Given Auburn’s commitment to sustainability as a core value and guiding principle for its operations, instruction, research, and outreach, it makes an excellent topic for Auburn faculty and staff to explore as a part of their professional development. To get you started, we’ve assembled some resources you may find useful as you begin to consider sustainability as an ethic, concept, and practice. Each of these tips directly relate to one or more of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. For information on the SDGs, check out our Sustainable Development Goals page. For more tips, check out our Sustainability Guides.
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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, SUSTAINABILITY, & YOU
Through various units on campus, Auburn holds memberships in organizations focused on sustainability. By using your Auburn credentials to set up your own individual account, you can tap into the wide-range of resources these organizations offer, including webinars, conferences, workshops, publications, newsletters, case studies, and more.
AASHE is the leading association for the advancement of sustainability in higher education. They serve a full range of higher education faculty, administrators, staff, and students. They offer a weekly bulletin, workshops, webinars, and an annual conference. They also host the Campus Sustainability Hub, which is a one-stop shop to access toolkits and resource collections about all aspects of sustainability in higher education, from academics to operations to governance.
The USGBC seeks to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built, and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life. USGBC oversees the LEED building certification and credentials program, provides educational offerings, publishes research on green buildings, & provides policy guidance. They also host the annual Greenbuild conference.
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
USGBC — Greenbuild
Green Sports Alliance Summit
International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic, & Social Sustainability
Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council Summit
Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit
Office of Sustainability Blogs with Videos
- Dr. Katharine Hayhoe: Faith, Climate Change, and Our Culture in the U.S. (1 hr 31 min)
- Solve Climate by 2030: Power Dialog (1 hr 26 min)
- Books & Ball Caps Monthly book recommendation with a story behind Mike’s ball cap. (2-3 min)
Educational Resources Through AU’s Memberships & Affiliations
Courses on LinkedIn Learning (log in with AU credentials)
- Cert Prep: LEED Green Associate (2:21)
- Learning Design for Sustainability (3:20)
- Organizational Thought Leadership (1:24)
- Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (15:00)
- Sustainability Strategies (0:56)
Understanding Sustainability Through Illustrations
- The Sustainability Challenge Explained (4:31)
- 4 Root Causes of Unsustainability (4:17)
- Triple Bottom Line (4:13)
- Social Sustainability (5:48)
- Sustainability is like Playing Football (4:23)
- Sustainability Gap: Creative Tension Engenders Motion (4:30)
- True Business Sustainability (7:55)
- SDGs: Improve Life All Around the Globe (2:41)
- A Systems Story (4:45)
TED (Technology, Entertainment, & Design) hosts a wide-range of talks (all 18 minutes or less) on topical areas intimately related to sustainability. To get you started, we’ve curated a few of the bigger picture talks, but we encourage you to explore their entire catalog of offerings.
- Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone by Pope Francis (17:52)
- How We Can Face the Future Without Fear, Together by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (12:36)
- The Investment Logic for Sustainability by Chris McKnett (12:19)
- Let’s Go All-In on Selling Sustainability by Steve Howard (13:18)
- 3 Ways to Plan for the (Very) Long Term by Ari Wallach (13:42)
- The Business Logic of Sustainability by Ray Anderson (15:54)
- 5 Ways to Lead in an Era of Constant Change by Jim Hemerling (13:21)
- A Climate Solution Where All Sides Can Win by Ted Halstead
- Nature is Everywhere – We Just Need to Learn to See It by Emma Marris (15:52)
- This Country isn’t Just Carbon Neutral – it’s Carbon Negative by Tshering Tobgay (18:54)
Story of Stuff Project
- Story of Stuff (21:24)
- Story of Change (6:28)
- Story of Solutions (9:06)
- Story of Bottled Water (8:04)
- Story of Cosmetics (8:18)
- Story of Electronics (7:46)
- Story of Citizens United vs. FEC (8:50)
- How Global Warming Works (From 0:52 to 5:00)
Let these documentaries lead you right into an engaging conversation. Watch the trailers of the videos below to find one that interests your group and then host a discussion. Many of these films have been previously screened here on campus. For some of the films, we have compiled some possible film discussion questions for each film to get you started.
- 13th (Netflix)
- Always in Season (online)
- American Creed (online)
- Among Giants (online)
- Backpack Full of Cash
- Blue Gold (Library)
- Carbon Nation (Library)
- Chasing Coral (Netflix)
- Deepsouth (Amazon Prime)
- Eating Alabama (Library)
- Fast Food Nation
- Fed Up (Library)
- Food Chains (Netflix)
- Food Evolution
- Food Inc. (Library)
- Food Matters (Netflix)
- Forks over Knives (Netflix)
- Future of Food (Office of Sustainability)
- Girl Rising (online)
- Happy (Netflix)
- Home (online)
- I Am Not Your Negro (online)
- Kilowatt Ours (Office of Sustainability)
- King Corn (Office of Sustainability)
- Last Call at the Oasis (YouTube)
- Merchants of Doubt (online)
- No Impact Man (Office of Sustainability)
- Paris to Pittsburgh
- Plastic Paradise (Netflix)
- Southwest of Salem (online)
- Story of Broke (online)
- Story of Change (online)
- Story of Citizens United vs. FEC (online)
- Story of Cosmetics (online)
- Story of Solutions (online)
- Tapped (Library)
- Trashed (Office of Sustainability)
- Walmart (Office of Sustainability)
- Years of Living Dangerously (Netflix & Showtime)
ACTIONS FOR THE WORKPLACE
With over 13,000 people in Auburn University’s workforce, the choices we make when taken together have a considerable impact on the environment, finances, the community, and the individual and collective wellbeing of ourselves and others. Imagine how many ways things could improve if we all practiced just a few of the many proven sustainability strategies. For employees interested in educating and empowering members of the Auburn family to lead and connect the campus community in cohesive efforts toward sustainability, please consider joining our Peers Network.
To get you started, we compiled a list of some basic sustainability actions for the workplace, and have also created an Auburn Employee Sustainability Connector guide. If you happen to work in a lab, you can also find some great information and action steps through Green Labs at Auburn University. So, gather your colleagues and think about what you might do together to help jumpstart sustainability in your department. Each effort can help ensure that Auburn is doing its best to conserve resources and provide a healthy work environment for everyone.
If you have desk-side trash baskets, request a desk-side recycling bin from the Waste Reduction and Recycling Department.
Establish a program to help ensure shared appliances get unplugged at night, on weekends, and during breaks, or use a programmable timer.
Report all water leaks to Facilities Management by submitting a work order.
Recycle electronics, batteries, and toner/ink cartridges. Contact Waste Reduction & Recycling for information on bin locations or how to get one for your building/office.
Bring air-cleansing houseplants to work.
Send unneeded office furniture and durable goods to Surplus Property for reuse by others.
Familiarize new employees with alternative transportation options for commuting and/or getting around campus.
Conduct paperless meetings.
Purchase Fair Trade coffees and teas.
Auburn University has guidelines and preferences for sustainable purchasing in the areas of computers, paper, and green cleaners.
If possible, consolidate purchasing to minimize deliveries to campus.
A sustainable workplace requires an understanding of interconnections, and consideration of a variety of scales like personal, local, regional, and global. To help you identify the primary areas of impact for the listed strategies, we’ve included the following icons.