Fielding Graduate University News

Sustainability across the world: Fielding Graduate University Provost Katrina Rogers is busy raising awareness

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Oct 11, 2012

describe the imageFrom the United Nations Office at Geneva to the AARP Headquarters in Washington, DC, Provost Katrina Rogers is keeping busy building sustainability consciousness all over the world. Next stop: New York.

Fielding Graduate University Provost Katrina Rogers, PhD, keeps her passport handy as she travels the world presenting her latest research on sustainability. Her most recent visit was to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).  Housed at the Palais des Nations, the UNOG is the second largest United Nations center after the United Nations Headquarters in New York.  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all UN agencies, funds and programs to become climate neutral and 'go green' after recognizing that they can take measures in their daily operations to reduce their environmental impact. UNOG, maintains more than 1,600 staff and services more than 8,000 meetings every year, making it one of the busiest conference centers in the world. On World Environment Day in 2007, Secretary Ki-moon made public his ambition to make the United Nations more efficient in its operations: “I would like to see our renovated Headquarters complex eventually become a globally acclaimed model of efficient use of energy and resources. Beyond New York, the initiative should include the other United Nations headquarters and offices around the globe.”(

Rogers’ engagement with UNOG began when Fielding Graduate University alumna Katrina Burrs, PhD, (HOD '97) introduced a colleague of hers from the UNOG. Rogers met Marie-Jose Astre, Senior Director of Training and Development of the UNOG, and during their conversation, Marie-Astre became enthusiastic about Rogers’ research on sustainability. Rogers was asked to participate as an outside consultant on a team called The Sustainable United Nations Unit (SUN), which houses a number of initiatives that influence the UN system and beyond. Rogers has spent the last few years working on this team as a to raise awareness of how to improve the sustainability performance of the UN system, and provide support to public sector organizations embarking on their own sustainability journeys. Based in part on work of the SUN unit along with several environmental and sustainable groups , Greening the Blue ( was launched in 2010 to communicate with all UN staff as well as external stakeholders. The aim is to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability throughout the UN system and highlight what’s been achieved, what’s happening next, and how staff can get involved.

Katrina UNOG resized 600In September of this year, Rogers addressed administrators and senior leaders who manage facilities, conferences, cafeterias, and information technology departments within the UNOG. Her primary focus was educating them about building internal personnel workshops based on the organizations’ set of initiatives and values.  She discussed techniques to become more effective and efficient in their processes and how to build sustainability awareness within their departments. In her presentation entitled “Building a Sustainable Organization: Tips, Tools and Trends,” Rogers stated: “An organization needs to follow a person through all of the cycles of sustainability. An organization usually starts the first step of building awareness, but it usually drops off with the final stage of providing feedback and support through positive reinforcement. Human beings tend to be more environmentally friendly in their home lives but not in their work lives. Why? The system of support at work. We need to think about how to link human sustainability to the workplace.” 

Rogers’ sustainability presentation continues this month when she will address Fielding Graduate University constituents and guests in New York City on Saturday, October 13th. On Monday, October 15th, at the AARP Headquarters in Washington, DC, Rogers will speak to AARP staff, guests and Fielding constituents about building sustainability awareness.

For more information about upcoming events, please contact


Tags: organizational change, Organizational development, sustainability, leadership, international