Green Office certifications boost awareness of campus’ environmental footprint

The UNC Charlotte Green Office Program, an initiative piloted by the Sustainability Office in 2015, has reported a notable rise in the number of Green Office certifications.

The program, now in its third year, encourages and lends support to offices to participate in self-guided assessments that identify ways to improve daily operations to reduce their overall impact at the University. To date, nine offices have successfully assessed and measured their environmental footprint in the areas of, but not limited to, energy, recycling, waste and transportation.

Certifications are dependent upon on how many items an office has been able to accomplish in each respective category. With certification ratings ranging from levels one to four, with four being the most difficult to achieve, there have been five certifications given out this semester.

The Urban Institute and Career Center were each able to attain a level three certification, while Chartwells has set the bar high accomplishing a level four certification in its Catering Services, Dining Services and Student Union ID Card Office on campus. Currently, it is the only office that holds the highest rating.

Sustainability officials are hopeful the recent surge, in connection with this month’s focus on Earth Month, will continue. “With this recent momentum, we are hoping more offices across campus take the initiative to pursue their certification,” said Tyler Sytsma, University sustainability coordinator.

University sustainability officer, Mike Lizotte, Ph.D., added, “We run the Green Office Program to ask staff to challenge themselves, so we can learn more about issues they face, but the teamwork we see is the most impressive result.”

In addition to the insight gained by going through the certification process, offices become sustainability champions and help highlight the significance to push sustainable efforts forward.

More information about the program, application process and offices that have earned a rating is available online.