Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.84
Liaison Careen Arsenault
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Cornell University
EN-7: Employee Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.74 / 3.00 Sarah Zemanick
Director, Campus Sustainability Office
FS - Energy & Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of employees (staff + faculty, headcount):
12037

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program (avoid double-counting):
7000

Percentage of employees served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
58.15

Name of the employee educators program:
College and Unit Engagement Program

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
4500

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

Green Ambassadors in the College of Engineering, College of Human Ecology, Facilities and Campus Services, Human Resources, and the Vet School are faculty, staff, and students interested in sustainability, community well-being, and are responsible for 1) fostering peer-to-peer education, 2) creating unit-specific sustainability initiatives, and 3) promoting university-wide campaign programs within their units. Green Ambassadors are volunteers within their units that help educate and engage their peers around various activities such as Green Office and Green Lab certifications, Energy Smackdown, and RecycleMania.

The Green Office and Green Lab certification is available university wide and we have many green offices and labs across the university participating in the program.


A brief description of how the employee educators are selected:

Green Ambassadors are self-selected volunteers, and everyone is welcome to join at any time. The volunteers are asked to serve as leaders within their own office, lab and/or department to support and encourage participation in campus sustainability initiatives.


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

The Energy & Sustainability Department staff provides monthly meetings to discuss key and/or upcoming sustainability programs that need their participation. The meetings include education on specific engagement strategies including: community-based social marketing, public pledges and commitments, and garnering support from administration in different initiatives. Additional teamwork training led by the Cornell Team and Leadership Center helps incorporate personal sustainability and enhance effective collaborations across the Colleges.


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 Energy and Sustainability (E&S) Department hosts this program as part of the Sustainability Engagement campaign. In this role E&S creates marketing materials, websites, and other engagement tools for use by the Green Ambassadors.


Name of the employee educators program (2nd program):
Green Teams

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount) (2nd program):
2500

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (2nd program):

Departments are changing how they work to reduce energy and waste.

Employees throughout the campus are creating Green Teams that promote new practices, reduce waste, and lower energy use. Several departments share their experiences as they change the way we do business. Some of the activities include reducing paper usage, starting recycling, and have monthly meetings to continue to make changes in office operations. They have posted instructions for double-sided copying directly above copy machines to encourage using less paper.

By installing a new multifunction Xerox machines, which allow for “toner saver” printing, which makes lighter copies using less toner. These machines also act as printers and users can send high volume, multi-page documents directly to the copier for double sided printing. The machines also provide scanning and emailing features which reduces paper use. The machines are set for sleep mode to save energy when not in use. The department replaced several fax machines as a result of the upgrade, using the new copiers for network faxing. This not only saves energy by having less equipment, the department realizes additional savings with lower monthly phone charges for the reduced number of analog phone lines.

Another Green Team has reduced the use of Styrofoam and paper coffee cups for staff. Gloria Kao noted in a recent progress report that “we still order a small number of cups for guests,” but we all brought in our own mug. She added that, “we’ve cut the expense of the cups, but we also create less garbage every day. Previously staff members were using multiple cups per day, without even realizing it.”
The Department of Neurosurgery's Green Team started about six months ago, when four employees got together to change habits and increase awareness.


A brief description of how the employee educators are selected (2nd program):

This is a "grassroots" initiative - so many of the team members are self-selected. The Green Teams vary in size from 5 members in one department to college-wide initiatives that involve a dozen teams with 5-8 people in each team. In a few units, leadership in the unit has nominated people to the teams.

Teams currently are active in the following areas:
- Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station Sustainability Action Team
http://cuaes.cals.cornell.edu/sustainability
- Weill Cornell Medical College Sustainability Team
http://www.sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/initiatives/weill-cornell-medical-college-green-teams
- Statler Hotel Green Team - http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2014/02/statler-earns-award-greenest-hotel-new-york-state
- Cornell Outdoor Education Green Team
- Johnson School Green Team


A brief description of the formal training that the employee educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (2nd program):

The Campus Sustainability Office’s strategy for staff engagement has been to support the development of Green Teams (green ambassadors) in different units that express interest. Interested units can contact the Campus Sustainability Office and develop a customized program to support their goals.

In the Fall of 2014, a Green Offices and Green Labs program was launched to support the existing Green Teams to help encourage the formation of additional groups.


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):

The financial support varies from team to team, but includes supervisor support for time taken during the business day for Green Team/Ambassador activities, expenses associated with printing signs and educational posters, and the development of team websites.


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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Sustainability Life Recipes: Sustainability living tips crafted by the Campus Sustainability Office and sent through Human Resources channels and Cornell Wellness channels. 10,071 employees served (staff and faculty), 3 employee educators trained and supported by the Campus Sustainability Office.

Staff Sustainability Champions: Recognition program developed jointly by the Campus Sustainability Office and the Employee Assembly to acknowledge staff sustainability champions doing great work on campus regularly, as well as educate Cornell employees about how to integrate sustainability into your workplace. Champions are recognized bi-weekly via newsletters, HR posts, EA newsletters, etc. 8000 staff served, 2 employee educators trained and supported by the Campus Sustainability Office.

Here are the additional websites for the Green Lab and Office Program.
http://www.sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/initiatives/green-your-lab
http://www.sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/initiatives/green-your-office

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.