Welcoming New Employees

The Office of Sustainability spreads the word on sustainability

In Fall 2019, the Office of Sustainability began the New Employee Sustainability Welcome Program.  This program was designed to raise awareness of sustainability initiatives on the University of San Diego’s campus to newly hired employees and to provide them with resources for sustainable practices. 

This program consisted of a representative from the Office of Sustainability meeting with new employees in their own work space, within a couple of months of being hired, to have a conversation about sustainability and eco-friendly practices that the University adheres to.  For example, letting new employees know about the University’s plastic recycling policy (only plastics # 1, 2, and 5 are recyclable on campus) and that food scraps should be kept on one’s plate in the SLP at the dish return carousel, so that they can be scraped into the BioHiTech Food Digester, which prevents food waste from going to the landfill and producing methane gas.

The Office representative also took this opportunity to inform new employees about some sustainability programs and efforts on-campus, such as the Green Office Program, slaying vampire energy, and the End Food Waste Alliance.  During the meetings, new employees were also presented with a gift from the office- a branded mug with succulent clippings from campus.

This new Sustainability Welcome Program reached 35 new employees in its first semester.  The response was overwhelmingly positive, with employees expressing a genuine interest in sustainability on USD’s campus. Of the individuals who responded to the post-visit survey, 76.5% said they found the information “very useful”, with the other 23.5% saying they found the information “somewhat useful”. 

One new employee expressed that she found “The educational experience in learning about our sustainability department and the things they do (to be most useful) ... My previous employers didn't emphasize sustainability and it was nice to learn about ways to help and to learn about the various resources available (at USD).”  Another employee said, “I really enjoyed hearing about the current projects/efforts/initiatives on campus that involve sustainability. I also really appreciated the follow up email that listed the sustainability resources and information in one spot.”

Several employees mentioned that the one-on-one conversation made the information more interesting, personable, and helpful.  One survey respondent noted, “I was pleasantly surprised to receive a sustainability welcome email and meeting, and really thought it was a nice touch as a new employee.”

One individual wrote, “I hope the program continues. It's very important and when I forwarded the staff information on it, they were very thankful and excited.”  It’s safe to say that others agreed- 100% of survey respondents thought that the program should continue, and the Office of Sustainability is planning to do just that in Spring 2020!


Office of Sustainability
(619) 260-7530