|Submission Date||Oct. 10, 2014|
University of Alberta
PAE-13: Staff Professional Development in Sustainability
Human Resources Services
Does the institution make training and professional development opportunities in sustainability available to all staff?:
A brief description of the sustainability trainings and professional development opportunities available to staff :
Over the past decade, the University of Alberta's Organizational Effectiveness and Health team, within Human Resource Services (HRS), has offered professional development workshops to all levels of staff in the Institution and during the UofA Orientation program.
Organizational Effectiveness and Health offers leadership development programs for senior administrative academics (Deans, Chairs, Directors, Administrative Professional Officers (APOs), and supervisors. Topics related to human rights, employment equity, and healthy workplaces are significant components of the Programs with the provision of at least a half-day of theory and opportunities for discussion.
In addition to the leadership programs, Organizational Effectiveness and Health offers a number of employment equity, human rights, and diversity-related information sessions and workshops. A sample of the many sessions include: duty to accommodate, employment equity and human rights in recruitment, working within diverse work teams, welcoming newcomers, and communication during conflict.
Workplace Health has offered sessions during the noon hour, called “Lunch and Learns”, which are open to all staff members. The program has evolved to a more holistic approach to health, wellness and personal development. For these programs, HRS has partnered with the Office of Sustainability to offer lunch hour session related to sustainability. Over the years, the series has included the following classes and workshops, some of which have been offered on multiple occasions:
- Don’t Clorox, Detox! A fun and informative class about green cleaning. Participants learn about the toxic chemicals found in everyday cleaners, how to improve one’s health in the home and expert professional cleaning techniques.
- From Farm to Fridge. This class explores the options available in the grocery store: paper, plastic/re-usable; local/organic; bulk/packaged? What is the best choice? It examines some common choices one has to make every day surrounding the food we eat.
- Flip a Switch to Save. The workshop explores “phantom or stand-by power”. It provides participants with information about the electricity consumption of common devices and appliances, and gives simple tips on how to be more energy efficient.
- Be Green and Clean. The class explores the simplicity of green cleaning solutions.
- Tips for a Green Holiday Season. The session looks at creative ways of reusing and repurposing items, as well as providing tips for purchasing “green” gifts for the holidays.
- Green Meetings and Events. The session looks at how to reduce our environmental footprint of events and meetings and how you can take steps, both large and small to reducing waste in our workplace.
In the past, sustainability has also been incorporated into Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month. The university has had a week devoted to physical and mental health and safe workplaces.
For the past three years, the OS has offered a sustainability leadership program called ecoREPs to faculty, staff, and graduate students. The ecoREPs program helps build sustainability leadership skills so participants can champion sustainability practices in their work and personal life. Participants in this program have an increased awareness, knowledge, and skill set leading to more sustainability‐related behaviours in the workplace.
Program participants access information about sustainability, participate in hands-on activities, and gain useful resources. The program is also an opportunity to connect with a network of individuals who are in interested in designing and achieving sustainable solutions. If an ecoREP chooses to, they can complete a sustainability project in their workplace.
The website URL where information about staff training opportunities in sustainability are available:
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.