Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.78
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date Feb. 18, 2021

STARS v2.2

Virginia Tech
EN-7: Employee Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.68 / 3.00 Nathan King
Sustainability Manager
Facilities
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of employees:
8,575

Total number of employees served by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program:
1,020

Percentage of employees served by a peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program:
11.90

Name of the employee educators program (1st program):
Green Office Certification

A brief description of the employee educators program (1st program):

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, purchasing, waste, 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 receive training materials via email from the Virginia Tech Sustainability Coordinator. These materials include information on what a "green office certification" is, a training powerpoint on how to be a Green Office Representative, and the checksheet that they will use to complete their certification, which has built in tips and notes on how to earn more points. Once the Green Representative finishes going through all of the training materials, they then take the certification checksheet back to their offices and enlist fellow employees to assist in completing the tasks.

The Certification consists of seven main areas: Office, Energy, Transportation, Events and Meetings, Purchasing, Recycling and Waste Reduction, and a bonus Innovation category.

After each Green Representative and their accompanying office members complete the checklist, the Sustainability Coordinator will collect the form and award the office with their certificate.

Participating in the Green Office Certification program and becoming a green representative puts employees on an email list where they will receive periodic emails giving them helpful tips to make their spaces green, updates on sustainability at Virginia Tech, and remind them to renew their certification or pursue a higher level of certification when up for review year to year.

Since 2014, 24 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. In the summer of 2020 the program was revised and updated again to make greater use of technology and to better accommodate the new way of doing things as COVID has changed what our work spaces look like.

An article was released in the VT News in September 2020 announcing the relaunch of the Green Office Certification program for the Fall: https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2020/09/sustainability-greenoffice.html

Additionally, an article was released that showcases 10 reasons why you should consider pursuing Green Office Certification: https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2020/10/sustainability-greenoffice10.html

In the Fall of 2020, two offices completed their certification at the Silver level. As of November 2020, there are currently 32 Green Representatives seeking certification for their offices. These representatives are from all over the university, including the Women's Center, Dining Services, Environmental Health and Safety, Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and many other departments.

This program was integrated into a partnership with a Leadership and Entrepreneurship class in the Pamplin College of Business in Fall of 2020. The Office of Sustainability worked with students in the class to develop marketing pitches, recruitment materials, and training materials to use for the Green Office Certification program. They were able to recruit potential Green Representatives from multiple departments around campus and even created training videos which have been featured on our website. The partnership between the Office of Sustainability and this class will be continued into Spring 2021 based off the success of this Fall semester.

In January 2021, an office received the first Gold level certification. More information on their work can be found in this article: https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2021/01/tbmh-graduate-program-office-earns-gold-certification-for-sustai.html?utm_source=cmpgn_news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=vtUnirelNewsDailyCMP_012021-fs


A brief description of the employee educators program’s target audience (1st program):

The audience of this program includes all faculty/staff on Virginia Tech's campus. The program will utilize a growing network of Green Office Representatives who will be the sustainability champion in their respective department or office. These representatives will engage co-workers in scheduled meetings, post sustainability educational signs around the office, and email co-workers prepared outreach materials (for example: eco-friendly office supplies, zero waste guide, carbon footprint calculators, and VT recycling data). The Gold certification level asks participants to encourage a different office to participate in order to engage more faculty/staff through personal connections between offices that are already present.


Number of trained employee educators (1st program):
320

Number of weeks the employee educators program is active annually (1st program):
52

Average or expected number of hours worked weekly per trained employee educator (1st program):
2

Total number of hours worked annually by trained employee educators (1st program):
33,280

Website URL where information about the employee educators program is available (1st program) :
Name of the employee educators program (2nd program):
Fiscal Bunch for Lunch Group (FBLG)

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

The Fiscal Bunch for Lunch Group consists of administrative assistant professionals from all departments on campus. There are over 700 active staff members. The FBLG meets on a monthly basis for a meal at a dining hall on campus to discuss different aspects of campus, ranging from education, training, sustainability, budgetary changes, and many more. For the September 26, 2019 meeting, employees from the Office of Sustainability, the Department of Alternative Transportation, and Sustainable Dining all have a presentation to the group on sustainability in each of their respective areas on campus. This information was then able to be further disseminated by attendees of the meeting with fellow members of their offices.

The meeting covering the topic of sustainability happens once per year, so that has been reflected in the "number of weeks the employee educators program is active annually" section for the purpose of more accurate calculations.


A brief description of the employee educators program’s target audience (2nd program):

Staff members who hold roles of or akin to administrative assistants.


Number of trained employee educators (2nd program):
700

Number of weeks the employee educators program is active annually (2nd program):
1

Average or expected number of hours worked weekly per trained employee educator (2nd program):
2

Total number of hours worked annually by trained employee educators (2nd program):
1,400

Website URL where information about the employee educators program is available (2nd program):
A brief description of all other employee peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs:
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Number of trained employee educators (all other programs):
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Number of weeks, on average, the employee educators programs are active annually (all other programs):
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Average or expected number of hours worked weekly per trained employee educator (all other programs):
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Total number of hours worked annually by trained employee educators (all other programs):
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Grand total number of hours worked annually by trained employee educators (all programs):
34,680

Hours worked annually by trained employee sustainability educators per employee served by a peer-to-peer program:
4.04

Website URL where information about the employee sustainability educators programs 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.