Sustainable Workplace Certification

Sustainable Workplace Certification offers campus departments the opportunity to be more sustainable and earn recognition for these efforts.

To certify your workplace, complete the Online Certification Form about your office’s sustainability efforts. Certification levels are offered at the following levels:

  • Contributor: 25 – 49%
  • Steward: 50 – 74%
  • Champion: 75% +

The program originally launched in 2014 and was revised in October 2017.

How To Certify


Use the resources below to integrate sustainability in your workplace. The online certification form uses a point-based system to evaluate your workplace based on your incorporation of the following sustainability practices.

  1. Has your workplace educated employees about sustainable use of office equipment? (select all that apply)
    1. Pull the Plug. Unplug electronics not in use or use a smart power strip that automatically cuts electricity to idled devices.
    2. Turn It Off. Electronic devices are powered down at the end of the day.
    3. Care to Share. Equipment in the office is shared between co-workers, such as printers, copiers, scanners, coffeemakers and refrigerators.
    4. Save the Screen. Replace screen savers with power settings that turn monitors to sleep mode when inactive for 3 minutes. Set hard drives, printers, copiers and scanners to enter sleep mode after 30 minutes of inactivity.
    5. Share a File. Utilize shared electronic files within your workplace to decrease redundancy and use of server space and memory.
  2. Has your workplace educated staff and employees about sustainable best practices regarding the HVAC system? (select all that apply)
    1. Check your Temperature. Employees know optimal thermostat settings for energy savings in both heating and cooling modes: 68-71 degrees in heating mode, 72-75 in cooling mode.
    2. Keep the Indoors In. Employees know to close doors and windows when indoor air is being heated or cooled.
    3. Bring a Sweater. Employees know not to use space heaters and are encouraged to bring extra clothing layers if the office temperature is uncomfortable.
    4. Breathe Better. Improve workplace air quality by minimizing artificial fragrance use and/or adding leafy plants to the office space.
  3. Has your workplace reminded staff and employees to minimize water and energy waste by adopting the following sustainable practices? (select all that apply)
    1. Turn Off the Tap. Don’t let water faucets run unnecessarily.
    2. Fix it Fast by reporting any known leaks or drips.
    3. Hit the Switch. Lights are not left on when not in use. Task lighting and natural lighting are used when possible.
  4. Innovate! Has your workplace thought of another way to save energy and water? Please provide a short explanation below.

  1. Be Well. Wolfpack initiatives are supported by your workplace and exemplified by the following actions: (select all that apply)
    1. Disseminated information regarding emotional well-being such as stress management, sleep, time management or otherwise engaged employees on this topic.
    2. Provided employees with information regarding Be Well campus resources such as the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program and/or custom wellness educational sessions provided by University Recreation.
  1. Eat Well. Wolfpack initiatives are supported by your workplace and exemplified by the following actions: (select all that apply)
    1. Disseminated information regarding benefits and guidelines of healthy eating.
    2. Provided healthy food and drink options (i.e. vegetables, fruit, water, etc.) when hosting meetings, conferences and special events.
    3. Encouraged healthy eating on campus by informing employees of health guidance resources for healthy eating such as Wolf Approved, Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less, or My Fitness Pal.
  2. Live Well. Wolfpack initiatives are supported by your workplace and exemplified by the following actions: (select all that apply)
    1. Leadership in your workplace has demonstrated an understanding and commitment to work-life balance.
    2. Encouraged employees to take breaks throughout the day to recharge.
    3. Provided employees with information regarding the Learning & Organizational Development Center.
    4. Disseminated diversity education information from the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity or otherwise taken active steps to ensure an inclusive and supportive environment for all employees.
    5. Provided employees with information regarding  Staff or Faculty Senate
  3. Move Well. Wolfpack initiatives are supported by your workplace and exemplified by the following actions: (select all that apply)
    1. Disseminated information or otherwise engaged employees with physical activity tips and benefits.
    2. Provided employees with information regarding NC HealthSmart health coaching available through the State Health Plan.
    3. Made active workspace tools (standing desks, active sitting balls, etc.) available to all employees.
    4. Engaged in office walking challenges or other fitness challenges to encourage increased employee activity.
  4. Wolfpack Wellness initiatives are part of workplace culture and can be exemplified by the following: (select all that apply)
    1. There is currently one Wolfpack Wellness Champion in your workplace.
      1. There are currently 2 Wolfpack Wellness Champions in your workplace.
    2. Your workplace is Well Wolfpack Certified.
      1. Gold: 151 – 168 points (90% -100%)
      2. Silver: 134 – 150 points (80% – 89%)
      3. Bronze: 117 – 133 points (70% – 79%)
  5. Innovate! Has your workplace thought of another way to promote health and wellness? Please provide a short explanation below.

  1. Does your workplace demonstrate a commitment to fostering community stewardship by encouraging employee engagement with the following actions? (select all that apply)
    1. Get Paid to Give Back. Employees are reminded and encouraged to utilize 24 hours of annual volunteer community service leave given to NC State employees.
    2. Together for Good. Group community service events for the workplace are discussed and encouraged.
  1. Does your workplace demonstrate a commitment to raising sustainability awareness by encouraging employee engagement with the following actions? (select all that apply)
    1. Be in the Know. Subscribe to the Sustainability at NC State e-newsletter.
    2. Share Your Sustainability Story. Personal sustainability stories are shared with colleagues in the workplace and published on the office website, newsletter or social media accounts.
    3. Challenge Yourselves. Your workplace has incentivized organization and participation in workplace sustainability competitions to encourage employees and staff to decrease use of paper, plastic, gasoline, water, energy, etc.
  2. Does your workplace encourage the incorporation of sustainable initiatives into office culture by discussing or otherwise engaging employees and staff on the following topics? (select all that apply)
    1. Collaboration with Campus. Packlink and related opportunities are utilized by the workplace for sustainability-related collaboration with students and other academic departments.
    2. Sustainability Through and Through. Review associated commitments and sustainability goals with staff and employees.
    3. Spread the Word. Inspire a campus partner to attain a Sustainable Workplace certification.
  3. Innovate! Has your workplace thought of another way to promote or engage in campus sustainability? Please provide a short explanation below.

  1. Does your workplace promote the following understanding of sustainability: “Successful sustainability pursues balanced, ethical solutions that are economically viable, environmentally sound and socially just so that current and future generations may thrive”?
  2. Has your workplace reminded employees to subscribe to the OIED (Office for Equity and Diversity) newsletter, Diversity Digest?
  3. Has your workplace discussed upcoming OIED Signature Events or Campus Diversity Events, encouraged employees to attend or arranged for group attendance?
  4. Do employees at your workplace often seek diverse perspectives when faced with a complex issue?
  5. Does your workplace encourage employee engagement with minority communities on campus either by providing information about campus community centers or partnering with any of the following for a workplace event?
    1. Women’s Center
    2. GLBT Center
    3. African American Cultural Center
    4. Multicultural Student Affairs
    5. Other
  6. Innovate: Has your workplace thought of another way to promote or engage in campus diversity, equity, or inclusion? Please provide a short explanation below.

  1. Does your workplace promote alternative transportation by encouraging employees to utilize any of the following commuter resources? (select all that apply)
    1. Ride Together.
      1. Carpool with the University’s Employee Carpool Program or Share the Ride NC.
      2. Enroll in WolfTrails or use NC State Transportation’s Employee Transportation Guide for commuter benefits or alternative transportation information.
    2. Go Electric. EV charging stations are available on campus.
  2. Does your workplace promote sustainable transportation by educating or otherwise encouraging employee use of any of the following sustainable commute options? (select all that apply)
    1. Grab a GoPass. Utilize CAT bus system for transport around town and within the Triangle area.
    2. Ride Like a Wolf. Utilize the Wolfline bus system for transport around campus. Download the Transloc app for live bus tracking.
    3. Cruise Campus. Ride a bike to work. Bike racks are available for bicycle commuters outside of most campus buildings.
    4. Rent When you Need It. Zipcar services are available on campus.
  3. Does your workplace promote sustainable alternatives for workplace travel by encouraging employees to take part in any of the following actions? (select all that apply)
    1. Walk the Talk. Walk to work or integrate walking meetings into office practices.
    2. Go Virtual. Utilize virtual meetings where appropriate to minimize transportation energy use.
    3. Go as a Group. Use group travel for meetings requiring multi-occupant transportation with NC State Fleet Services.
  4. Innovate! Has your workplace thought of another way to use or promote alternative travel? Please provide a short explanation below.

  1. Does your workplace take active steps to limit its office products consumption by educating or otherwise encouraging the following actions? (select all that apply)
    1. Borrow Instead of Buy. Rent, share or borrow items when possible.
    2. Reduce Cartridge Clutter. Use recycled or refillable toner cartridges to save money and resources.
    3. Shop Savvy. Go to the Waste Reduction and Recycling Office and attend NC State Surplus Sales for gently-used office supplies in lieu of purchasing new products.
  2. Does your workplace ensure the sustainability of purchases by educating or otherwise encouraging the following actions? (select all that apply)
    1. Do your Homework. Research the environmental and social responsibility features of purchased products.
    2. Seal of Approval. Look for “seals” of sustainability on purchased products such as Forest Stewardship Council, Green Seal, GreenGuard, Cradle to Cradle, Energy Star or EPEAT.
  3. Does your workplace promote sustainable purchasing practices by educating or otherwise encouraging the following actions? (select all that apply)
    1. Make it easy. Use the online marketplace system for ordering and limit campus’ paper-based purchasing orders.
    2. Buy Local. Support a sustainable economy by purchasing from locally-owned businesses.
    3. Think Ahead. Purchase reusable, recyclable, compostable/bio-degradable, or products with high “post-consumer” recycled content.
    4. Buy in Bulk. Limit packaging by purchasing in bulk or items with minimal packaging.
    5. Paper Percent. Purchase paper made from at least  50% post-consumer content.
  4. Does your workplace educate or otherwise encourage employees to eat locally and exercise sustainable food sourcing for employees and office events? (select all that apply)
    1. Buy Local. Employees are aware of the importance of local food sourcing and  choosing local products.
      1. Employees are aware of on-campus local food options: NC State Dining sources about 30% of their meals locally and a Campus Farmers Market is hosted in the Brickyard. (Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
    2. Cater Better. Opportunities for sustainable choices, such as locally sourced food products and minimizing waste, are discussed with caterers for office events.
  5. Innovate! Has your workplace thought of another way to make purchasing more sustainable? Please provide a short explanation below.

  1. Does your workplace encourage employee engagement in waste reduction practices through the following actions? (select all that apply)
    1. Recycling. Employees are educated on appropriate recycling practices for various recyclable waste (e.g. bottles and cans, mixed paper, cardboard, etc. in appropriate bins)
    2. Self-Service Recycling. All employees have access to deskside recycling bins and are aware of their responsibility to empty deskside trash and recycling into nearby, centralized bins.
    3. Look for Yellow. If NC State Surplus doesn’t accept unwanted electronics, employees are instructed to recycle these items in the yellow electronics recycling carts located outside each building. You can also recycle batteries, toner and ink cartridges in the yellow bins.
    4. Site Evaluation.  Workplace has requested a site evaluation by the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling to review your workplace bins (size, style, amount, location).
    5. Strive for Zero. Contact Waste Reduction and Recycling to request a Zero Waste Workplace to optimize bin efficiency and add composting for food waste and paper towels.
  2. Does your workplace promote sustainable printing/paper use  practices by educating staff and employees to engage in the following sustainable actions? (select all that apply)
    1. Print Less. Share electronic files instead of printing a document when possible.
    2. Double up. Print double-sided when possible and use one-sided sheets for note-taking that would have otherwise been prematurely recycled.
  3. Does your workplace promote office waste reduction by educating staff and employees to engage in any of the following actions? (select all that apply)
    1. Dump the Junk. Reduce junk mail by sending it to Unwanted Mail, Campus Box 7540.
    2. Save Space. Don’t waste square footage on excessive material storage. Keep what you need and make extra space available for another use.
    3. Pass it On. When cleaning out unwanted office items, ask coworkers if they could use the items. If not, request a reusable office supply cart from Waste Reduction and Recycling.
    4. Learn at Lunch. Request a waste and recycling presentation by Waste Reduction and Recycling to learn about what can/cannot be recycled on campus, as well as other waste diversion tactics.
  4. Does your workplace promote minimizing food waste and food-related wastes by encouraging the following sustainable actions? (select all that apply)
    1. Bring Your Own. Use a reusable bag when shopping. Bring your own reusable mug, water bottle, cup, dishes and eating utensils to work.
    2. Pack&Go. Utilize NC State Dining’s reusable to-go containers at dining halls to reduce foam waste.
    3. Wolfpack Certified Sustainable. When hosting workplace events, incorporate sustainable event planning tips from the Sustainable Event Certification website.
      1. Apply for a Sustainable Event certification.
      2. Request Zero Waste/Clearstream event bins.
    4. Choose To Reuse. When planning events, utilize reusable items such as cups, plates and utensils. If one-use items are necessary, compostable single-use items are available at cost from Waste Reduction & Recycling.
    5. Waste Less. Food waste at workplace events is minimized with appropriate food planning. Plan for leftovers by providing take-home containers for guests and/or having a food-donation option ready.
  5. Innovate! Has your workplace thought of another way to reduce campus waste? Please provide a short explanation below.

Certify your workplace by completing the simple Online Certification Form.

Certify Now


Be sure to use the certification as a way to promote your workplace, including displaying your sustainable workplace certificate or logo in your office or on your website.


Certified Workplaces

*Indicates workplaces that have re-certified

WorkplaceCertification LevelYear Certified
EcoVillage Living and Learning Village ChampionAugust 2020
NC State PragueContributorMarch 2020
TransportationStewardOctober 2019
Supply Chain Resource Cooperative in Poole College of ManagementChampionJune 2018
Rural WorksStewardMarch 2018
Environmental Sciences*StewardJanuary 2018
Institute for NonprofitsStewardNovember 2017
TransportationChampionOctober 2017
Microbiology Teaching Labs (Biological Sciences)StewardSeptember 2017
McKimmon Conference & Training CenterStewardApril 2017
Center for Chemical Toxicology Research and PharmacokineticsChampionMarch 2017
Office of the University ArchitectStewardMarch 2017
Facilities Division Finance and AdministrationStewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone A1ChampionMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone A2ChampionMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone A3ChampionMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone A6ChampionMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone AS1ChampionMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone H4ChampionMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone H5ChampionMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone CBC1ChampionMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone CC2ChampionMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone A4NStewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone A4DStewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone A5StewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone A7StewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone A8StewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone A10StewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone H1StewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone H2StewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone H3StewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone H6StewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone PCStewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone R1StewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone MMStewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone CBC2StewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Zone CC1StewardMarch 2017
University Housekeeping Administrative OfficeChampionMarch 2017
Office of International ServicesStewardFeb. 2017
Department of Fraternity and Sorority LifeStewardJuly 2016
Outdoor Leadership Minor (University College)StewardMay 2016
English Department (College of Humanities and Social Sciences)StewardFeb. 2016
NC Clean Energy Technology CenterStewardFeb. 2016
Project Angelfish (within Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)StewardFeb. 2016
Center for Integrated Pest ManagementChampionJan. 2016
Industrial Assessment CenterStewardJan. 2016
Business Sustainability Collaborative in Poole College of ManagementStewardDec. 2015
Grounds and Fleet ServicesChampionDec. 2015
Case Dining HallStewardNov. 2015
Fountain Dining HallStewardNov. 2015
Clark Dining HallStewardNov. 2015
USDA Forest ServiceStewardSept. 2015
Women’s CenterStewardJune 2015
PowerAmericaStewardJuly 2015
Early College High School Liaison (First Year College)StewardJune 2015
Facilities Operations Business ServicesStewardMay 2015
Environmental Health and Public SafetyStewardApril 2015
Capital Project ManagementChampionFeb. 2015
Eastern 4-H CenterStewardJan. 2015
OnBoarding CenterStewardJan. 2015
EcoVillageStewardApril 2014
Utilities and Engineering ServicesStewardMarch 2014
University Sustainability OfficeChampionMarch 2014
Office of AssessmentStewardMarch 2014
Repair and RenovationChampionOct. 2014
Study Abroad Office ChampionOct. 2014
Environmental Sciences Academic ProgramStewardNov. 2014
University RecreationStewardDec. 2014
Center for Environmental Farming SystemsChampionFeb. 2014