The Carolina Green Office program gives staff the tools to transform their offices into sustainable work environments. Creating a Green Office team is a great way to involve staff in sustainable decision making while having fun.
The program emphasizes the University’s sustainability goals around greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste management. Participating offices create a team to work through the programs eight modules listed below.
Sustainability Director Cindy Shea leads workshops once a semester for offices interested in participating in the Green Office program. The training begins with an introduction to sustainability initiatives at Carolina, before diving into content related to the eight modules above. This training will provide everything you need to get your office started on its Green Office journey.
Upcoming trainings for Carolina employees are listed on the Carolina Talent events calendar and the Sustainable Carolina events calendar.
Questions? Call or email Cindy Shea at 919-218-2341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Process & Participating Units
Once a University office commits to becoming a Green Office, it begins its journey from seed to tree. Offices move up through the four different levels by completing the Green Office modules. The requirements for achieving each level are listed below. You’ll also find participating offices and the level they’ve achieved below.
Navigate to the Green Office website for more details.
Actions: Complete Green Office prerequisites, application, consultation and one module. Identify an office-specific sustainability problem.
Rewards: You’ll receive a Green Office door placard indicating “Seed Certified” status and a pack of Sustainable Carolina stickers to share with your office. Your team can now move on to the outreach and events modules (the most fun modules, in our opinion).
Seed Certified Offices
- UNC School of Medicine, Department of Health Sciences
Actions: Complete three modules and develop a strategy to tackle your office-related sustainability problem.
Rewards: You’ll receive a Green Office door placard indicating “Sprout Certified” status and reusable chico bags for your team. You’ll also receive an e-signature that says, “I’m proud to work in a Green Office.”
Actions: Complete five modules and implement a project using the strategy identified to tackle your office’s sustainability challenge.
Rewards: You’ll receive a Green Office door placard indicating “Sapling Certified” status and stainless steel straws for your team. You’ll receive a graphic file of our Green Office logo so you can put it on your unit’s website.
Actions: Complete seven modules, evaluate the success of your Green Office project and think about next steps.
Rewards: You’ll receive a Green Office door placard indicating “Tree Certified” status and reusable bamboo cutlery for your team. You’ll receive a graphic file of our Green Office logo so you can put it on your unit’s website.
UNC Green Labs works with the UNC-Chapel Hill community to encourage sustainable practices and promote a culture of sustainability within Carolina’s $1.2 billion research enterprise. Through Green Labs, researchers, lab managers, students, faculty and administrators can network, share information about lab sustainability and adopt practices to be more sustainable.
Unlike Green Office, Green Labs does not have modules to complete. Instead, subject matter experts from UNC Environment, Health and Safety, UNC Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling, UNC Energy Management, and Sustainable Carolina can meet with labs to assess needs and implement new practices.
Efficient Freezer Rebate Program
One of the major ways labs can improve their energy efficiency is by upgrading their ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers. The student-run Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee (RESPC) has renewed funding for the campus Efficient Freezer Rebate Program (EFRP) through spring 2028. During two application windows, one in the spring and one in the fall, campus labs can apply to have 35% of a new, ULT freezer covered by RESPC. Labs must choose from a list of approved models.
The current EFRP application is open until October 30.
- Fall 2023 EFRP Recipients: Alexis Lab, Biospecimen Processing Facility, Center for Gastroenterology and Disease, Hood-Pishchany Lab, Pattenden Lab & Hathaway Lab, Linnstaedt Lab, Matera Lab, Riddell Lab
My Green Labs Freezer Challenge
My Green Labs is a third party, nonprofit organization that promotes lab sustainability. We encourage any lab on campus to participate in My Green Lab’s Freezer Challenge, a free annual, international competition promoting best practices in laboratory cold storage. Labs self assess in four categories: good management, temperature tuning, retirements and upgrades, and sharing and room temperature sample storage. Labs entering this challenge are at an advantage if they have an updated ULT freezer in use.