Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.69
Liaison Careen Arsenault
Submission Date March 8, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Cornell University
PAE-13: Staff Professional Development in Sustainability

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lynette Chappell-Williams
Associate VP
Workforce Diversity & Inclusion
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution make training and professional development opportunities in sustainability available to all staff?:

A brief description of the sustainability trainings and professional development opportunities available to staff :

Sustainability has become increasingly important to Cornell. Starting in 2001, when Cornell needed to look for a new venue to host five of its multiple-day leadership development programs for senior leaders and managers and for front-line staff, the RFP Organizational Development for Faculty & Staff (ODFS) sent to various vendors included that sustainability be a requirement. One vendor responded and has partnered with ODFS since that time to offer programs in a space that practices sustainability. On average, for a 5-day program with about 27 attendees per program, because we use washable dishes and compost or recycle the vast majority of food and materials, there is only about one small grocery bag full of garbage and that usually contains about three non-compostable coffee cups participants bring with them on Day 1 of the program. At the start of every multi-day program the owner of the facility we use introduces that for the week we will be sustainable. He asks the group to guess how much garbage they think the group will produce in one week. The group typically guesses 5-6 large garbage bags. We then talk about the importance of sustainability in our homes, at work, and in life in general from electricity to waste and what we can do to make a difference. Also, throughout the programs we talk about personal and human sustainability. At the end of the week the owner of the facility helps us end the program by showing the group the small bag of garbage, again, mostly their coffee cups from Day 1. We share that if all of us make a concerted effort to be sustainable and to practice sustainability in our homes and lives, we will have an impact. We also encourage vendors on campus who host one-day events to offer sustainable products. While it took some convincing in some instances, most vendors now offer sustainability options.

In addition to the way in which we help employees live sustainability, beginning in fall 2011 we now offer a 3-hour Management Academy course on Sustainability and show participants why sustainability is important and why it should matter to them. We ask the supervisors who are enrolled in the course to take what they have learned back to their units and institute sustainable practices. We know that each person who acts in a sustainable way has a positive impact on the environment. While our goal is to convert everyone over time, we know adopting sustainable practices starts one person at a time. Examples of past management academy programs is available here http://hr.cornell.edu/life/career/management_academy.html

The website URL where information about staff training opportunities in sustainability are available:

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