Employee Educators Program

For details about this credit, including the criteria, reporting timeframe, applicability, scoring, and more, please review the full credit language:

Data Accuracy Video

Frequently Asked Questions

How has this credit changed from STARS 2.1 to 2.2?

Substantive changes have been made under version 2.2. A new part for number of hours worked by employee educators per employee served by a peer-to-peer program has been added. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the 2.2 Summary of changes.

What is a peer-to-peer education program?

All programs must have a clearly defined peer-to-peer component. To count, peer-to-peer-focused education programs should train employees to become “experts” in a certain sustainability-focused topic, and these experts then train their peers on these topics. Otherwise, an initiative may instead count as something else (training, outreach campaign, planning committee).

How can we avoid double-counting?

Counting the same group of employees more than once should be avoided. For example, if one program covers all faculty, while another covers all employees within a certain academic department, care should be taken so that employees that fall under both groups aren’t counted twice.

What is the difference between an educators program and a standard outreach campaign or planning committee?

The key difference between an educators program and standard outreach campaigns or planning committees is training. A peer-to-peer-focused education program trains employees to become “experts” in a certain sustainability-focused topic, and these experts then train their peers on these topics in a coordinated, ongoing fashion. In contrast, standard outreach campaigns aim to raise awareness about sustainability topics without a coordinated education and training component.Typical sustainability planning committees work to develop or implement sustainability plans rather than offer peer-to-peer education. Standard outreach campaigns are covered under EN 5: Outreach Campaign. Typical planning committees are covered under PA 1: Sustainability Coordination.

Are there there other credits that ask for the same information?

Total number of employees should be consistent between this credit and what is reported in PRE 5 (v.2.2) or IC 3 (v. 2.1). See related Help Center article on sharing information between credits.

Example Responses

Version 2.1

  • Oregon State University – Good descriptive information outlining a single peer-to-peer employee advocates program that covers all employees.  
  • University of Pennsylvania – Solid reporting examples of well-organized, peer-to-peer faculty/staff sustainability education programs
  • University of Victoria – Good descriptive information outlining a single peer-to-peer staff networking program that covers all employees.

Common Issues Identified During Review

  • Score outlier – Reporting full points indicates that all employees (faculty and staff) are served (i.e. directly targeted) by an employee peer-to-peer program, and there is a high ratio of the number of hours worked by trained educators to the number of employees served. Over-counting should be avoided (e.g., if programs listed only cover faculty or administrative staff, it is unlikely that all employees are covered). 
  • All programs must have a clearly defined peer-to-peer component. To count, peer-to-peer-focused education programs should train employees to become “experts” in a certain sustainability-focused topic in a coordinated, ongoing fashion. These individuals then become peer educators who share what they have learned with other members of the same group to catalyze change.
  • Data consistency: Employee headcount should be consistent between EN 7 and PRE 5 if the same Performance Year is used. Valid discrepancies should be clarified in the Notes field.

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