The Intersection of Safety and Sustainability

Star Scott, University of Georgia

This presentation will explore the psychologies of sustainability and safety and will demonstrate how differing narratives are often describing the same action. A deeper understanding of semantics will lead audience members to see these fields as two sides of a single coin. The goal of this session is to help bridge the gap between safety and sustainability professionals and foster dialogue between these two groups. Both can learn and benefit from one another to strengthen their individual programs. This talk is an exploration between the two "languages" of these fields and aims to help audience members learn to decode and better understand one another. It will cover how the framing of narratives drives perceptions and attitudes, and how this can benefit all of us in our daily pursuits. This presentation will help EH&S professionals understand they are already sustainability champions and will help sustainability professionals better understand both the regulatory considerations of research spaces, as well as the 'language' of safety professionals. This talk will provide several case studies of functional and dysfunction interactions between EH&S and sustainability groups with the goal of gaining a clearer understanding of the psychologies, languages and narratives driving each group's point of view.

Learning Objectives

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the psychologies, semantics and accompanying narratives of safety and sustainability, and how these ideas drive perceptions and attitudes;
  • Gain a better understanding of the relationship *between* safety and sustainability and how they fit together;
  • Learn how to use gained insight to their advantage in communicating with their customers and stakeholders to strengthen both safety and sustainability initiatives; and
  • Be able to describe functional and dysfunctional interactions between EH&S and Sustainability groups with the purpose of developing better relationships with one another.


Prior to starting the Green Labs program at the University of Georgia in 2016, Star Scott spent nearly a decade as a Research Professional in conservation-driven research, as well as several years as a Chemical Safety Specialist with the Office of Research Safety. Star's background is in wildlife biology and ecology and she is the CSHEMA representative for The Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC) and the co-vice president for the Georgia Chapter of I2SL.


Note: I2SL did not edit or revise abstract or biography text. Abstracts and biographies are displayed as submitted by the author(s).