Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.94
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date Dec. 19, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Virginia Tech
EN-7: Employee Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Karlee Siepierski
Campus Sustainability Planner
Office of Sustainability
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Total number of employees (staff + faculty, headcount):
7,996 #

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program (avoid double-counting):
7,996 #

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

Name of the employee educators program:
Green Office Certification

Number of employees served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
7,996 #

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

The Green Office Certification Program is designed to give university employees the tools they need to create a greener working space on campus. The program integrates many of VT's campus sustainability initiatives, including transportation, recycling, and energy. The goal of this program is to help employees reduce their footprint and affect the overall wellbeing of the planet. The program focuses on office spaces around campus, which is defined as a group of individuals who share a common space such as kitchens, cubicles, copy rooms, mail rooms, or break rooms. An office can be a whole department, or sub-group of a department. It is up to employees to self-identify as their office's 'Green Representative". Once an employee is interested in becoming a Green Representative, they will attend a half-day training focused on green office items, areas of focus, engaging fellow employees through events and outreach, and sustainable resources available across campus. There is one Green Representative training offered each semester, led by the Campus Sustainability Planner. Once the Green Representative training is complete, each rep will take the Certification form back to their office, and enlist fellow employees to assist in filling out the certification.

The Certification consists of seven main areas: Recycling & Events, Equipment Inventory, Energy, Purchasing, Waste Reduction, Transportation, and a bonus Innovation category. There is a total of 100 points possible.

After each Green Representative and their accompanying office members complete the certification form, the Campus Sustainability Planner then scores the form and holds a follow-up meeting with the office to award their certificate and talk about areas of strength and improvement. Each year, re-certification is required, however, once the Green Representative has gone through the half-day training, they do not need to complete it again.

Since 2014, 23 offices have been certified under the Green Office Certification program. In 2016, the GOC program was temporarily put on hold to undergo changes and updates; including redesign of the certification form, a new logo, and new training guidelines and procedures. The program officially re-launched on November 30th, 2017. The program is also expanding to include student and graduate student office spaces in campus buildings.


A brief description of how the employee educators are selected:

Green Representatives self-identify and enroll in training. The Office of Sustainability conducts outreach and marketing campaigns year-round to inform employees of the opportunity to become Green Representatives.


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

The Green Representatives attend a half-day training focused on green office items, areas of focus, engaging fellow employees through events and outreach, and sustainable resources available across campus. Main ideas include talking about sustainability, breaking down silos, easy tips to green an office space, and peer-to-peer education. There is one Green Representative training offered each semester, led by the Office of Sustainability's Campus Sustainability Planner.


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):

All financial support comes from the Office of Sustainability's operating budget. All administrative program support comes from the Office of Sustainability staff, including the Campus Sustainability Planner and the Sustainability Program Manager.


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:
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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:

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.