Sustainability office revamps certification program

The USC Office of Sustainability has updated its Green Certification Program to make offices on campus more sustainable.

For an office at USC to be certified, a member — known as a Green Office Leader — of the Office of Sustainability teaches office members how to be more environmentally friendly using an online calculator.

The calculator has a checklist that examines an office’s sustainability level. The office can receive a bronze, silver, gold or platinum certification based on how many points it earns. The certification lasts two years and can then be re-certified.

The Green Office Calculator is based on eight different aspects of sustainability: green information technology, networking and awareness, recycling, food and beverage, transportation, energy management, office supplies and innovations.

The changes that were made to the Green Certification Program were mainly focused on how involved individuals are.

Elliott Lavi, the student liaison for the Green Office Certification Program, said the program was developed to cater to all offices on campus regardless of their current level of sustainability.

“We created possibilities for every single person in the workplace to be sustainable,” Lavi said. “It used to be a macro-concept, but we added individual concepts so people can take initiative on their own.”

There are currently 27 offices and organizations on campus that are certified by the program, including the Trojan Marching Band office, the Southern California Earthquake Center and the Office of Religious Life.

The Green Certification Program aims to implement sustainable practices in offices and to help save the university money, Lavi said.

“The program gives every student, staff and faculty member a framework to reduce waste and energy, making it effective for the environment and giving multiple ways to save thousands of dollars for the university,” Lavi said.

Louis LeMesurier, a sophomore majoring in biological sciences, said the program will help the university become more environmentally friendly.

“I look forward to being a part of a greener USC,” LeMesurier said. “I recognize the green grading system as a realization of USC’s green responsibilities.”

Mary Stepanyan, a junior majoring in human development and aging, said the Green Office Program provides members of the university with an opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment.

“The environment is a crucial part of our everyday lives. I think the Green Office Program is a great way to encourage people to be more sustainable and eco-friendly,” Stepanyan said.

The USC Office of Sustainability was founded in 2009 and launched the Green Certification Program in fall 2010.

1 reply
  1. William Buttrey
    William Buttrey says:

    I think the university needs to do more in regards to reclaiming ad repurposing waste as I have seen instances where university policy works directly against this. For instance, removing something usable from the trash is considered misuse of university assets.

Comments are closed.