Office of Sustainability Introduces Green Office Program

Posted: February 9, 2011 at 1:03 am, Last Updated: February 8, 2011 at 9:15 pm

By Daniel Walsch

Mason’s Office of Sustainability is ushering in a new program designed to generate greater active support among all employees to help Mason become more environmentally friendly and reduce its overall environmental footprint.

As part of the program, the Sustainability Office has established sets of measurements to determine which of Mason’s departmental offices are the greenest or most environmentally friendly.

“We want every office on each of Mason’s campuses to be as sustainable as possible. The green office program is geared to recognize those that are making the strongest effort to be ‘green,’ as well as encourage others to join in this effort,” says Colin Bennett, outreach coordinator for the Sustainability Office.

“The more staff and faculty members that participate in this program, the cleaner our university environment will be and the more cost-efficient Mason will be in dealing with the rising costs of energy.”

Offices will be judged as to their level of sustainability in eight categories: waste reduction and recycling; publications; transportation; kitchens and break rooms; purchasing; events and meetings; participation; and innovation.

According to Bennett, in order for an office to become green office-certified, it must meet a certain number of criteria in each category.

Examples include:

  • having well-labeled recycling bins in all areas where trash bins are present
  • turning off all lights not in use during the day and at night
  • posting signs on exit doors reminding workers to shut off their computers and other electronics before leaving for the day
  • agreeing to receive monthly “green tip” e-mails from the Office of Sustainability and displaying a “green tip” poster in a prominent spot within the office

To assist in the implementation of the green office program, the Sustainability Office is seeking volunteers to serve as “green reps” for their specific offices or work units. These individuals will work closely with the Sustainability Office to ensure their offices are properly following the appropriate standards in order to be designated as a green office.

Persons interested in representing their offices are asked to contact Bennett at either cbennet6@gmu.edu or 703-993-4426.

In the coming weeks, the Office of Sustainability will be reaching out to offices and departments throughout Mason to promote and increase participation in the green office program.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu