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One of the biggest challenges many universities face when implementing an emission reduction program is how to create widespread adoption for maximum impact. To make sure emission reduction is adopted throughout their campus George Mason University (GMU) built it in as a component of their office sustainability program, The Green Office Program.
The purpose of the Green Office Program at GMU is to help the campus become more sustainable, one office and department at a time. Since there are so many offices and departments throughout campus, the Office of Sustainability wanted to create an engaging and practical program that every office, regardless of size, could adopt and implement. The program has several core areas of focus that include: energy, waste reduction and recycling, pollution prevention, transportation, purchasing, participation, and innovation. For departments that join the program, they can receive bronze, silver, or gold green office certification from the Office of Sustainability.
Emission reduction is built into the pollution prevention area of the program. Each department is encouraged to calculate their carbon footprint. From there they can implement programs to reduce their footprint and use carbon offsets to help bridge the gap for emissions that cannot be reduced. GMU partnered with TerraPass to provide the carbon offsets, and each department is eligible to receive a discount on carbon offsets when they make a purchase as part of the program. Technology, efficiency, and offsets are the pathway to a better future for generations to come and Mason is taking steps to get everyone to join the journey. To learn more and consider implementing your own program visit Green Office Program on the George Mason University website.