Green Buckeye Certification

Facilities Operations and Development (FOD) continues to promote and encourage sustainability practices in campus laboratory and office spaces. Tony Gillund, FOD sustainability office project manager, says the Green Buckeye Certification program (GBC) has evolved during the years. The program, created in 2011, initially recognized offices that incorporated sustainable practices into their university spaces, processes, and community. 

In 2015, the program expanded to include laboratory spaces, and Gillund was involved in the effort.

“I take pride in watching the program develop and in educating more participants who are interested in learning how to reduce their environmental footprint,” Gillund said.

To become certified, customers must answer a series of questions about communication and education, energy efficiency and conservation, recycling and waste reduction, water conservation, purchasing, health and wellness. Reponses are evaluated based on the scope and timing of implementing the various sustainability initiatives. To date, almost 70 offices and 58 labs have been certified. 

“By becoming Green Buckeye Certified, you demonstrate leadership and commitment to Ohio State’s sustainability goals,” Gillund said.

Scot Erbe knows the process firsthand. The new College of Public Health (CPH) facilities service manager helped his area become certified in 2012 when he was the Grants Coordinator for CPH. The College of Public Health was the first college and entire building to complete the office certification. 

Erbe was also a Green Buckeye Laboratories committee member and was vital to developing the laboratory portion of the GBC program, which ultimately resulted in the certification of all labs within CPH.  

“By implementing sustainable best practices in the office and laboratory operations, it allows all building occupants to participate,” Erbe said. “You don’t necessarily have to define yourself as being ‘green’ to still have a positive impact by doing the right thing.” 

Gillund urges all departments to get involved, because this is a simple way for the campus community to make positive gains on its footprint by following these best practices.

“I think it’s a really good program for engaging people and giving them some direction on how they can make a contribution to our sustainability goals,” Gillund said.

Gillund recommends a few simple ways to incorporate sustainable practices in labs:

  • Put down the sash on a fume hood after each use.
  • Regularly clean and maintain your freezer for optimal performance and longevity .
  • Recycle or reuse chemicals through the Environmental Health and Safety Chemical Redistribution Program.
  • Consider purchasing from Ohio State Surplus before buying new.

In the office:

  • Utilize energy-efficient equipment (e.g., printers, fridge, washing machine, etc.).
  • Follow the guidelines on recycling.
  • Do not use a space heater.
  • Dispose of unwanted furniture and equipment through Ohio State Surplus.

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