Some green offices have received certification from a large national organization while others have been created through in-house changes. Tufts University is taking a self-directed approach to workplace sustainability and it has one of the most comprehensive in-house green office certification programs I’ve ever seen. The university created a thorough 15-week guide that campus departments can follow to earn a bronze, silver, gold or platinum green office certificate.


The green office certification process at Tufts University starts off with a survey. Points are earned for a variety of eco-friendly measures including:


  • Designating an office Eco Ambassador
  • Using reusable mugs, cups and water bottles
  • Serving organic or local food items at events
  • Composting food waste
  • Using ridesharing or public transportation to commute to and around campus

Once the survey results have been tabulated, the office staff will be able to start off on a 15-week green office journey. At the end of the 15-week period, offices should be able to either earn an initial green office certification or boost their existing certification to a new level.


Steps included in the green office guide include:


  • Encouraging office staff to use the university’s Green Event Checklist when planning events
  • Asking employees to take a water perception survey
  • Creating a common area to store reusable office supplies
  • Eliminating the use of single-serve beverages

At the end of the 15-week period, the survey is once again filled out and green office certification is awarded at the bronze level for offices scoring between 60 and 74 percent, silver for scores between 75 and 84 percent, gold for 85 to 94 percent and platinum certification is awarded to offices scoring 95 percent or higher.


A green office certificate is mounted in a frame made of recycled circuit boards and awarded to offices that successfully complete the program. The office staff can then proudly display their Tufts University green office certification for all to see.

Green office certification at Tufts
Tufts University manages its own green office certification program.