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Hanley Sustainability Institute

HSI Green Office Program off to a sustainable start with pilot phase

By Anne Majka

During this past academic year, the Circularity Team in the Hanley Sustainability Institute’s Student Leadership Program has been working on piloting a new Green Office Program. The program’s goal is to work with and certify offices at the University of Dayton based on a point system that rewards offices for sustainable practices and habits. We modeled our certification based on LEED’s certification, awarding offices either platinum, gold, silver or bronze. 

During this initial pilot phase, five offices participated in the program. They filled out a self-assessment and were encouraged to participate in an in-person dialogue with our team to create an action plan and answer any questions. Meeting with some of the offices and engaging in an open dialogue allowed us both to learn about office management and better understand sustainability. 

On the assessment, there were seven main categories for offices. Those were waste, purchasing, kitchen, energy, transportation, communication and innovation. The innovation section is an opportunity for offices to commit to an action plan and be awarded for any sustainable habits not listed in the other categories. Some interesting innovative habits from the offices that participated so far are using paper instead of bubble wrap for packaging, purchasing tissues with higher recycled content, purchasing reusable dry erase markers and more. 

Another major component of the program is not just certifying offices for sustainable habits, but inspiring intentional thinking and behavior regarding sustainability. We ask questions about using the right waste receptacles, energy efficiency, purchasing single-use products and more so that people can take that knowledge and apply it to their lives outside of the office.

Green Office Program, HSI, 2024

Five offices participated, and we hope for more in the future. Congrats on the following offices for receiving their Green Office Certificates:

  • The Center for Leadership – Platinum
  • Dining Services – Platinum
  • Liberty Hall – Gold (pictured)
  • Marketing and Communications – Gold (pictured)
  • UDRI – Gold

Seeing these sustainable practices within offices and their dedication to making change is exactly what we hoped for with our pilot program. A key to encouraging and creating change is by asking questions and wanting to know more, which these offices were passionate about. Simply participating in a program like this is another step in the right direction for a more sustainable future.

If anyone wants their office to participate in the program and become certified, email us at

Photos: Office members from Marketing and Communications (top) and Liberty Hall (middle) display their Green Office Certificates from the Circularity Team in the Hanley Sustainability Institute’s Student Leadership Program.

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