Sustainable Workplaces

Do you work in an office? Are you interested in helping the environment while you work? Departments have many opportunities to help the university meet our Sustainability Goals!

Featured ideas and opportunities:

Sustainable Kitchen Supplies

Outreach Materials

Zero Waste Events

Zero Waste Kitchens



Sustainable Workplace Certification Program

The Sustainable Workplace Certification Program encourages U-M departments to join in working towards a more sustainable university.  By engaging staff and faculty in voluntary efforts, this program helps make greater strides toward the university’s sustainability goals and strengthen our position as a leader in sustainability.  A key element of the program involves completing the Planet Blue Ambassador training.    

How does my workplace become certified as sustainable?

First, complete an online self-assessment of the current office conditions and practices to the best of your ability. Anyone can represent their department and start the workplace assessment. You do not need to be a green guru, but rather someone who enjoys rallying your co-workers to reach a common goal.

Once submitted, we will email your Sustainable Workplace Checklist report. The office will be given a rating (Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum) based on the points earned and a list of actions to get to the next level. Feel free to start working on improvements right away such as forming a Green Team and taking the Planet Blue Ambassador training.   As soon as possible, email to schedule time to meet with an OCS Sustainability Representative onsite or via phone to review the checklist and get answers to any questions.   

What is a Workplace?

Define your own workplace! A workplace is an area that shares common areas and resources. It may include just one or all of the offices within a unit or division. You may have an office of 6 people or 60 people — all sizes are welcome to participate! Please include part-time and full-time staff, students (including interns) and faculty. Your office may include kitchens, meeting rooms, storage rooms and other shared areas. See our certified Sustainable Workplaces.

Key Resources

Sustainable Kitchens

There are many ways to make your kitchen sustainable. These Sustainable Kitchen Tips provide an overview of the steps you can take.

Zero Waste Kitchen

The first place to look to reduce waste in your workplace is the breakroom/kitchen. Departments can support U-M’s waste reduction goal by eliminating single-use items, buying in bulk and starting to compost. Learn how to make your kitchen zero waste!   

Sustainable Kitchen Supplies

What you buy for your kitchen is important! Departments have many options to buy more sustainable supplies for the kitchen/breakroom. We've compiled a list of Sustainable Kitchen Supplies with item numbers so you can easily identify sustainable products. Simply use the "product type" drop-down to find the products you need. The 'Sustainability Attributes' column will help you choose items that help support two goals at once: waste reduction and sustainable food! Buying in bulk supports the waste reduction goal and ordering items third-party certified (organic, fair trade, rain forest certified) supports the sustainable food goal.

Additional Resources

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Check out the additional resources here. If you have a question or suggestion, email or send us your ideas using this simple form!