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Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Green Office

The office is the easiest place to begin making a positive impact to reduce energy consumption and reduce waste through less packaging, no disposables and paper reduction. Faculty and staff can be provided with regular, friendly reminders to take action in each of the categories noted below.

Motivation, Education and Action

Usually there are a few in each department that have already incorporated “green” behaviors on a daily basis, both at home and at work. These folks are ideal to be the “eco-rep” for your department. They can chair a group in charge of activities the whole office can get involved in:

The Office of Sustainability will provide monthly themes to educate and inform on topics such as energy, water, food, waste, recycling and more. These messages can be incorporated in friendly emails, informative lunch gatherings and postings.

Sign up to receive online resources and higher education sustainability news at the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

From your department’s home page, link to Loyola’s Office of Sustainability


Turn the lights off when not in use during the day and at night, including common areas such as storage areas, conference, kitchen and copy rooms.

If able to do so, use natural daylight and switch off overhead and desk lights.

Use desk lamps instead of ceiling lights.

Close window blinds at night during cold months.

Seasonal thermostat settings:

Set the computer power setting to turn the monitor off after 5 minutes of inactivity and put it to sleep after 10 minutes. This helps reduce energy usage by 95%.

Avoid the computer “screen saver”—use the “sleep mode”. “Sleep mode” uses less energy than the screen saver.

Use smart power strips as central turn-off points at each work station and switch them off each night, and before heading out for the weekend, vacations and holiday breaks.

During winter, spring and summer breaks, please prepare offices and other common areas that will have very little to no activity as follows:


Purchase materials, such as paper, made from 100% recycled content with 30% as the minimum.

Purchase and use refillable pens and pencils.

Need Furniture?

  1. Check in with Loyola’s Purchasing Department for any surplus or used items before buying new items.
  2. Check Loyola's Iggy's List for items available for trade or resale.
  3. New furniture last option? Consider purchasing sustainable furniture:
    • Made from recycled materials
    • Low emitting materials
    • Made locally or in the U.S.
    • Durable and fixable
    • Certified sustainable wood

Each person has their own pair of scissors, stapler and printer? Why? Identify supplies and equipment which can be shared.

Computers, printers, copiers: Loyola’s ITS has energy saving standards for equipment. Please go through the proper channels to purchase according to ITS guidelines.

Appliances: Choose the “Energy Star” certified models.

Use environmentally-friendly, phosphate free dish detergent and non-aerosol sprays.

Avoid purchasing paper towels and napkins (not recyclable). However if you must, please purchase with 100% recycled content plus unbleached and/or chlorine free.

Achieve ZERO Waste

The first “R” in “RRR” is Reduce. Start with that first “R” and REDUCE. After that, reuse and recycle as much as you can. Producing new products requires energy, water and is overall resource intensive. That’s why reduce, reuse and recycle is the easiest approach to cut back on unnecessary purchasing.

Bring in reusable plates, cups, glasses, utensils and cloth napkins for lunch and snacks. Staff can keep them at their work areas or if there is a departmental kitchen, store them in the kitchen.

Keep a travel mug handy for those coffee/tea runs.

Do not purchase bottled water. If you have a kitchen, departments can budget for a water cooler which filters water from the tap.

Join the Campus Compost Collective Program

A program in which staff, faculty and students living on-campus can place their respective food scraps in a compost collection bin.

Waste Reduction Strategies

Set up a central location for trash and recycling bins, and remove deskside bins.

Scan documents for electronic distribution and storage.


Set up a “reuse paper” station for staff to use as scratch paper and to print drafts or other documents not intended as final versions.

Set up a designated area for office supplies that can be shared and reused (pens, clips, folders, etc.) and promote.


Printed products or communication pieces can be beautiful and vivid using environmentally-friendly printing techniques. Select a printer that utilizes the following features for sustainable printing:


Recycling replaces virgin material production and greatly reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. At Loyola, we make it easy to recycle.

The Loyola recycling webpage LUC.edu/recycle has all the information you need to successfully recycle in your office.

Ensure electronics purchased with University funds are recycled according to Loyola’s ITS department.

For small personal electronics and batteries, drop off at the locations available to collect items for recycling at both lakeside campuses.

Recycle empty toner cartridges from network printers and copy machines.

Food, Coffee/Tea and Catered Events

Make yourself lunch, and bring it in reusable containers instead of plastic baggies.

Purchase fair-trade, locally roasted or shade grown coffee/teas for the department.

Use coffee/tea makers that do not require disposable filters or individual style packets.

Catering an event or meeting? Check out the Green Event Planning Guide and Checklist.

Have a southern exposure in your department or office windows? Set up a mini-herb planter garden and encourage colleagues to take a snip of herbs for home meals.

Hold monthly informal brown bag lunches with meals with a seasonal and local food focus.

Support the farmers and producers at the Loyola Farmers Market.


To and from the office, Loyola’s transportation options are a great way to cut your impact from driving, not to mention driving's impact of stress and tension on you.

Loyola's Transportation Statement reminds people that the lakeshore campuses are urban settings that provide a wealth of transit options including train, bus, bicycle, pedestrian, and car.

Use the Flexible Work Schedule Policy and telecommuting if all other options are not feasible.

Use VPN to gain remote access of your office computer while working from home.


Institute of Environmental Sustainability
Loyola University Chicago · 1032 W. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60660 · Phone: 773-508-2130 · IES@luc.edu

Notice of Non-discriminatory Policy