ASU offers Sun Devils free sustainability training

March 4, 2021

Did you know ASU is ranked number four in the world in sustainability ahead of Princeton and MIT?

Every year, Sierra Magazine uses a scoring system that rates schools on their commitment to protecting the environment, addressing climate issues and encouraging environmental responsibility. This year, ASU ranked fourth in sustainability among 300 institutions.

The university’s focus on sustainability has increased over the years. Innovative operations and practices are implemented every year to make certain that ASU’s commitment to sustainability continues. Alongside these practices, ASU’s Sustainability Practices Department has revamped ASU’s Seeds of Sustainability training.

The Campus Student Sustainability Initiative works at a tabling event on the tempe campus.

The Campus Student Sustainability Initiative works at a tabling event on the Tempe campus.

The hour-long  training is an interactive course that is available at no cost to all Sun Devils. The program teaches participants ways to live sustainably and what it means to be sustainable. 

“We made the Seeds of Sustainability training to teach people the basics of sustainability in a very interactive and straightforward way,” said Emmery Ledin, engagement program coordinator for the Sustainability Practices Department

“The secondary purpose is to also allow people who have completed the course to apply that information in their lives and in their role at ASU,” Ledin said regarding the training which took six months to create.

Those who complete the course receive a “seedling” certificate. According to Ledin, completing the course not only shows an increased knowledge of sustainability but could also be viewed as professional development. The training can be noted on LinkedIn or resumes, said Ledin. 

Erin O’Connor, a sophomore studying marketing and entrepreneurship and a Sustainability Certifications Program coordinator, took both the new and old versions of the training. Compared with the old training, the revamped training puts more emphasis on the different definitions of sustainability.

“It's a big improvement from the old program. They have knowledge checks that reinforce the learning, and there are more interactive parts instead of the old version, which just had videos then questions,” O’Connor said.

The new version is complete with situational scenarios participants must go through, making the course a self-guided experience. 

“It's just more interactive,” O’Connor said. 

The Seeds of Sustainability training is not not only for students studying sustainability, says Ledin. The course is designed to introduce the basics of sustainability to anyone.

“I would 100% recommend the Seeds of Sustainability, to not just students outside of sustainability but to staff, admin, literally everyone affiliated with the ASU community,” said Hailey Campbell, a graduate student studying sustainability solutions and a climate resilient program assistant for the Sustainability Practices Department said.

Taking the training not only teaches Sun Devils about sustainability but also corrects misinterpretations of what people think sustainability is, said Paige Anglin, a graduate student studying sustainability solutions and a sustainability program aide. 

“I think there are a lot of misconceptions about sustainability that could be corrected by taking this training,” Anglin said. 

One example is that sustainability means more than just recycling.

“Sustainability, whether you know it or not, impacts your daily life in ways you don’t think about,” Anglin said.

Seeds of Sustainability shows participants how to implement sustainable practices in everyday life.

“I think that it's important to care about sustainability because everybody is a part of it. Everybody plays into the sustainability of the university, the sustainability of their community and of the world,” Ledin said.

“ASU is in the top leaders of the world in sustainability, and I think it's really important for everyone to understand what that really means,” Campbell said.

“It's really nice to have this tool to show you all the awesome things that ASU is doing and to shed a positive light on those efforts,” Campbell said. 

ASU sustainability information and updates can also be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter