Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.33
Liaison Austin Eriksson
Submission Date Dec. 10, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California State University, Northridge
EN-7: Employee Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.31 / 3.00 Clayton Scott
AS Education and Outreach Coordinator
Associated Students
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Total number of employees (staff + faculty, headcount):
4,415

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program (avoid double-counting):
1,926

Percentage of employees served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
43.62

Name of the employee educators program:
Sustainable Office Program

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
1,926

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities:

The Sustainable Office Program (SOP) at CSUN is designed to educate and engage all CSUN employees in implementing sustainable practices in their workplace. The program provides a method to educate and evaluate how sustainable a particular office is and uses a point system to quantify these efforts. This peer-to-peer program is in partnership with the Los Angeles Green Business Program to help certify offices within the University and the City of Los Angeles. The program focuses on actions that individuals can practice rather than infrastructure changes, such as building retrofits, over which building occupants have little to no control over. By participating in the SOP, the department liaison educates and engages other employees to reduce the department's environmental footprint, save the university money, and meet campus sustainability goals. Most of the employees educated are staff, though the program also benefits faculty when applicable, such as in academic departments.

A staff member from the SOP visits all departments across campus including academic, operational, and auxiliaries. The staff consultant works with a designated sustainability liaison, also a staff member, in each office to learn about and complete requirements for participating in the program. During the assessment and training, recommendations are made to the department liaison and resources are provided to create an action plan to improve the department's sustainability practices. For example, staff are trained about the availability and importance of purchasing sustainable office products such as those with a high content of recycled materials. Each year following this assessment, the SOP consultants check in with the department liaison to assist with any questions they may have and to ensure progress is being made towards sustainability goals. Certificates are then awarded based on the department’s score after completing recommendations based on the training and feedback provided. The liaison serves as the point person for sustainability in each department and ensures all employees are educated about zero waste, purchasing, energy and water use, behavioral practices, etc.

The total number of employees served is based on the number of employees (faculty and staff) in each department that has participated in the program over the last three years (2015-2018).


A brief description of how the employee educators are selected:

Offices are contacted by the Sustainable Office Program team by phone and email. Once a department agrees to participate in the program, a department sustainability liaison is formally designated and trained. It is their responsibility going forward to disseminate the training and resources that SOP provides to employees in their department.


A brief description of the formal training that the employee educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach:

The liaison meets with a program consultant who provides educational materials on sustainable office practices. This includes a resource guide that provides an overview of the sustainability initiatives and resources on campus and what steps can be taken by the office to improve sustainable practices on an individual and department level. Liaisons also meet with the consultant after the office assessment to review the results and recommendations on how the department can improve their sustainable practices in the future. The liaison then educates employees in their department about these recommendations and steps they can take to be more sustainable with support from the SOP team when needed.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or paid faculty/staff coordination):

The Sustainable Office Program is funded by Associated Students and is operated by the Sustainability and Recycling (ASSR) department. The program is overseen by the Education and Outreach Coordinator (full-time employee), and the team is comprised of five student employees. Each student works 13 hours a week at a rate of $13.25/hour. Students are employed year-round, including breaks. This program is also supported and promoted by the University through Orientations, outreach, events, etc. The sustainability liaison positions are voluntary and do not receive additional compensation for this role.


Name of the employee educators program (2nd program):
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Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount) (2nd program):
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A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (2nd program):
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A brief description of how the employee educators are selected (2nd program):
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A brief description of the formal training that the employee educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (2nd program):
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A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or paid faculty/staff coordination) (2nd program):
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A brief description of all other employee peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs, including the number of employees served and how employee educators are selected, trained, and supported by the institution:
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Total number of hours employee educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.