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GreenSpace Certification

The GreenSpace Certification Program is designed to recognize organizations who are contributing to a more sustainable SCU by minimizing waste, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and building a culture of sustainability.  Through a point-based rating system, campus departments can determine their level of sustainability commitments by identifying practices on a self-reporting tool that their office partakes in for the year.

The GreenSpace Program is designed to:

  • provide a framework for understanding sustainability in campus practices,
  • create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability,
  • facilitate innovations of sustainable practices, and
  • build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.

Get Started!

In order to be considered for any GreenSpace rating, the organization must meet all pre-requisites prior to pursuing points in each category. When you are done, submission of your checklist will enable us to calculate your total points to determine which GreenSpace rating your space has achieved.

The Process

1. At least half of dept attends training

2. Complete and submit checklist via survey tool

3. Receive GreenSpace rating and plaque

  • Designate one point of contact in the department; this person will be in charge of filling out the application (feel free to collaborate)
  • At least half of the department must attend a GreenSpace training within the same year of pursuing a rating
  • Designate a Sustainability Liaison to represent your department and serve as a peer educator for sustainability 
  • Climate: 9 points
    • Energy: Our department has no additional non-ceiling light fixtures (e.g. desk lamps), or if our department does have additional non-ceiling light fixtures (e.g. desk lamps) they are all lit with CFLs or LEDs.
    • Transportation: Our department provides information for possible non-automobile modes of transit (public transit, bus, biking, walking) to all employees.
    • Transportation: Our department provides information for sustainable transit methods (public transit, bus, biking, walking) to all attendees of our events. 
  • Waste: 8 points
    • Each desk area is equipped with a desk-side recycling and mini-landfill waste bin. Desk area occupants are responsible for emptying mini-landfill waste bins.
    • Our department has access to recycling and composting bins with informational signage.
  • Culture: 4 points
    • Our department allots time for our Sustainability Liaison to review new sustainability procedures and reminders, as necessary, at staff meetings.
    • On our website, our department will showcase our GreenSpace rating, commitments, and ways the campus community can engage in our sustainability efforts.


  • Our department utilizes natural daylight in spaces with windows, rather than always turning on the lights. (1)
  • Our department has worked with Facilities to explore converting light fixtures to LED. (3)
  • Everyone in the department has set the computer settings to turn the monitor off after 5 minutes of inactivity, and put the computer to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity. Modify Screen and Sleep Settings (2)
  • Everyone in the department uses “sleep mode” on computers, rather than a screensaver. Modify Screen and Sleep Settings (2)
  • Our department uses smart power strips as central turn-off points at each work station, and switches them off each night, before the weekend, and before vacations/holiday breaks. (1)
  • Our department prioritizes purchasing of Energy Star/EPEAT rated products. (3)
  • Our department discourages personal refrigerators/appliances. (2)
  • Our department has no personal space heaters. (2)
  • Our entire department is routed to one communal printer (contact RABBIT with phone number on printer to schedule a time for them to do this), and have no desk-side printers. All employees are provided instruction on how to print sensitive information. (2)
  • We encourage faculty/staff to take the stairs whenever possible (1)
  • Our department utilizes resources for conference calling/calling into meetings, etc. (ex: when traveling to the location is inconvenient or otherwise unnecessary (2)
  • At least _x_% of our department commutes to work primarily via alternative transportation (bike, walk, public transit)(1-10%: 1 point, 11-19%: 2 points, >20%: 3 points)
  • At least _x_% of our department commutes to work primarily via fuel-efficient (hybrid, plug-in hybrid, vehicle with >40 MPG) or electric vehicles (1-10%: 1 point, 11-19%: 2 points, >20%: 3 points)
  • At least _x_% of our department commutes to work primarily via carpool (1-10%: 1 point, 11-19%: 2 points, >20%: 3 points).
  • We offer our employees flexible schedules when appropriate (work from home, etc.) (1)
  • We minimize employee driving for business purposes. (2) We reduce the number of air travel trips compared to previous academic years. (3)
  • We purchase office supplies on demand instead purchasing unnecessary office supplies in bulk. Our department purchases through the Purchasing Department. (2)
  • There is a re-use station within our department (paper, office supplies, etc.) (2)
  • We donate unwanted office supplies to the Share Shelf. (2)
  • We share rarely-used supplies on the Lending Library. (2)
  • There is a shared equipment station (scissors, stapler, printer, etc.), rather than everyone having their own. (2)
  • Our printer(s)/computers are double-sided capable, and the double-sided setting is used for at least 90% of printing jobs. (2)
  • We promote the use of eco-trays and reusable food/beverage containers, rather than the use of foil, plastic wrap, and other disposable packaging, by setting an example as well as through informational signag.e (2)
  • At least _x_% of our department use eco-trays consistently when they eat "to go" (1-10%: 1 point, 11-19%: 2 points, >20%: 3 points).
  • Our department participates in composting paper towels, food waste, and biodegradable (and paper) packaging. (1)
  • Basic waste procedures are illustrated with visible posters near waste containers for building occupants and visitors. (1)
  • Our department provides reusable kitchenware along with the means to wash them. (1)
  • Our department offers no bottled water. (2)
  • Everyone in our department uses a reusable water bottle, mug, or container. (2)
  • Our department is aware of the Zero Waste Zone program, and will utilize its resources during any office clean-up/move (2) 
  • Our department offers unwanted furniture and office supplies to colleagues on campus before considering to recycle or landfill them. (2)
  • Our department contacts Facilities ( when we have used ink cartridges, batteries, and light bulbs to recycle. (1)
  • Our department contacts Facilities ( when we electronic waste to recycle. (1)

      Educational Efforts

    • Academic departments: our department offers at least one sustainability-related class each year (1), at least one sustainability-focused class each year (3)
    • Non-academic departments that host internal or external events: our department offers at least one sustainability-related event each year (1), at least one sustainability-related event each quarter (3)
  • Our department offers at least one sustainability-related educational sign/poster in our common area each year (1), at least one sustainability-related educational sign/poster each quarter (3)

*Note: These are different from the waste, recycling, compost, or any other already provided signage. These can include your own sign/poster about a sustainability topic, or encouraging your department to participate in Center for Sustainability events.

  • The SCU Climate Neutrality and Zero Waste Commitments are outlined in orientation documents. (3)
  • New employee department orientation includes information about SCU recycling, composting, and waste reduction strategies. (3)
  • At least one person in our department is a trained Sustainability Guide. (2)
  • At least half of our department has joined a sustainability topic interest email group offered by the Center for Sustainability (1)
  • Our employees are encouraged to have conversations with one another to share their tips about living sustainably (e.g. loca/organic food, water conservation, living simply, spending time in nature, etc.) [Yes, sometimes (1); Yes, once a month either through encouragement of attending Sustainability Series evnts or hosted department potlucks (3)]


These are sustainability initiatives not listed above, that your department partakes in, subject to approval by the Center for Sustainability.

  • Ex: Our department has scheduled a Waste Characterization with the Center for Sustainability. (1)
  • ___________________________________________________________________(1)
  • ___________________________________________________________________(1)
  • ___________________________________________________________________(1)
  • ___________________________________________________________________(1)


Total Points: ___/70+


Points Required for Certification

Light Green: 25-50% (23-46 points), Dark Green: 50-75% (47-69 points), Beyond Green: 75%+ (70+ points)

GreenSpace Certification Rating: Light Green is 25-50% (23-46 points), Dark Green is 50-75% (47-69 points), and Beyond Green is 75%+ (70+ points)