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Sustainable Office Program

Program Overview

At the request of the Provost, the CSUN Sustainable Office Program (SOP) was created in the 2011/12 academic year and piloted during the 2012/13 academic year.

The Sustainable Office Program at CSUN is designed to engage students, staff and faculty in implementing sustainable practices in their workspaces. The program provides a method to gauge how sustainable a particular office is and focuses on actions that individuals can practice rather than infrastructure changes, like building retrofits, over which individuals occupying offices have no control. By making a few simple changes, you can reduce your office’s environmental footprint, help the university save money, and meet campus sustainability goals.


Why Should I Participate?

Faculty and staff are highly encouraged to participate because this program serves as an important educational tool and the actions taken by each individual office will create large-scale changes overall. This is especially true in an area like office purchases, where general supplies and IT equipment add up to large amounts at the university-scale. Over time, our departments can become more sustainable and serve as an example for other institutions.

Your participation in the program also provides valuable service-learning opportunities for students who will be conducting the program.

Department staff are encouraged to participate on behalf of their department offices.  Assessments of the office as a whole will be made so we encourage you to identify at least two people in the office who are willing.

Individual faculty are also encouraged to participate.  The individual office assessment is shorter than that of department offices.

Get free stuff! Just for participating in the program, faculty and each staff member in a department will receive a reusable mug, water bottle, or canvas bag.


How It Works

The program consists of:

  1. An educational program that will provide information to CSUN employees about best practices in sustainability
  2. A visit to department and faculty offices by trained students, who will talk to designated staff about the program and about the kinds of sustainable practices that are encouraged in the workplace.
  3. An assessment of existing practices in the office by the students using the SOP Checklist. This will include conversations between the students and the staff to understand how and why current practices exist.
  4. The preparation, by students, of a report on current practices, campus resources, and any recommendations for changes.


Checklist Categories

1. Waste Minimization and Purchasing

2. Energy Use and Carbon Emissions

3. Water Conservation

4. Environmental Quality

5. Fostering Sustainable Behavior


Within each category, you will be asked questions regarding your office practices. We recommend that the department provide one contact person to serve as the program representative. Through your participation you will learn how to make your office more sustainable, and provide us feedback that will enable Facilities personnel to make your office and the campus more sustainable.

There are two SOP checklists. One is designed for use by department offices. The other is for individual faculty offices. You can preview the checklists via these links:

Department Checklist

Faculty Checklist

If you would like a student sustainability ambassador to perform an assessment of your office, please email

For help in finding campus resources that will improve your office sustainability score please visit our Resources page