Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.05
Liaison Careen Arsenault
Submission Date March 5, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Cornell University
EN-7: Employee Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 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):
12,374

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program (avoid double-counting):
12,374

Percentage of employees served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
100

Name of the employee educators program:
Green Teams & Staff Sustainability Leaders

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
7,000

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

Sustainability Leaders (aka Green Ambassadors) serve on established Green Teams in the College of Engineering, College of Human Ecology, Facilities and Campus Services, Human Resources, the College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell Tech, Johnson Museum of Art, Judicial Administrator, Big Red Barn, and Alumni Affairs and Development. Sustainability Leaders 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. Sustainability Leaders 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.

Additional units host sustainability presentations and workshops, sustainability-focused "neighborhood meetings," etc. Departments are changing how they work to reduce energy and waste.

Employees throughout the campus are initiating 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, enhancing recycling, and having monthly meetings to continue to make changes in office operations.


A brief description of how the employee educators are selected:

Sustainability Leaders are volunteers, and everyone is welcome to join at any time. Typically, "chairs" of Green Teams are selected by the unit, and may be Facilities Directors, Administrative Staff, etc. We typically recommend that units receive senior leader support, and ideally recruit representatives from their unit's Facilities, Communications, and Finance teams.


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

The Campus Sustainability Office (CSO) conducts initial exploratory meetings with colleges/units interested in starting Green Teams. We discuss how we can support Green Teams, probe for sustainability growth areas within specific units, offer suggestions, etc. Once a team is established, we encourage them to meet on a monthly basis, and the CSO attends meetings to continue coordinating efforts when possible.

Green Teams and Sustainability Leaders are invited to attend an annual Green Team Summit in the Fall, which provides professional development, training (e.g. Climate Change Literacy, quadruple bottom line decision-making, Community-Based Social Marketing) and networking opportunities.

The CSO hosts monthly meetings to discuss key and/or upcoming sustainability programs that need 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 Campus Sustainability Office coordinates this program as part of the Sustainability Engagement campaign. The CSO creates marketing materials, websites, and other engagement tools for use by Green Teams. We also offer access to useful items to enable sustainable behavior change (e.g. reusable coffee pods for Keurig machines).

The financial support varies from team to team, but includes supervisor support for time taken during the business day for Green Team/Sustainability Leader activities, expenses associated with implementing initiatives (e.g. events, signage, infrastructure changes), and the development of team websites.


Name of the employee educators program (2nd program):
Sustainable Cornell Council

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount) (2nd program):
12,374

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

The Sustainable Cornell Council (SCC, formed in 2019) is an interdisciplinary, cross-campus team responsible for directing and coordinating Cornell’s role in addressing climate change and sustainability, advancing meaningful progress in our operations, and advancing active engagement from the campus community. The Council includes three steering committees, a leadership team, and working groups. Steering Committees identify working priorities and lead short-term groups each year with broad membership from the campus to advance sustainability projects, initiatives, and campus research. The Campus Sustainability Office helps coordinate the SCC, and hosted several Orientations/Trainings/Coaching sessions for its members.

The SCC provides outreach and engagement opportunities to the entire campus community, including annual Sustainability Leadership Summits, university-wide educational outreach and communications, and opportunities for the campus community to propose and collaborate on initiatives. Members of the SCC lead conversations within their teams and units focused on enacting our Climate Action Plan, advancing sustainable change in their areas, etc -- and bring back ideas back to the SCC for consideration. The SCC has members from our university assemblies, and engages in assembly meetings as part of its outreach activities.

The SCC Education & Engagement team includes a Behavior Change Working Group that is leading peer-to-peer education initiatives for the university, including behaviors related to fume hood management, commuting and business travel, food waste, and more.


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

Members of the SCC are designated to lead Steering Committees and working groups. Steering Committee co-chairs were selected as senior leaders to facilitate meaningful progress. Some Steering Committee members were designated to represent key stakeholder groups (e.g. University Communications, Cornell Atkinson Center, University Assemblies, Student Organizations), while other Steering Committee members were selected based on interest and expertise. The Steering Committees charge working groups with faculty, staff, and students selected by areas of interest, oversight, etc.


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

The SCC Leadership Team participated in two 1/2 day Orientation sessions, which laid the logistical groundwork for the Leadership Team and Steering Committees. The team discussed best practices for campus-wide outreach, established priority areas with which the campus community could engage, and identified staff to plan our December Summit -- a key opportunity for education, engagement, networking, and sustainability planning -- which was also streamed online for additional reach and engagement.

The SCC EE Behavior Change working group is comprised of members from the EE team, as well as faculty and staff from across campus who are interested and knowledgeable in leading initiatives.


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 SCC is coordinated by the Campus Sustainability Office (CSO), and receives additional administrative support from staff assistants for the Leadership Team. Members of the CSO sit on the Leadership Team, and on each of the Steering Committees - they take notes, help set agendas, facilitate communication and coordination between Steering Committees, and oversee intake for project ideas.


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:

Sustainability Life Recipes: Sustainability living tips utilized as peer-to-peer outreach tools. These recipes may be crafted by the CSO, Green Teams, students, or any sustainability leader on campus -- and Green Teams are encouraged to share recipes within their colleges and units (in addition to the broad-scale distribution sent through central listservs). 10,071 employees served (staff and faculty).

Staff Sustainability Champions: To support peer-to-peer engagement and outreach efforts, this recognition program was 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.

Green Office and Green Lab programs also serve the entire campus community. Faculty and staff, in particular, are asked to utilize these tools to lead peer-to-peer education and action in their offices & departments. For additional information:
https://sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/programs-guides/green-office-lab-program/green-lab-program
https://sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/programs-guides/green-office-lab-program/green-office


Total number of hours employee educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually:
5,000

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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