Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 63.30
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date March 19, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Virginia Tech
PAE-13: Staff Professional Development in Sustainability

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Hal Irvin
Associate Vice President
Human Resources
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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 :

All members of the university community, including staff, are provided annual opportunities to participate in a variety of sustainability related workshops and seminars that are part of the annual Virginia Tech Earth Week. These programs are widely publicized through the university’s daily email announcements and flyers to employees and students. Examples of previous workshop topics include: container gardening and composting, sustainable products, effective communications for environmental advocates, sustainable forestry, “leave no trace” (for backpackers and campers), and permaculture. In addition to Earth Week, the annual Sustainability Week activities, which are hosted throughout the Blacksburg community, are widely publicized to staff, faculty, and students. To view the workshops, seminars and events that have taken place during Earth Week and Sustainability Week please see: http://www.facilities.vt.edu/sustainability/events.asp

Additional staff development opportunities enhance the overall educational effort by targeting programs toward groups of employees based on their roles within their departments.

1. The university supports several internal employee “professional development networks”, which are available to all employees who perform specific roles, such as facilities managers or laboratory specialists, within their colleges or departments. Virginia Tech’s Office of Energy and Sustainability (OES) reaches out to these employee networks to offer programs on energy and sustainability. Presentation topics have included the campus energy and sustainability plan and initiatives, energy conservation, and recycling.

2. Virginia Tech Benefits and Hokie Wellness Fair: The mission of the Virginia Tech Benefits and Hokie Wellness Fair is to provide Virginia Tech employees with information about their financial, physical, environmental, and ergonomic health. The Hokie Wellness Fair has become an annual event. There is representation at the fair from the Office of Energy and Sustainability, Environmental Health and Safety, the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, as well as many other sustainability-related programs. In addition, faculty, staff, retirees, and adult benefited employees have the opportunity to have several health screenings, including blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, postural analysis, and bone density. There are also presentations on health topics, sustainability, ergonomics, financial planning, depression, and sleep wellness. All employees are welcome to attend and participate annually. For more about the Hokie Wellness Fair, please see: http://www.hokiewellness.hr.vt.edu/

3. The university operates a nationally recognized award-winning dining program. Virginia Tech Dining Services introduced a composting program in 2009 as part of a broader set of initiatives focused on sustainable alternatives. Sustainability training is provided to managers and employees.

4. All university employees have access to several self-paced interactive tutorials on “Green IT” through ElementK. ElementK offers the Virginia Tech community interactive tutorials which cover office productivity, web development, and other software in depth. The “Green IT” tutorial focuses on defining “Green IT” terminology, identifying “green alternatives” that help minimize the negative impact of information technologies, and understanding best practices to facilitate the implementation of “Green IT” principles.

The website URL where information about staff training opportunities in sustainability are available:

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