Green Office Initiative


Promoting Environmental Awareness and Integrity in the Workplace

It is the duty and privilege of higher education institutions to take the initiative to promote sustainability in all facets of the university.

The Green Office Certification Program sponsored by the ESE Institute and Environmental Studies Program is a collective effort to unite the administrative and faculty offices across campus in a green atmosphere. This program will fit well with the goals of the NIU Taskforce on the Sustainable Campus Environment, in that it will challenge offices and departments to make small changes in their daily operations that will promote sustainability awareness.

The program has a small set of requirements, accompanied by electives in four categories (Energy Consumption, Work Environment, Purchasing, and Waste) that have assigned point values. There is also an opportunity for ‘Innovation Points’, awarding points that are not detailed in the electives but the office has adopted voluntarily. Three levels of certification will be offered based on how many points are collected; certificates and website recognition from the ESE Institute will be granted to those who accomplish the set goals.

Requirements of the program include:

  • The Department or Office will appoint a Green Team that will meet at least quarterly.
  • Recycle bins for paper will be reasonably available by all copiers, printers, and desks.
  • Additional Recycling bins for plastic and glass will be made available in break rooms or common areas.
  • The Department or Office will always recycle batteries and print cartridges.
  • Office strives to eliminate the need for disposable utensils in the workplace (cups, mugs, plates, water bottles, etc.)
  • Reminders are to be placed throughout the office to keep the green initiatives in mind and promote environmental consciousness.

Additional initiatives include:

Many offices throughout campus already participate in these activities casually. Our hope is that the acceptance of this program will cause office members to be more diligent and consistent with their environmental efforts, and ultimately encourage others to do the same.

If your office is interested in getting certified, please send an email to