Green Office Program

CU-Boulder is pleased offer a campus sustainability program for faculty and staff. The educational program integrates many of CU’s campus sustainability initiatives, including transportation, purchasing, recycling, and energy. The program has environmental and financial impacts with very little time commitment. The faculty/ staff campus sustainability program is coordinated by the CU Environmental Center and has two components: Department Eco-Leaders (Individuals) and the Green Office Certification (Departments).

For information on the Green Office Program, email greenoffice (at) or call 303-492-8308


The 5 Steps of Green Office Certification


1. Designate an Eco-Leader

-A representative willing to facilitate the certification process, share E-Center news, and orient new staff and faculty to your office's sustainable practices.

2. Complete the Green Office Self-Assessment Tool

-It's an easy to use Excel Spreadsheet.  Just insert your office or department’s information, and it will automatically calculate your points.

-Call Tara Hanna, Green Office Program Coordinator for the 2016-2017 school year, at 303-492-8308 if you have questions or need assistance or have problems with the file format.

-Submit via email to *Please save your assessment as "departmentname_GOSAT"

3. Verification Visit

-Schedule a walk-through of your office with the Green Office Program Coordinator (takes approximately 30 minutes). This is a great time to ask questions.

4. Recommendations

-Receive list of practices to implement and better understand your office's sustainable strengths and areas of improvement.

-Make improvements where you can!

5. Schedule a Green Office Training Presentation

-Informational presentation on recycling, transportation, energy, and purchasing. It is one hour long, and is for all staff in the department. *It seems to be easiest to schedule this presentation during a staff meeting. 

Congratulations, you are now a certified Green Office!  

Following completion of the 5 steps to certification, the scores from your self-assessment will be posted on the Environmental Center Website under the Green Office Program section.  Certified offices and departments receive recognition on an annual press release and a certificate at the annual campus environmental awards ceremony. The Green Office logo will be available for posting on any appropriate printed materials and website.

Improve your score!

Keep us posted on the improvments you make during or after certification.  After completing the certification process, you will have the option to update your self-assessment if you have implemented new sustainable practices.


If you want to start the program on your own, here are some recommendations on how to do so:

Green Office Recommendations

Recycling & Events

Place recycling bins:

  • Desk side (paper)
  • Copy area (paper)
  • Kitchen area (Co-mingled Containers and paper)
  • Lounge (paper & Co-mingled Containers)
  • Dock (Paper, Co-mingled Containers, Corrugated Cardboard)

Collect special materials for recycling.

  • Laser printer toners and inkjet cartridges ((209 UCB if they are sealed in a plastic bag or box or to the E Center or to the IPF (2290 Stadium Drive))) 
  • Disks (Send in small quantities to Recycling, 209 UCB)
  • Tyvek envelopes (Send in small quantities to Recycling, 209 UCB)
  • Transparencies (Send in small quantities to Recycling, 209 UCB)
  • Post recycling signs near all bins
  • Post recycling information (a recycling guide can be found on Ecenter Website)
  • Discuss recycling procedures at staff meetings and train new staff on your office’s environmental practices
  • Contact Property Services to dispose of big office equipment and see if they can be salvaged
  • If you have events, make them zero waste

Energy:  Opportunities for Conservation and Efficiency

  • Turn off computers, printers, and copiers over night and especially on weekends & breaks
  • Activate sleep mode on computers, instead of screen-savers
  • Activate energy savers on copiers, fax machines, & printers
  • Replace old equipment with EnergyStar® equipment
  • Replace monitors with flat-screen displays
  • Eliminate standalone machines including desk-side printers, fax machines, and scanners (utilize multifunction devices)
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED
  • Post signs/stickers near lights and appliances to remind people to shut them off
  • Post signs/stickers near windows to shut them
  • Regulate thermostats: 68° or below in winter and 75° or above in summer
  • Set refrigerator temperature to 37° F and freezer to 3-5° F
  • Turn off equipment and lights when not in use (small appliances still use energy if any sort of light is on) *Using power strips makes this easy
  • Eliminate unnecessary equipment


  • Use recycled (100% recycled or high post-consumer content) and tree-free papers in copier, printer, and fax. Make the switch to 100% recycled content as it becomes more affordable
  • Use recyclable paper (no bright, dark or plastic coated)
  • Purchase recycled content, non-toxic, remanufactured office supplies
  • Purchase non-toxic and/or biodegradable cleaners
  • Purchase energy efficient and/or reused office equipment
  • Purchase furniture that is reused or made with recycled-content materials and/or certified wood
  • Ask about options for environmentally friendly products (paints, carpet, lighting) if you are planning to renovate or remodel
  • Shop CU before going off-campus

Waste Reduction

  • Memos, forms, and newsletters are sent electronically. Other documents are printed only when necessary
  • Make double-sided copying/ printing a standard practice
  • Reuse items rather than throw them away when possible-set aside an area for one sided scrap paper and reuse it in printer/copier when possible for informal documents 
  • Have a designated area for sharing office supplies
  • Do not use bright/ dark paper and/or plastic covers in copy/ print jobs
  • Print only necessary quantities of copies, catalogs, brochures, etc.
  • Minimize packaging – consolidate orders to once or twice a week (or less!)
  • Use reusable cups/mugs, plates, and silverware
  • Reuse plastic grocery bags
  • Avoid using bottled water at events and meetings
  • Opt out of receiving unwanted junk mail


  • Post carpool, bus, bike, & pedestrian information (Zimride is a great carpool network!)
  • Make a bicycle available for running errands, making deliveries, etc. The CU Bike Station lends out bikes for 2 days, located on the east side of the UMC 
  • Request hybrids or right sized vehicles when renting from Transportation Services/Avis
  • Purchase offsets from department travel (airplane travel, bringing in guest speakers, rental vehicles etc.)
  • Participate in commuter challenges (bike-to-work-day, etc.)

Pest Management

  • If you have pest occurrences, call Facilities Management for Integrated Pest Management – least toxic treatment and prevention methods

Employee Training/Engagement:

  • Request faculty and staff to take the CU Buffs Live Green Pledge
  • Participate in sustainability training via the Green Office Program or online through employee development