Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.20
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

George Washington University
IN-39: Sustainability Office Diversity Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Meghan Chapple
Director & Senior Advisor
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the sustainability office have initiatives specifically designed to recruit sustainability employees from underrepresented groups?:

A brief description of the initiatives specifically designed to recruit sustainability employees from underrepresented groups:

The Office of Sustainability is committed to creating a more inclusive sustainability community at GW, starting with our own team. The Office of Sustainability collaborates with Human Resources to post open positions. As part of that process, the Office of Sustainability posts positions on websites and with networks that are more inclusive and/or directly address diversity and sustainability such as the Environmental Leadership Program and the local District of Columbia Green Fellows Program Green Careers DC Group.

Additionally, with feedback from experts at the GW Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office incorporates more inclusive language into job openings for student staff and takes a more active approach to identifying students who are good candidates but may not have seen the application. Language like "relevant experience is not limited to research experience in the sustainability field but can also include job experience or classroom experience in environmental science, business, or social science" helps to encourage students with a diverse set of skills and applicable experiences to apply for internships.

After implementing such changes, the Office of Sustainability's application pool grew more diverse, and the number of underrepresented groups now represented on our team has grown by 30%.


Does the sustainability office ensure that sustainability employees complete DEI training?:

A brief description of the DEI trainings for sustainability employees:

In partnership with Facilities, Planning, and Construction Management, the Office of Sustainability joins training created in collaboration with GW Diversity and Inclusion and GW Human Resources to provide training that falls into the categories of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. The Office of Sustainability requires its team to particpate in the training.

Does the sustainability office regularly collaborate on events, projects, or initiatives with the institution’s DEI office/program and/or organizations that support underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of events, projects, or initiatives during the previous year developed in collaboration with the DEI office/program and/or organizations that support underrepresented groups on campus:

In collaboration with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to develop content around sustainability and diversity/inclusion. The partnership resulted in a session integrated into the annual symposium called “The Righteous Miss: Diversity Inclusivity in the Environmental Movement On and Off Campus,” held at the annual Diversity Summit at GW in 2019. The session featured three expert speakers moderated by director of the Office of Sustainability Meghan Chapple. The panel’s goal was to ask the audience and panelists to reflect on the role of diversity in sustainability, to unlearn traditional ideas of who and what spaces are advocated for by the environmental movement, and to look internally at the state of diversity and inclusion within the sustainability community at GW. Speaker topics included environmental justice in the District, presented by Everette Bradford (Program Analyst for the Urban Sustainability Administration in the Department of the Energy and the Environment), as well as the state of diversity in the urban planning program at GW, presented by a current graduate student at GW (Hollis Maye-Key). This event marked the first time this conversation was held in this forum and represented an important new collaboration between the Office of Sustainability and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. This conversation will be continued into the future through ongoing dialogues through the Faculty Sustainability Committee meetings and the annual Diversity Summit.

Does the sustainability office or committee include at least one individual with formal DEI and/or environmental or social justice responsibilities?:

Documentation of the formal DEI and/or environmental or social justice responsibilities:

Several positions in the Office of Sustainability have direct responsibility for equity, inclusion, environmental justice, and social justice. As part of their formal job duties, the Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator is repsonsbile for mentoring students in and managing our social and environmental justice program called the Eco-Equity Challenge. Through this Sustainable GW partnership, the GW Office of Sustainabilty, the Nashman Center for Civic Engagement, and the Provost's Office designed and staff a co-curricular and curricular program specifically for students that addresses environmental justice in the Washington, D.C. community. The teaching and mentoring team on staff are responsible for coordinating closely to ensure that students have the support to create projects that are community-based, founded on an community asset-based approach, address equity issues in a sustainable way, and provide an experience that is inclusive of diverse perspectives and participants.

Additionally, the Sustainability Project Facilitator position in the Office of Sustainability manages the implementation and monitors progress of projects that improve the university’s impact on ecosystems in an urban setting, with the intent to enhance social equity and environmental justice. This position descriptions requires the person in the role to have a solid understanding of sustainable development, social and environmental responsibility, stakeholder engagement, and local community development, all of which are essential skills for the equity, inclusion, environmental justice, and social justice components of the job. For example, the person in this role facilitates the university's climate resilience planning process with a keen focus on energy and food equity on campus and in the Washington, D.C. community.

Website URL where information about the initiatives to advance DEI within the sustainability program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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