Georgetown Green Offices FAQ

What is the Green Offices program?

Georgetown’s Green Office program is a voluntary, flexible pilot program and friendly competition between offices, designed to help the University meet its environmental goals. Through this program, the Sustainability Office encourages, supports and rewards faculty and staff for taking the lead in adopting environmentally responsible office practices in your workplace.

What is the purpose of the Green Office program?

Green Offices has several key objectives toward an overall goal of increasing campus sustainability and achieving our campus’s environmental commitments:

  1. To recognize and reward the leadership taken by you and your office members to go green in your workplace.
  2. To make it easier for your office to be green, by providing technical assistance and troubleshooting from our campus sustainability experts.
  3. To increase campus awareness of sustainability by offering a consistent framework for and education about what “green” means in our campus workplaces.

How does my office become a Green Office?

  1. Read about the program on the Georgetown Sustainability website, including the FAQ and the certification process and Green Actions Credit List.
  2. Contact the Program Coordinator for Sustainability to express interest and learn more.
  3. Ensure that your office’s leadership is on board.
  4. Schedule and host a Kick Off event with your entire office, which will include a presentation by Sustainability staff about the program and how it works.
  5. Identify at least one member of your office to be the primary contact to the Sustainability Coordinator.
  6. Select and implement at least 14 green action items from the Green Actions Credit List, including the 9 starred items, by your target date (by May 31st for FY2011 certification).
  7. Submit your completed application to the Sustainability Coordinator to become certified for 2011.

Click here for more details on the certification process.

What does my office get for participating?

In addition to feeling good about being a campus leader in helping to conserve environmental resources, your office will receive a number of benefits for participating, including:

  • Technical assistance and trouble-shooting on your office’s unique sustainability challenges, provided by the Campus Sustainability Coordinator and/or other sustainability staff at Georgetown.
  • Opportunities for inter-office peer-learning, to share success stories.


  • A Hoya Green Office 2011 certificate to display in or outside your office.
  • Recognition for your accomplishments on the Georgetown Sustainability website.
  • An electronic logo to display on your website to show your green commitment to your visitors.
  • Opportunities to show off and share your office’s proudest green accomplishments to other GU employees at a celebration in 2011.
  • Possible future opportunities for your office to win raffle prizes.

Does our office get extra points if we are extra green?

Yes! The more green actions your office implements, the more points you will earn toward certification. Currently you can earn up to 22 points, with two levels of certification available depending on your time, interest and your office’s commitment to being green:

14 – 18 points = Green Office
19 – 22 points = Green Office Champion

Can we get credit for things we are already doing?

Yes! If you are already undertaking green office practices this is a great way to gain recognition for them.

Does it cost anything to participate?

No; there is no cost to participate in the 2011 GU Green Office program.

Which offices can participate?

Any GU office can participate, including those on the Main and Medical campuses, at the Law Center, or in leased space can participate. Those not on the Main or Medical center campuses will have slightly different processes in implementing some of the action items. For now there is just one Green Actions list and we recognize that it may need to be modified in special cases. In future years, some actions may be targeted more specifically to each campus.

Can our office get credit for things I do at home?

No. But if you introduce your green home practices to your office, you can help your office earn more points! And if you implement any of the green office actions at home, you can help your family save money through reduced energy bills and fewer purchases, be healthier, and contribute positively to your local community or neighborhood.

Which offices are already participating?

A number of offices have already expressed interest or signed up, including Campus Ministry, the Office of Technology Commercialization, The Corp, the Center for Social Justice, the Office of the Senior Vice President, Outdoor Ed, and UFSH Energy and Utility Programs.

Why does it matter if we become a Green Office?

In addition to the benefits described above, you will also be taking meaningful steps toward actually reducing your impact on the environment. And, you can help the University save money by reducing our consumption of energy and decreasing purchases, which is vitally important in these economic times.

Who runs this program?

The Green Office program is run by the GU Sustainability Office.

How long does certification last?

The pilot version of the Green Office program will certify you through the end of the 2011 calendar year. The program is expected to evolve in the future, and follow-up may be required to verify that your green practices are still in place in subsequent years.

Can the green office program help me to renovate our office so that our office space consumes less energy by design?

The Green Office program does not currently provide a framework for energy retrofits of your physical space. You can earn points by reducing the number of electric appliances and equipment and selecting energy friendly models. If your office decides that you would like to undertake a more comprehensive energy audit for your space, the Green Office program currently recognizes that through Innovation Points toward your certification. For additional information, please contact the Director of Utilities and Energy Programs.

How can we measure the environmental benefits of this program?

Overall program success in the first year will be measured by the number of offices that participate and become certified, indicating the spread of environmentally responsible values and practices. In future years we hope to develop a way to measure the impacts more quantitatively in terms of resources saved.