In the present study, the green chemistry approach for the biosynthesis of Ag, Au and Ag-Au bimetallic nanoparticles (NPs) was applied using lichen extract [Cetraria islandica (L) Ach.]. The lichen extract acts both as a reducing and stabilizing agent. The monometallic and bimetallic NPs were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The results showed that NPs were successfully synthesized and the prepared structures were generally spherical. The synthesized nanostructures exhibited excellent catalytic activities towards reduction of nitro-phenols (4-nitrophenol; 4-NP) to aminophenols (4-aminophenol; 4-AP) with sodium borohydride (NaBH4). It was determined that bimetallic NPs exhibit more effective catalytic activity than monometallic Ag and Au nanostructures. This is the first report on 4-NP reduction with Ag, Au and Au-Ag NP catalysts prepared by lichen extract.