CWRU Sustainability Alliance's spring 2015 session continued March 5 with Linda Robson presenting on the Language of Sustainability: the emotional-tone of sustainability professional’s narratives.
Linda presented her PhD research on the relationship between the emotional-tone of sustainability narratives and sustainability program performance. Linda studied 10 collegiate sustainability programs, which were organized into high, moderate, and base performance categories (based on Sustainability Report Card grades). Through qualitative analysis of interviews with sustainability leaders on each campus, sustainability program websites, and recorded sustainability staff / committee meetings, findings are clear: high performers' communications possess a 4:1 positive to negative content ratio, whereas moderate performers' positive to negative remarks possess a 2:1 ratio, and base performers a 1:1 ratio, where positive remarks are equally as frequent as negative ones. In this talk, Linda discussed what kind of comments make up positive, negative, and neutral remarks, and what this tells us about campus sustainability programs, and implications for Sustainability Professionals who want to improve their programs.
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