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Lauren Gersbach
IU Office of Sustainability

Last modified: Tuesday, November 3, 2009

IU Office of Sustainability sponsors Green Team Green Bag luncheon series

Nov. 3, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A growing group of "Green Teams" have been emerging in offices and departments all over the Indiana University Bloomington campus to address issues of sustainability. Now they are getting together to share ideas.

Over the past several months, the Office of Sustainability has been working with nine Green Teams, made up of faculty, staff, and students from:

  • Alumni Association
  • Athletics
  • Career Development Services
  • IU Foundation
  • Geological Sciences
  • Indiana Memorial Union
  • Kinsey Institute
  • Libraries
  • Office of the Registrar
sustainability image

Photo by Chris Meyer

Members of the Green Team at the Office of the Registrar talk about ideas for improving sustainability.

Print-Quality Photo

The Office of the Registrar has been analyzing its operations and trying to identify environmentally unsound practices for the past few years. The investigations revealed at least seven areas in which paper process could be made electronic, resulting in a net savings of 675,000 pages of paper each year.

"A couple years ago, we created a 'Green Team' in the Office of the Registrar to help identify business processes to minimize our carbon footprint and become environmentally aware and responsible citizens. Our worst offense was in the area of paper consumption," said Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Registrar Roland A. Coté.

As a result, the Office of the Registrar plans to eliminate hard copy printing of the Student Academic Information and Enrollment Bulletin by June 2010, avoiding the use of 9 million sheets of paper annually.

In meetings with individual Green Teams, leaders voiced a need for communication about best practices and resource sharing between teams. The Office of Sustainability is working with these leaders on several initiatives targeted at helping foster such collaboration. On Oct. 1, the IU Alumni Association hosted the first meeting of the Green Team "Green Bag" luncheon series.

"The green bag lunches will provide green teams across campus an opportunity to connect with one another for exchanging ideas on what's working and not within individual departments, and for brainstorming new sustainability efforts that will promote a campus-wide impact," said Rebecca Lowe, accounting assistant and founder of the Green Team at the Kinsey Institute. "This forum will help unite all of the go-green individuals into one campus team."

Participants of the first Green Team luncheon discussed current accomplishments, communication between Green Teams, resource needs, future goals, and recruitment of new Green Teams on campus. The next Green Team luncheon, hosted by the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, will be this Thursday, Nov. 5, from noon-1:30 p.m. at 513 N. Park Ave. All students, faculty and staff and community members are welcome.

Subsequent meetings will be held on the first Thursday of the month, noon-1:30 p.m., each hosted by a different campus Green Team. Meetings and other green team events will be posted on the Office of Sustainability Web site,

The Office of Sustainability is also hiring a Green Team coordinator as part of the 2009-2010 Academic Year Internship Program in Sustainability. In addition to facilitating the Green Team Green Bag, the intern will collaborate with teams to develop a Green Team Kit and Web site; develop an office, department, or school "green certification" program; and develop a green reward system for recognizing individuals or groups for outstanding green practices.

"If we are to address the pressing environmental, economic and social imperatives we face today, in an expeditious manner, it will take the entire Indiana University community's creative collaboration," said IU Director of Sustainability Bill Brown. "The spontaneous emergence of green teams in units all over campus is an inspiring example of that kind of action that is already making a big difference on the Bloomington campus.

"The IU Office of Sustainability hopes to facilitate this exciting phenomenon by linking those efforts so that others may learn from the best practices of these pioneers and create their own Green Teams in offices and departments all over campus as a collaborative network of positive change."

For more information about Green Teams or to join the listserv, email