Sustainable Office Program

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With more than 160 buildings and over 1,700 full-time faculty and staff, Lehigh recognizes the important role that faculty and staff play in making Lehigh a model sustainable campus.

Through Lehigh’s Sustainable Office Program, which is a voluntary, self-guided program designed for faculty and staff to take the lead on promoting sustainable practices in the workplace, faculty and staff can identify opportunities for innovation and implement sustainable change. They can reduce their environmental footprint, be responsible stewards of university’s resources, contribute to Lehigh’s sustainability goals and commitments, and build a campus community for the 21st Century. Tied directly to Lehigh’s Sustainability Strategic Plan 2030, our goal is to certify 70% of Lehigh's staff and faculty by 2024.

What is the certification process?

Step 1: Registration

Complete the registration form. Once your registration is submitted, a member of the Sustainable Office team will contact you.

Step 2: Baseline Survey

Complete the baseline survey.  A member of the Sustainable Office Program team will email you the baseline survey form for you to complete.  You can view a PDF version of the baseline survey (see below) before you begin.

Step 3: Meeting

Meet with the Office of Sustainability's Sustainable Office Program team to go over your baseline survey, discuss office improvements, and determine next steps.

Step 4: Checklist of Actions

Complete the checklist of actions.  A member of the Sustainable Office Program team will email you the checklist of actions form for you to complete. You can view a PDF version of the checklist of actions (see below) before you begin.

What are the certification levels?

Depending on the number of action items your office is able to complete on the Checklist of Actions, your office will receive bronze, silver, gold or platinum Sustainable Office Program certification! 

See All Currently Certified Offices at Lehigh


Our goal is to certify 70% of Lehigh's staff and faculty by 2024. Will your office join us?
Join the Sustainable Office Program

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you define an "office"?

We define an “office” as a contiguous work area that shares common areas and resources. An entire department may constitute an office or there may be dozens of offices within one department. Offices big and small are welcome to participate! Please include part-time and full-time staff, students (including interns) and faculty. Your office should include kitchens, meeting rooms, storage rooms, and other commonly shared areas.

Why was the program developed?

The Sustainable Office Program was created in the spring of 2015 to aid the university in achieving the sustainability goals outlined in the 2012 Sustainability Plan and then the Campus Sustainability Plan 2020. Now, the program works towards achieving the goals in Lehigh's Sustainability Strategic Plan 2030. The program is designed to engage faculty and staff on important topics, save money and resources, build a strong community, and ensure a sustainable future for our campus.

What are the goals of the program?
  1. Raise awareness, educate, and provide measurable guidelines for reducing the impact of office operations

  2. Conserve water, save energy, minimize waste, and save money

  3. Further integrate sustainability into campus culture

  4. Support Lehigh's Sustainability Strategic Plan 2030

  5. Promote campus policies that support sustainability

  6. Recognize and reward leadership in sustainability

What are the steps to getting certified?
  1. Fill out the Registration Form
  2. Complete and submit the Baseline Survey. A member of the Sustainable Office Program team will send this to you once you submit the Registration Form.
  3. Complete and submit the Checklist of Actions. A member of the Sustainable Office Program team will send this to you once you submit the Baseline Survey.
What are the levels of certification?

There are four levels in the Sustainable Office Program: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. To achieve a level of certification, your office must complete the following number of items from the Checklist of Actions:

  • Bronze: 40 actions
  • Silver: 70 actions
  • Gold: 100 actions
  • Platinum: 130 actions
How can we get more information about the program?

You can email with any questions or schedule a meeting with a member of the Sustainable Office Program team.

What is the Baseline Survey?

The Baseline Survey is a basic audit of your office space. It asks questions specific to the employees in your office, as well as, the physical space and appliances used. It should not take more than 30-45 minutes to fill out.

How do I register for the program?

To register for the program, fill out the Registration Form.

Can we re-certify our office to get a higher level of certification?

Yes, you can absolutely re-certify! To re-certify your office, contact the Office of Sustainability at A member of the Sustainable Office Program team will meet with you to discuss the re-certification process.

What are the responsibilities of an office’s Sustainable Office Program Representative?

The Sustainable Office Program Representative is the contact between their office and the Office of Sustainability. They are in charge of filling out the Registration Form, setting up meeting(s), filling out the Baseline Survey, Checklist of Actions, and other basic responsibilities.

How long does it take to complete the Baseline Survey and Checklist of Actions?

The Baseline Survey takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes to complete. The Checklist of Actions, being slightly longer, takes about 45-60 minutes.

Does it cost anything to participate?

No, the Sustainable Office Program is free.

Can we get credit for things we are already doing?

Yes! When filling out the Checklist of Actions, your office can check off anything you currently do, or anything you are going to begin doing.

What offices are already participating?

Check out what offices have bronze, silver, gold, or platinum certification!

What are the categories covered in the Checklist of Actions?

There are six categories in the Checklist of Actions that are aligned with the six focus areas of Lehigh's Sustainability Strategic Plan 2030:

  • Climate Action

  • Educational Experience

  • Campus Operations

  • Culture & Engagement

  • Health & Wellness

  • Focused Leadership

Contact Us

Please contact for more information.