Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.92
Liaison Christie-Joy Hartman
Submission Date Dec. 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

James Madison University
EN-7: Employee Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.64 / 3.00 Amanda Bodle
Sustainability Specialist
ISNW
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of employees (staff + faculty, headcount):
3,860

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program (avoid double-counting):
3,400

Percentage of employees served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
88.08

Name of the employee educators program:
Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World Awareness Committee

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
3,400

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

The ISNW Awareness Committee promotes an environmentally literate community whose members think critically and act, individually and collectively, as model stewards of the natural world. The committee raises stakeholders’ awareness of their environmental impacts and enables others to make informed choices about becoming more effective environmental stewards. In recent years, the ISNW Awareness Committee has focused on a university-wide "Greening Your Workspace - Acorn Level" program that would reach the entire campus as opposed to just the small percentage of people who enroll in more comprehensive training through JMU's Talent Development Office (see EN-9). The committee members were not only instrumental in creating the program; importantly, they served as role models and leaders in recruiting team and individual participation. Several committee members organized teams.

The ISNW Awareness Committee and ISNW Executive Council brainstormed, created, and piloted the "Greening Your Workspace" program. The ISNW Conservation Committee and FM Sustainability team piloted the program and suggested revisions.

In September 2017, JMU launched the program, "Greening Your Workspace," with a challenge. The following are the three steps employees needed to complete the non-credit training, "Greening Your Workspace- Acorn Level":
1) viewing the JMU Environmental Stewardship Highlights 2011-2015 video,
2) viewing "The Big Picture" introductory module to Greening Your Office training, and
3) completing a self-guided worksheet to document personal actions.
Most actions employees were asked to report about corresponded to the actions in Virginia DEQ's "Pollution prevention actions for energy use, water use, waste reduction and travel" document. The Big Picture included goals to strive for zero waste, select materials that are as environmentally benign as possible, and minimize our use of natural resources (i.e., use/consume less “stuff,” especially “new” things, and use less energy). Employees received stickers and email signature logos after voluntarily completing this.

This "Greening Your Workspace - Acorn Level" is much less time-intensive than the training program offered through Training and Development, "Greening Your Workspace - Oak Level," which includes all Greening Your Office training modules. Creating a simpler "acorn" level for initial participation, and then rebranding the other more in-depth training to make it appear as a second step, were the ideas of the ISNW Awareness Committee.

The committee members are not the only ones who educate their peers as part of the program. The Big Picture training module was narrated by employees for employees as opposed to being executed by Office of Environmental Stewardship or Facilities Management staff. The method of delivery is online in order to reach the greatest number of people, and it was purposely peer-to-peer v. paid staff sustainability staff-to-employee. The program was structured so that participants who completed it then advocate for environmental stewardship practices to others. For example, the checklist that participants completed, included tasks of communicating the environmental stewardship content to new employees and communicating to others.


A brief description of how the employee educators are selected:

The two faculty members who created the "Big Picture" module (and other modules), which is taken by the committee and the general employee participants, were selected because they were already sustainability experts. The ISNW Awareness Committee members were nominated by their division's leadership.


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

The two employees who created the training are academic experts in their area and did not receive further training. Committee members were educated through in-person, regular meetings with the OESS staff and the online training. First, OESS staff met with the committees to discuss the key aspects of Greening Your Workspace, a challenge, and communicating with others. Committee members were then asked to complete Greening Your Workspace - Oak Level training, which involves all six online modules (see EN-9). The OESS again met with the committees to discuss how committee members could personally reach out to others to participate and how they could lead teams and changes in workspace practices.


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):

Paid employees of the OESS coordinate the committee. A JMU associate vice president leads the effort, and her assistant supports.


Name of the employee educators program (2nd program):
Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World Conservation Committee

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount) (2nd program):
750

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

The ISNW Conservation Committee engages other employees in environmental stewardship to help preserve natural resources and achieve sustainable outcomes. The committee focuses on individual actions specified in university policies and the power of individual actions to collectively make a difference. Information, such reuse of materials, is pilot tested with the committee and refined based on the committee members' feedback. The committee members also identify individuals and groups to communicate to and the best mechanisms to use. The committee members communicate the final information to their peers primarily through conversations, meetings, emails, bulletin boards, and digital displays. The number of employees targeted was determined based on the committee members indicating how many people in their buildings they were likely to reach.


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

ISNW Conservation Committee members may be nominated by their division, apply in response to a call for members, request to join, or be asked to join. All building coordinators were invited to join the Conservation Committee when it was originally formed, and many of the current committee members are building coordinators.


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

The staff of the Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability plan and execute the Conservation Committee meetings in cooperation with JMU faculty and staff members from other units such as Recycling/Waste Management. Training is provided by the relevant areas at these meetings.


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):

Paid employees of the OESS co-coordinate the committee.


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:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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For Program 1: Over one hundred and fifty employees participated in level one as of September 2018. The number of employees recorded as targeted for this credit is slightly less than all employees assuming some employees may have missed the communications.
The "Greening the Workspace - Oak Level" is reported for JMU's EN-9: staff training, since it involves six modules and counts for training credit.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.