Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.57
Liaison Brandon Trelstad
Submission Date Dec. 20, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Oregon State University
EN-7: Employee Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Fionn O'Longaigh
Energy Project Student Technician
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of employees (staff + faculty, headcount):
6,639

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program (avoid double-counting):
6,639

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

Name of the employee educators program:
OSU Sustainability Advocates

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
6,639

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

Through OSU's Sustainability Advocate program, faculty and staff pledge to act as sustainability contacts within their campus unit by sharing information and training opportunities, networking with fellow Advocates, and promoting sustainability-related events within their unit.

Examples of outreach activities include:
- Sharing preformulated messaging from organizations like the Sustainability Office and Campus Recycling
- Recruiting participants for professional development opportunities like WOHESC and AASHE conferences, and participating themselves.
- Hanging posters for events and programs like RecycleMania
- Forming teams of bicycle riders for Zap commute competitions
- Sharing PowerPoint slides at a staff meeting on a current sustainability campaign or event
- Recruiting Master Recyclers, Green Office Certification participants, etc. from their unit and others.


A brief description of how the employee educators are selected:

Sustainability Advocates either volunteer and are approved by a supervisor or are appointed by their department head. In some departments, less formal selection methods are appropriate. Employees with a personal passion, not necessarily a professional responsibility, for sustainability are encouraged (although having both characteristics is ideal).

The Sustainability Office strategically recruits Advocates to represent and communicate with as much of the campus employee population as possible. While many advocates represent just their department or college, others represent multiple units. They communicate via their networks, and look for ways to engage other networks, to ensure all corners of the institution at least have some opportunity for communication and contact.

Additionally, while the activity level of individual Advocates varies (as with any voluntary program), every department has the opportunity to designate an Advocate and we are constantly, actively recruiting to replace Advocates when they retire, move away or otherwise stop participating.


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

Once selected, Advocates sign a registration form committing them to be the conduit between the OSU Sustainability Office and their department. Advocates are briefed on the roles and responsibilities involved with being an Advocate and commit to attending at least one session per year where professional development is included. Professional development covers basics of sustainability organization, how to communicate and use networks at OSU, and resources offered (on campus and in the community) including:
- how to share awards, scholarship and other financial opportunities with OSU students
- what sustainability best practices are occurring in other OSU departments and at other schools
- what policies and programs affect sustainability in their department's work or purview
- what is going on in the community around sustainability, and how to get non-Advocates engaged in off-campus activities
- certain sustainability competence or skill-building training
- how to reduce our carbon footprint, both at work and at home.

Sustainability Advocates typically have a guest speaker at each of their quarterly meetings who goes in depth about some skill, information, or topic of interest and relevance to the group.


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):

OSU provides all costs associated with Advocate meetings and activities. It funds training materials and zero waste lunch costs for Advocates at the quarterly meetings, and provides incentives for Advocates to participate in specific programs. It also funds staff time and facility costs for any meetings.


Name of the employee educators program (2nd program):
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Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount) (2nd program):
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A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (2nd program):
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A brief description of how the employee educators are selected (2nd program):
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A brief description of the formal training that the employee educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (2nd program):
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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):
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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:

OSU periodically uses Northwest Earth Institute course materials and modules for employee training and education about sustainability, and encourages self-formed discussion groups based on NWEI's platform. There is not a specific, institutionalized method for this training at this time so it is considered informal.


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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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.