Certification Guidelines

Paper Reduction Green Office Certification: Guidelines for Participation

form a team with other reduction advocates

A team’s composition is flexible.  Individuals can choose who is part of a team. Teams can form by department and/or office proximity. Central Admin departments can form their own team, or partner with another Central Admin department to form a joint team.

Decide on your team’s green champion

Decide on your team’s green champion. This person will be responsible for team coordination, morale and collection of completed action items from the checklist. Many teams already have a green champion selected. If a department is split into multiple teams, each team will require a green champion.  These green champions will report into their designated department or center’s lead green champion who will attend the paper reduction meetings as needed with updates from their groups.

Check out the Tools on the Paper Reduction Website

Familiarize yourself with the Mailman School of Public Health Paper Reduction website. This will be the main landing page for all resources, tips, and tools needed to participate in this certification program.

Pledge to participate in the certification

Pledge to participate in the certification. Using this sheet, on the paper reduction website, collect signatures from all team members, indicating a pledge to participate in the green office paper reduction certification program. Your green champion will hang this signed sheet in a public place, reminding individuals of their commitment to the program.

Work on actions from the checklist

With your team, work to complete actions from the checklist. A team must complete all items from each level, Bronze, Silver and Gold, to achieve that level of certification for their team, with the exception of the italicized items. These italicized items are optional electives and do not have to be completed to move on to the next certification level.

Platinum plus

To achieve the platinum level, all items on the checklist, including italicized electives, must be completed.

Save documentation when possible

As actions are completed, individuals will save documented proof (where possible) (i.e.: photos, email screen shots, etc.) to a shared drive if available, and/or email your green champion until a shared drive is created. 

Use a consistent electronic file naming convention

Files should be saved in the following way: “TeamName_ChampionName_Level_Action_Type_date of proof”.  For instance: HPM_Dori_Bronze_Paperlessmeeting_Photo_8-5-15.

keep track of your progress

Each week, the green champion for the team will review the materials in the shared drive and update their team’s checklist. 

To level-up, prepare a PowerPoint

Once a team has completed the actions necessary to reach a medal level, the green champion can complete the corresponding level-advance PowerPoint template with any documented proof of completion. These PowerPoints are not mandatory for participation, but green champions may find the template helpful for organization. The green champion will then reach out to Sean Campbell who will schedule 10 minutes at the end of the next green champion meeting to either review the PowerPoint, or if necessary, a walk-through of the team’s site, by a select few peer green champions.

display your achievement

If the team has successfully completed all actions in a given level, they will receive certification at that level, and a certificate to hang in a public place.


Each year, a formal recognition ‘ceremony’ will be held during the annual May School Assembly in which teams who have participated and achieved a ranking will be recognized by the Dean.