Staff Sustainability Training

Sustainability is in 100% of staff job descriptions at Cornell. Employees are critical in identifying resourceful ways to create a sustainable campus culture in our buildings, offices, classrooms and laboratories.

Training Opportunities

In addition to these core training, explore resources in the Think Big, Live Green campaign, Green Space Certification tools, and Cornell's Sustainability Framework which offers free open-source tools for sustainability project and business-level decision making.

Sustainability Staff Training 101
Sustainability Staff Training 201

Cornell offers two main trainings as part of the larger suite of Management Academy offerings on campus. 

Sustainability & Climate Change 101

Register or find dates for the next session

Sessions offered Fall & Spring
Instructors: Faculty and Campus Sustainability Office

This session provides an introduction to climate change (including
the cause, evidence, and impacts locally & worldwide) and sustainable behavior change.

Participants will learn how Cornell is responding to this grand challenge, and managers will explore tools and strategies
for enacting sustainable practices within your unit & everyday work.

This session can be taken alone for users seeking basic sustainability knowledge, or paired with Sustainability 201 for complete training.

101 is appropriate for staff who are pursuing a Management Academy certification, looking to start the process of learning about sustainability and climate leadership at Cornell, or any staff who would
like a refresher on Cornell's current programs and goals.


Sustainability & Climate Change 201

Register or find dates for the next session

Sessions offered Fall & Spring
Instructors: Faculty and Campus Sustainability Office

How is Cornell University changing business, purchasing, management, and planning systems to ensure long-term sustainability and carbon neutrality, and what is your role in stewarding this transformation? 

This session provides a deeper level of insight into climate change, the driving force behind sustainability, Cornell's carbon footprint and sustainability rankings, helping supervisors understand how to use these tools to pinpoint areas within their office or unit for systems sustainability integration and improvement. Users will be introduced to the Quadruple Bottom Line Sustainability Framework and tools for measuring and planning for deep sustainability transformation.

201 is appropriate for staff who have taken Sustainability 101 or have worked on sustainability issues in a professional context for at least 3 years.

Sustainability in Job Performance Skills


100% of employees have sustainability as part of their job description. 

In 2013 the Division of Human Resources revised Skills for Success, the university guide for employee expectations across all positions,  to include sustainability.  

Skills for Success now include sustainability principles in several skills. Here's how sustainability is a part of each employee's job performance evaluation:

  • Under the skill of act and take initiative, skills for success states employees should "adopt a culture of sustainability and efficiency," and "take responsible risks to innovation seeking to innovate seeking advancements in products, processes, services, technologies or ideas." Cornell's engagement campaign Think Big, Live Green can help you get started.

  • Social sustainability is represented in the skill of inclusion, which states employees should "contribute positively to an inclusive environment" and to "actively support work-life integration" which is critical to a sustainable balance between personal and work obligations.

  • To display sound judgment in problem solving, employees should "assess environmental, economic, compliance and social impacts in decision-making." The Sustainability Framework tools and trainings can help you advance this skill.

  • Finally, employees must support the organization's shared vision and mission, and "show commitment to unit and university goals in delivering results" including Cornell's goal of carbon neutrality and sustainability plan goals.

Cornell’s Climate Action Plan also considers employees as central to increasing engagement, creating a culture of sustainability, and a target audience for climate literacy.