Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.34
Liaison Elida Erickson
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, Santa Cruz
EN-7: Employee Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.72 / 3.00 Shauna Casey
Sustainability Programs Manager
Campus Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

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

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

Name of the employee educators program:
Green Office Certification Program

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

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

The Green Office Certification Program works to empower campus offices to implement sustainable practices in their everyday operations. We perform water audits and energy and waste assessments in campus offices and work with participating staff to identify actions they can take to decrease waste, conserve resources and improve their overall environmental performance (while saving money!). There are four levels of certification, and offices have the opportunity to improve their rating by improving their performance and re-applying.

A brief description of how the employee educators are selected:

Staff interested in having their offices certified and participating in sustainability trainings volunteer themselves. They are required to have a Green Team of 2-3 individuals who are the sustainability champions for their office and liaisons between their office and the Green Office Certification (GOC) program staff during the assessment and training process.

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

Step 1: Create a Green Team
The main role of the Green Team is to be the champions for their office and to be liaisons between the office and the GOC staff. The GOC Green Team is a key component in the green office certification process. Here are their roles:
Two members is the minimum but we encourage four
Green Team members will need to assist GOC staff in scheduling meetings and communicating with Building Managers/Office Manager/Department Head regarding waste assessments, building information, etc.
Students are allowed to be a part of the Green Team but limit to one per office and the impetus to participate in the green office certification program must be driven by staff.

Step 2: Conduct Office Assessments
The Office Assessment Involves Three Components:
Sustainability Office Assessment (1) observational and (2) verbal components
(3) Waste Assessment

Step 3: Assessment Results Presentation

With guidance from the Green Team, coordinate an office meeting during which a representative from the GOC will report the office’s assessment results. Then a GOC member/s will facilitate a brainstorming session during which the members of your office (with the help of the representative) will put together your Office Sustainability Commitment and Plan based on the results of your Office Assessment. Action items and goals will be set forth with tentative completion dates. The office will get its green office certificate as well as any items that can help the office operate more sustainably.

Step 4: Implement your Office Sustainability Commitment and Plan

Begin taking the steps your office brainstormed during the final meeting. A representative from GOC will compile all of the action items produced from the workshop and send you a link to the formal online version of your office's Office Sustainability Commitment and Plan. Both your office and the GOC team will have access to this document. Treat it like a checklist, and indicate which action items that your office completes. Of course, representatives from GOC will always be available at any time to answer questions or help address issues regarding the implementation.

Step 5: Continue to work hard in incorporating sustainability in your everyday practices!

We will continue to work with your office to incorporate sustainable practices in your daily practices. We re-certify offices after a three month check-in so continue working hard! We also offer trainings on specific topics that you'd like to learn more about in order to implement your commitment plan, upon request.

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):

Sustainability Office Programs Manager oversees a team of students to conduct trainings and assessments. The Sustainability Office provides programatic budget and the Carbon Fund has provided funds to support aspects of the program as well.

Name of the employee educators program (2nd program):
Green Labs Program

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

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

The Green Labs program seeks to improve energy efficiency and increase green purchasing and waste reduction practices through behavior change, physical improvements, and education.

UCSC Green Labs program has 3 goals:
ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Lab buildings make up 47.4% of total electricity on campus
WASTE REDUCTION: Lab Operations produce 12% of landfill-bound waste from campus
GREEN PROCUREMENT: Laboratories are the single largest purchaser from CruzBuy

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

The Green Labs program works to certify on campus research labs as part of the UC initiative to reduce energy, waste, and water usage in labs. Labs that express interest in certification are contacted through their prime investigator and lab sustainability representative to begin certification and assessment process.

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

The Green Labs Team educates and empowers the labs' principal investigator and Green Labs Liaison to lead their laboratory staff and students in implementing the sustainable practices they've learned through participation in the program. These new leaders will communicate the resource conservation actions required to operate a Green Lab to their whole team and reinforce the new sustainable processes as needed. It is also their responsibility to provide sustainable practices on-boarding training for all new employees and students.

Participating labs are placed through a three-phased process to complete our goal:
Phase 1: Self-Assessment
Labs must complete a lab self-assessment created by mygreenlabs, an off campus nonprofit organization. The self-assessment is an online survey that asks labs to reflect and review their current sustainable lab practices and environment. By completing the self-assessment, it will allow the Green Labs team to gain more insight on the lab and understand trending sustainable obstacles our campus faces.

Phase 2: Walk-through Evaluation
Once a self-assessment is completed, the Green Labs team will schedule a 30-40 minute walk-through of the interested labs to confirm the data received in the self-assessment and to view the current lab sustainability situation in regards to behavior, equipment, and safety. These aspects of the lab correspond to a graded checklist which the Green Lab team will fill out to later determine the certification status of the lab. By performing the walk-through the Green Labs program is able to cater its resources to better support and improve the lab environment.

Phase 3: Follow Up Meeting
A separate meeting with the lab prime investigator/lab sustainability representative and the Green Labs team is scheduled to review the graded checklist and present the lab's certification status. From there the Green Labs will recommend resources and accommodations that they feel would better support the lab's sustainability practices and environment. Lab leaders are educated about all the sustainable components of running a green lab so they are prepared to disseminate their knowledge to all other lab researchers and students.

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 Green Labs Program is overseen by the Water and Climate Action Manager and overall supported through the UC Santa Cruz Sustainability Office. Addition assets for the program's resources are offered by the Carbon Fund Program which offers support for on campus sustainability projects.

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 Certificate Program: Campus employees examine sustainability through multiple lenses and develop knowledge and strategies for building a more inclusive and sustainable campus. To complete the certificate, participants must complete the six required core courses and one elective within two academic years. Participants learn knowledge and strategies for engaging coworkers in sustainable behaviors. Courses are taught by UCSC faculty and staff. To date, 174 employees have participated in the program.

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

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

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.