College and University Sustainability Officers' Experiences with Green Office Programs: A Qualitative Investigation
The number of sustainability programs in higher education continues to increase. Green office programs have become a cornerstone of sustainability programming on college and university campuses across the country. This exploratory qualitative study involves college and university sustainability officers and investigates their experiences changing behaviors through green office programs. The goal of this study was to provide insight into green office programs. Two side-by-side studies were conducted to provide a detailed analysis of green office programs at both small and large institutions of higher education. Eleven major themes emerged from the study. Six themes emerged from the qualitative analysis of sustainability officer’s experiences promoting green office programs in large schools. Five themes and two sub-themes emerged from the qualitative analysis of sustainability officer’s experiences promoting environmental behaviors in small schools. One theme, education provided through the institution’s sustainability office, was held in common between the two populations; however, there were some differences in educational programming. This study provides the foundation for further research into green office programs and other sustainability programs in higher education.