UCLA Green Office Certification
UCLA's Green Office Certification Program encourages UCLA staff and faculty to join in working towards a more sustainable university. As part of UCLA Sustainability, the program seeks to build on the achievements of UCLA's own Center for the Study of Women (CSW) and the success of Green Office programs at other campuses.
Staff & faculty of campus departments can participate in an informal audit process about their office practices. Each office can designate a sustainability ambassador to be the point of contact and coordinate with a UCLA Sustainability intern and complete a Green Office Evaluation. The evaluation will provide tips for each office to become more environmentally-conscious and attain Green Office certification.
The certification is based on office practices that help decrease energy consumption and waste in each department. The in-office evaluation adheres to a point-system, with set points assigned to various office attributes or behaviors. Based on the feasible actions for each office, certification is awarded according to the following scale:
Bronze- 50% of feasible points earned
Fill out our interest form to join UCLA's growing achievements towards making our campus greener! One of our green office interns will contact you.
Note: Thank you to our colleagues at USC Sustainability for developing the original calculator tool which is being used as a base for campus green office programs nationally.
UCLA Software Central coordinates a campus-wide initiative to recycle old CD, CD-ROM and DVD disks.
You can send your old Ink Jet/ Laser Jet printing cartridges to Facilities Management recycling office at: Campus Maintenance c/o Recycling Coordinator 151308.
What is recyclable:
The blue bins were formerly for bottles and cans only. They are now for mixed recyclables. You can put paper, styrofoam, plastics #1-9, glass, and even metal into these bins, anything that is recyclable in LA. Basically, electronics are the only recyclables that cannot go into these bins.
UCLA is soon switching to co-mingled recycling, which means that any recyclable item can be thrown into recycling bins without the needs to sort them by bin. See the recycling page for more information.
Sustainable Events handbook:
The UCLA Events Office has developed a recycling plan for large scale campus events and are implementing additional programs to “green” all facets of our event planning processes. Their Sustainable Events handbook can serve as a guide for students, staff and faculty who are hoping to make their events more sustainable.
UCLA's goals (Climate Action Plan)
UCLA'S Climate Action Plan focuses on 3 categories for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction:
- energy use reduction and efficiency;
- behavioral changes
- Reduce GHG emissions to 2000 levels by 2014
- Reduce GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020
- UCLA will achieve both goals by 2012
- Behavioral change is expected to contribute 1-2% of UCLA's emissions reductions.
Other campuses w/ Green Office Program
- Along with the other campuses in the University of California system, UCLA has a target of aiming for 75% diversion in 2012 and 100% diversion or Zero Waste by 2020.
- The UC Green Building/Clean Energy Policy commits the University to promoting the purchase of more efficient, recycled-content, and renewable products.
- Office buildings use approximately 19% of all energy consumed in the US.
- Though comprising only 5% of the world's population, Americans consume 26% of the world's energy and generate 30% of the world's garbage.
- America uses about 15 times more energy per person than does the typical developing country.
- UCLA produces, on average, about 50 tons of waste per day, not including sewage. Landfill represents about 50% of UCLA's waste.
- Every ton of paper recycled saves enough energy to heat and air-condition the average American home for at least 6 months.
- The UCLA drive-alone rate is 55% - the regional LA drive alone rate is 75%.
UC Purchasing Policy
UCLA has a commitment to purchase environmentally preferable computer products and recycle electronic waste.
- All standard personal computers (desktop/laptop) purchased by UCLA meet the standard of Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) Silver or Gold certification.
- UCLA purchases Energy‐Star® rated personal computers and other Energy‐Star® products whenever possible, for both energy and water efficiency.
- Suppliers deliver all electronic equipment to the University with energy efficiency and conservation features enabled.
UCLA is adopting the following standards for paper:
- Minimum 30% Post Consumer Waste (PCW) recycled content paper for all office supplies (priced similarly to virgin stock through the system-wide contract).
- 100% PCW recycled content paper for uncut paper uses (e.g. janitorial supplies).
- Information of EPEAT registered equipment.
- Research EnergyStar products here.
What is "sustainability"?
- Sustainability refers to the qualities that allow present needs to be met without compromising resources for future generations. As a university, we have a special role as educators, leaders, and innovators to work together in creating viable alternatives for a thriving human society.
Is this going to be expensive?
- By making small changes, “going green” is not only easy, it is also cost effective; it enables us to save resources and money simultaneously. Many of recycled content products offered by UCLA vendors cost the same price as product made from virgin materials. Plus, this handbook focuses on behavioral changes, which may just cost you a little extra time or effort.
What is behavioral change?
- According to UCLA's Climate Action plan, behavioral change addresses "how individuals can use energy and other resources in their daily lives...for a more sustainable future" (p. 50). "Behavioral change is a key component to UCLA’s success in meeting and surpassing the 1990‐ and 2000‐level emission goals." (p. 50, UCLA Climate Action Plan)
What is a phantom electricity load?
- Also known as standby power or leaking electricity, phantom loads refer to the electricity used by appliances when they are in standby mode or turned off. As long as an electronic device is plugged into a socket, it's drawing power, which can account for up to 20% of your energy bill. You can eliminate phantom loads by plugging electronics into a power strip & turning the strip off when leaving for the day.
What is a smart power strip?
- As opposed to conventional power strips, smart power strips automatically stop phantom electricity loads without an on/off switch. Some smart strips also have specified sockets that won't turn off the electricity flow for electronics that need to be on 24/7 (e.g. digital clocks). Smart strips are a little pricier but require less diligence in eliminating phantom loads.
Green Labels, Ratings, & Certifications:
- Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, or EPEAT, rates computing products based on their environmental impacts, such as materials used, packaging, energy conservation, performance, and disposal. Products are rated on a bronze, silver, or gold standard.
- Energy Star is a program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy that identifies energy efficient products and buildings. Computers, kitchen appliances, and other products with an EnergyStar label generally use 20%–30% less energy than required by federal standards.
- Green Seal is a certification for products whose production, consumption, and disposal have significantly less impact on the environment & human health. Certified products range from cleaning products to paper & printing products.
- Turning off your computer overnight won't wear out your computer's hardware--it's made to be turned on and off. The energy surge used to turn a computer on is significantly less than that required to run a computer for several hours or more.
- If you have to leave your computer on, put it in sleep or standby mode, where it uses about 70% less energy and can still install server updates.
- Using cold water to wash your hands. As long as you use soap, you'll be getting rid of those germs!
Published: Monday, March 22, 2010