Encouraging employee green behaviour among K-12 custodians to support district sustainability goals

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Issue Date
2016-03-31
Authors
Ralston, Emilie
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Subject
custodial staff
employee engagement
employee green behaviour
K-12 schools
sustainability initiatives
Abstract
School districts in British Columbia are increasingly demonstrating their commitment to environmental responsibility through their programming, policies, and practices. All stakeholders in a school district have the opportunity to contribute to the district's sustainability goals. There is a tendency to overlook custodial staff; however, custodians play an important role when it comes to water, energy, waste, and cleaning behaviours. This study investigated the challenges and opportunities for engaging custodians in employee green behaviours (EGB) and distinguished between task-related and pro-active behaviours in their role. Barriers to custodians' EGBs were reduced hours, the distributed responsibility of sustainability initiatives, and the perceived lack of support from education staff. The greatest opportunities for EGBs resulted from consistent communication of the districts' goals, custodians' strong sense of pride in their work, and greater collaboration with other stakeholder groups. The participation of all stakeholders is necessary for a school district to reach its sustainability goals.
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