The Sustainability Advocate Program engages the broader NYU community in the effort to create a more sustainable campus. The program harnesses the effort, energy, and enthusiasm of employees to "green" their own departments and work spaces, while educating others and increasing awareness throughout the university.
Advocates are staff volunteers who will spend a few hours per month of paid work time, encouraging colleagues to make environmentally preferable choices and leading departmental efforts to conserve energy, purchase green office products, and improve recycling.
Every month, Sustainability Advocates receive information about a particular environmental concern (water, transportation, waste, etc.), as well as a targeted project for implementation in their work area. Additionally, every month the Advocates will send feedback to the Program, enabling sustainability staff to gather key information about recycling rates, energy consumption, or employee attitudes toward sustainability.
Read on to find out more about the Sustainability Advocate Program.
Advocate responsibilities will include Action, Reporting, and Education components.
Action: Identifying ways to green their departments and to implement university-wide policies that apply to office operations. In order to focus and maximize the impact of these activities, each month the Program will spotlight one particular area, such as lighting, computers, office supplies, or water fixtures. In each case, Advocates will help determine how their department could improve efficiency or minimize environmental impacts in that area, and then work to implement changes.
Reporting: Reporting environmental issues directly to the appropriate areas of the university administration. Examples include excessive heating or cooling of office spaces, dripping faucets, or missing recycling bins. Advocates will be trained to use appropriate work order forms and to know who to contact under what circumstances. Once per semester, Advocates will report on their involvement, chronicling issues and challenges, and evaluating their department's overall improvement in environmental footprint.
Education: Serving as a resource for their colleagues, posting signage designating themselves as knowledgeable contacts. As the go-to person in their department for information on workplace sustainability, Advocates will be conduits through which education and awareness-raising efforts reach the broader university community.