Sustainable Workplace Certification Program

The University of Michigan Sustainable Workplace Certification Program encourages U-M staff and faculty to join in working towards a more sustainable university through participation in an informal inventory of their office practices, identification of gaps, and taking action to implement best practices. By engaging staff and faculty in a voluntary program, we can promote sustainable behavior across the campus, make greater strides toward our sustainability goals, and strengthen our position as a leader in sustainability.

What are the goals of the program?

Being "green" is part of U-M's culture. In 2011, President Mary Sue Coleman announced sustainability goals to reduce waste and energy consumption on campus.

  • Increase campus awareness of sustainability by offering a consistent framework for and education about what it means to have a sustainable workplace.
  • Make it easier for employees to adopt sustainable behaviors by providing technical assistance and troubleshooting from campus sustainability experts.
  • Reduced energy consumption and the amount of waste from campus activities.
  • Develop a method for measuring and tracking energy and waste reductions.
  • Reward leadership taken by you and your office members to go green in your workplace.

How does my workplace become certified as sustainable?

First, complete and electronically submit an online self-assessment of the current office conditions and practices to the best of your ability. Anyone can represent their department and start the workplace assessment. This person does not need to be a green guru, but rather someone who enjoys rallying their co-workers to reach a common goal.

Once submitted, an OCS Sustainability Representative will meet with you onsite, review the checklist, and answer questions. Areas in which there is room for improvement will receive special attention in order to overcome any barriers and develop an action plan for improvement.

Based on the points earned, the office will be given a rating to determine if they qualify for being a Sustainable Workplace. OCS will provide recommendations and technical assistance to help implement best practices and make the largest positive environmental impact feasible. The office will receive a packet of resources including informational handouts and signage for use in the office. In addition to ongoing technical assistance, workplaces committed to reducing their environmental footprint through the Sustainable Workplace Program will be recognized with the award of a certificate, a Sustainable Workplace digital logo for web and print use, and placement on the Sustainable Workplace webpage.

What is a Workplace?

Define your own workplace! A work place is an area that shares common areas and resources. It may include just one or all of the offices within a unit or division. You may have an office of 6 people or 60 people all sizes are welcome to participate! Please include part-time and full-time staff, students (including interns) and faculty. Your office may include kitchens, meeting rooms, storage rooms and other commonly shared areas. See our certified Sustainable Workplaces.