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Webinar: Creating or Improving Green Office and Lab Certification Programs: Best Practices

July 21, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT


If your institution is considering creating a Green Office Certification Program (GOCP) or improving an existing one, you have company. In 2019, several universities and colleges were in the same situation, and created a focus group to explore best practices, under the auspices of the Big Ten and Friends Sustainability Network. The group’s size blossomed over the following year to representing about twenty-five institutions, offering a breadth of experience to tap.

The group found that program models vary by assessment process; staffing; metrics; alignment with the global Sustainable Development Goals; adaptability for remote workers; target audience; recognition approach; and participation incentives. After an initial benchmarking process, they honed in on four programmatical areas to explore improvements: metrics; addressing social actions; alignment with professional development goals; and remote work adaptability. In this AASHE session, participants will learn about various program models and the best practices from three leaders involved in the analysis effort: Lydia Vandenbergh from Penn State University; Tony Gillund of Ohio State University; and Wendy Olmstead from California State University, Stanislaus.

This presentation will provide valuable tips and models to consider for those looking to launch or evolve their own programs that make sustainability the norm in work and lab spaces. Although this session is focused on examples from the higher ed community, the information could be applied to non-profits and other organizations.

For Members: Watch on Demand For members: archived webinars on demand   Upcoming webinars


Lydia Vandenbergh

Lydia Vandenbergh, Associate Director of Employee Engagement and Education, Penn State Sustainability Institute

Lydia Vandenbergh has been the Associate Director of Employee Engagement and Education for Penn State’s Sustainability Institute since 2012. Prior to that, she led the staff engagement efforts for the University’s Campus Sustainability Office for three years. Her background is in Energy and Environmental Policy, Communications and Political Science with degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill (BA) and George Washington University (MA). Lydia and her husband David have two grown children who live in Washington, DC and New York City…nice places to explore on foot and bike in non-COVID times.

Tony Gillund

Tony Gillund, Senior Sustainability Manager, The Ohio State University

My role is to advance Ohio State’s sustainability goals and help the university to become a model for sustainable practices, operations, and construction.

Wendy Olmstead

Wendy Olmstead, Sustainability Coordinator, California State University Stanislaus

As California State University Stanislaus’ first Sustainability Coordinator, appointed in September 2019, Wendy Olmstead led the university through its first AASHE STARS report to a Silver rating in May 2020. Wendy is a Fellow for the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium and a Senior Fellow with the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development. A native of Northern Ontario, Wendy earned her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Studies and master’s degrees in Ecology & Sustainability and Public Administration from Stanislaus State. She is also a part-time lecturer in the university’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration.




July 21, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
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