New employee excellence award honors sustainability service

Campus Sustainability Office August 8, 2022
Employees laughing together at awards ceremony
Designed to recognize the excellence of our staff in all roles, the President's Awards for Employee Excellence recognize employees who have made an outstanding contribution to Cornell University.  The Culture of Sustainability Award was added in 2022. | Photo: Cornell Photography

Honoring the importance of sustainability stewardship, culture, and contributions by employees, Cornell Human Resources has added a new "Culture of Sustainability" category to the campus employee excellence awards in 2022.

The President's Awards for Employee Excellence recognize employees who have made an outstanding contribution to Cornell University.  Established in 2011, the awards include categories to recognize the achievements of staff who excel in their roles, both in skills and performance.

The Culture of Sustainability Award invites nominations for outstanding employee service and contributions to the creation of a sustainable campus.

The new award will recognize one employee each year who has exemplified the sustainability values of Cornell, made notable contributions to the sustainable development and social equity of the Cornell campus, or displayed outstanding partnership for advancing sustainability among the Cornell community.

"The award will recognize one employee each year who has exemplified the sustainability values of Cornell, made notable contributions to the sustainable development and social equity of the Cornell campus, or displayed outstanding partnership for advancing sustainability among the Cornell community."

Staff and faculty already had the option to nominate colleagues for recognition throughout the year using the newly launched Sustainability Champions recognition platform, part of the HR Recognition Portal.

Two sustainability recognition programs for employees at Cornell make it easy to recognize the efforts of community members in creating a more sustainable campus.  The Staff Sustainability Champions program is a "kudos" program available throughout the year for any colleague to recognition sustainability actions, big and small, with one monthly winner receiving prizes from the Campus Sustainability Office. The new Culture of Sustainability Award is given to one individual a year for distinguished service, with a larger nomination form.

As a global leader in sustainability innovation and learning, Cornell embraces a sustainability framework built around four key areas: Purpose, Prosperity, Planet, and People. This framework acknowledges that sustainability isn’t just about the environment – sustainability integrates how our actions and culture help create a healthy planet, ensure the wellbeing and equity of people, support a thriving economy, and contribute to our purpose as an educational institution.

Nominations for this category may focus on a specific project or action, or the scope of work undertaken by an individual (group projects should also consider the ONE Cornell award).

Nominations can be self-initiated or submitted by a colleague.  The award nomination should focus on how employees have honored one or more Cornell "Skills for Success" through their sustainability contributions, including:

  • How has the employee worked to advance Cornell’s climate and sustainability goals, on campus or as part of a larger effort that benefits our community and region?

  • How has the nominee shared sustainability knowledge and solutions, and contributed to or created collaborations that strengthen trust and community building towards climate and sustainability goals of the university?

  • Has the employee made informed decisions that advance Cornell as a model of sustainable operations and experience?

  • Has the nominee displayed passion and innovation in sustainability thinking and practice, prioritized sustainability, and empowers others to do the same?

To learn more and to nominate, visit the Human Resources website.

Awardees receive recognition points through Cornell's Employee Recognition portal, and all nominees are invited to a ceremony with President Pollack, the Cornell Vice President of Human Resources, and senior leaders from across campus.