Green Teams: a Collaborative Training Model

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While higher education usually focuses on curriculum development and research to advance sustainability, an alternative approach is to collaborate with business. Collegiate green teams were formed to offer an innovative means to effectively promote business action on sustainability. This paper (a) describes a pilot multidisciplinary student/business internship program, and (b) uses program outcomes and surveys to discern benefits and refine a collaborative approach to taking action on sustainability. Evidence was gathered from participant surveys, administrator's observations, and the managerial assessments of green team reports and presentations to assess the collaborative model. Substantive evidence for effective team building was indicated by high scores among student team participants on measures of team cohesion, viability, satisfaction, and performance. Post-program observations by supervisors further indicated significant team learning and performance on tasks among teams. Collaborative training clearly boosted and broadened engagement among business employees and this spurred action on sustainability. The internship provided students with real-world experience and helped link managers to their local communities.



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