Green Workplace is here to help campus employees reduce their impact on the environment.
The Green Workplace program shows you achievable steps toward a more sustainable work space and celebrates your accomplishments. There are actions relevant to labs and offices, and we continue to add other types of workplaces. Thank you for showing interest in greening your workplace!
By participating, you can:
- Save resources and money; some vendor discounts may be available for certified labs during promotional periods
- Improve re-use of supplies and equipment, as well as reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts on waste, water, energy and more
- Build community relationships, which can empower your work
- Be recognized for your sustainability efforts and promote this work among colleagues
Complete the assessment process and get certified as a Green Workplace in as little as a few weeks (actual time varies by workplace).
New! Green Home Office / Study Space
Work from home or have a study space you want to certify as green? Being green at home while working and studying has great benefits, similar to those listed above. Save resources and money, reuse and reduce waste, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts.
To participate, simply complete the four online modules below:
Then email firstname.lastname@example.org to complete your Green Home Office/Study Space Certification.
Why Green Your Workplace?
The UC system is committed to ambitious sustainability goals. With more than 14,000 employees at UC Davis, the campus community, working together, can reduce the campus’s environmental footprint significantly.
For example, a pilot Green Office program conducted in Mrak Hall in 2009 resulted in:
- 18% decline in electricity use during weekdays
- 33% decline in electricity use on weekends
- 66% reduction in landfill items
- 98% diversion rate of paper
- >50% diversion of waste to compost that previously would have been landfilled
Of all building types, labs are the most energy intensive. Compared to offices or classrooms, laboratory consume a disproportionate amount of energy and water per square foot and also generate considerably more solid, chemical and electronic waste. Green labs make an important contribution to campus sustainability performance.
Additional Resources For Labs
- Fume Hood Ventilation Stickers. Intuitive fume hood signage that reinforces safe, energy-conserving behavior. Order from the Reprographics store. Download instructions for use (PDF).
- Ultra Low Temperature Freezers Buying and User Guide
- International Laboratory Freezer Challenge. A friendly competition to save energy that also helps participants increase sample access and security, develop sample management skills, and maintain freezers to safeguard research samples.
- Glove recycling: Please contact your local rep from Kimberly-Clark or Medline for pricing and any glove recycling program requirements.
Learn how other organizations and universities are promoting sustainability in their labs:
- My Green Lab – A California-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the sustainability of lab environments.
- Labconscious – An open resource for the life science community to reduce laboratory waste, use green chemistry, conserve water and save energy
- American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute – Convenes the global chemistry community to promote the core values and benefits of green and sustainable chemistry and engineering.
- International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories – Devoted to the principles of sustainable laboratories and related high-technology facilities, from design to engineering to operation.
- Beyond Benign Green Chemistry Education – Provides educators with the tools, training and support to make green chemistry an integral part of chemistry education.
How to Participate | Create a Green Workplace
- Step 1: Get approval and learn more during kickoff
- Get the approval to participate from your department head, MSO or supervisor (our office can assist with more information if needed).
- Establish at least one Green Champion to lead your Green Team (Green Champions need to be prepared to spend about four hours a month on the assessment).
- Schedule a kickoff presentation from our office with your workplace colleagues to learn about the program—the more the merrier!
- Step 2: Complete the baseline assessment
- Contact the Office of Sustainability to request your Green Workplace Assessment. This will be sent to you in a Qualtrics survey format.
- Organize your Green Team, which should include people responsible for purchasing, IT, office management and other key staff. Decide how you will complete the assessment.
- Schedule a workplace walk-through to identify energy and waste savings opportunities, and evaluate your current “green” practices and challenges.
- Complete the Green Workplace Assessment. The Green Workplace team is here to answer any questions.
- Once your baseline assessment is completed, Green Workplace will give you an initial score based on your current actions and a checklist for additional actions. Completing your assessment can take as little as a few weeks to complete, although actual times will vary depending on the amount of actions a workplace takes.
- Step 3: Set and work towards your goals
- Define your “green vision.” What aspects of sustainability and resource conservation fit best with your workplace values? What are your goals for the certification?
- Review your baseline score and checklist to see what actions you want to take to meet those goals, and create a plan for achieving this. The Green Workplace staff is here to provide guidance and resources as you work on this.
- Bonus points will be granted for innovative and exemplary performance, so be creative!
- Step 4: Certify and celebrate
- Submit your updated actions from the checklist along with your verification document of select actions. After Green Workplace review of these items, you will receive your final certification score.
- Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze certification is granted based on points.
- Platinum. Scores 90% or higher
- Gold. Scores 80%-89%
- Silver. Scores 60%-79%
- Bronze. Scores 50%-59%
- Your workplace will receive a framed certificate at the annual Sustainability Summit, and a Green Workplace certification graphic for use in all employee email signatures. You may also be eligible for special discounts from lab vendors (while offers last).
- Certification is good for three years.
These UC Davis workplaces are certified green!
- Tahoe Environmental Resources Center (Certified since 2020, Green Champion: Anne Liston)
- Slupsky Lab (Certified since 2020, Green Champion: Darya Mishchuk)
- Office of the Registrar (Certified since 2021, Green Champion: Colin Goulding)
- Campus Veterinary Services (Certified since 2021, Green Champion: Kacie Woodward)
Green Workplace FAQs
- What does it cost for me to join?
- Zip, zero, zilch! It’s free.
- What if we start the program, then get swamped with other priorities in the middle of it?
- We understand! You can pause the program and start up again when your workload gets lighter. However, if you haven’t restarted within a year of signing up, you’ll have to start over again to make sure your assessment information is up to date. We designed the program to take only an hour or two a month so it’s fairly easy to incorporate into your regular operations.
- Can we get energy data to compare our use at the beginning of the program and the end?
- It is expensive to set up energy meters on circuit boards, so the Sustainability Office is not able to provide this service. However, we can loan you energy meters for specific appliance measurements.
- Is certification a one time thing, or does it have to be renewed?
- Your certification is good for three years from your certification date. When it’s about to expire, our team will contact you for an update. We’ll assist with a refresher for your department and you’ll receive a new certificate!
- How will this impact my staff’s time?
- We designed the program to only take an hour or two a month so that it’s easy to work into your regular operations. It’s also designed for multiple individuals to implement so the work is spread out.
- What do I get out of participating?
- Your workplace receives a certificate upon completion of the program, which is presented at the annual Sustainability Summit. We also recognize you on this website as a certified Green Workplace. Every employee will also receive an email signature to use indicated that they are Green Workplace certified. That’s on top of the gratification you get from being a part of the university-wide movement to reduce our impact on the environment and save resources.