How To" PDF
I8
  • We have participated in the most recent and will continue to participate in RecycleMania.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
I9
  • We have participated in the most recent and will continue to participate in Penn’s Power Down Challenge competition.
4 points Download "How To" PDF
I10
  • We have participated or plan to participate in a local, regional, national or international day of action, such as PARK(ing) Day, Bike-to- Work Day, Earth Day, etc.
3 points Download "How To" PDF
I11
  • We have solicited feedback from office members about green building features we have or could have in our office, such as lighting retrofits, occupancy sensors, dual-flush toilet retrofits, aerators on sinks, green cleaning contracts, etc. A member of our office has shared this feedback with our Building Administrator.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
I12
  • We inspired another office to pursue Penn Green Office Certification. List in your Green Office Application.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
I13
  • Someone in our office has submitted a story for Penn’s sustainability e-newsletter the Red and Blue on College Green about this experience or similar sustainability efforts in their life during the past two years. List in your Green Office Application.
2 points Download "How To" PDF
I14
  • We have successfully implemented additional green projects not listed here in our office. List and describe on application form. Points for additional projects will be determined by the sustainability staff reviewing the submission.