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URI Strategic Plan for Campus Sustainability

Equally important as developing campus initiatives that promote sustainability as a lifestyle, is effectively communicating the benefits of these initiatives. URI programs related to sustainability often run for months, even years, without much awareness or acknowledgement by the larger university community.  These missed opportunities slow the adoption of sustainable practices and deny the university the ‘green’ reputation it rightfully deserves.

However, simply raising awareness does not bring sustainable practices and principles to life. To guide the campus community toward adopting sustainability as a lifestyle, students, staff, faculty and even the local community must be inspired to actually change their behavior. Bringing change through communication that is moving, personal and 
practical (i.e. making sustainability lifestyles the “cool” thing on campus), combined with good policies and a solid infrastructure, enable people to make healthy and informed choices.
Numerous vehicles are available for communicating about sustainability initiatives to the campus community and beyond, and all should be used to reinforce appropriate messages to targeted audiences. Communicating with internal audiences generates buzz and enthusiasm for the activities and initiatives on campus, while spreading the word to external audiences helps to build the university’s reputation as a leader in sustainable practices. All work together to build pride among those with ties to URI.
The goals related to effectively communicating campus sustainability focus on ways to improve how the university organizes its lines of internal communication, as well as how we might increase public recognition of URI as a leader in sustainability practices and principles.

Communication Goals:

1. Expand the discourse on campus, in the local community, and across the nation, on issues related to sustainability
2. Increase public recognition of URI as a leader in sustainability

The URI Sustainability Communication Working Group is developing strategies and action items to help meet each of these goals. If you have any questions about our efforts please contact the Sustainability Office via email or any one of the members listed below.  Or, better yet, join us in our work. Students, staff, faculty and members of the community are welcome to work with us on campus.

Todd McLeish, URI Public Information Officer
Rudi Hempe, Writer, College of the Environment and Life Sciences
Cindy Sabato, Coordinator, URI Communications & Marketing
John Pantalone, Assistant Professor and Department Chair, Journalism
Kendall  Moore, Associate Professor, Journalism

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