Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 82.07
Liaison Alex Davis
Submission Date March 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Arizona State University
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Corey Hawkey
Assistant Director
University Sustainability Practices
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture (i.e. the assessment focuses on sustainability values, behaviors and beliefs, and may also address awareness of campus sustainability initiatives)?:

Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire campus community (students, staff and faculty), directly or by representative sample

Which of the following best describes the structure of the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered::
Longitudinally to measure change over time

A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or adopted:

This survey was developed by a small committee of experts at ASU. The committee reviewed other similar surveys from across the country, primarily Ohio State's, and compiled the survey to best serve ASU's goals. It has been refined with the support of a Psychology Post-Doctoral student.

A copy or sample of the questions related to sustainability culture:
A sample of the questions related to sustainability culture or the website URL where the assessment tool is available:

Sustainability Culture Questions (8 culture questions)

(Instructions) Now, we are going to ask you a few questions about your beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.

There are no right or wrong answers. We are simply interested in your thoughts and opinions.

(1) Which of the following statements best describes your level of interest in sustainability?

1 = I have no interest in sustainability
2 = I am neither interested nor disinterested in sustainability
3 = I have a slight interest in sustainability
4 = I have a moderate interest in sustainability
5 = I have a strong interest in sustainability
6 = I have a passion for sustainability

(2) People differ in their goals and motivations: we can value things like independence, creativity and excitement, achievement and success, safety and security, upholding traditions, or taking care of friends and family.
Compared to the range of issues that people view as important, how important are the following issues to you?
(1 = less important than all other issues, 2 = less important than many other issues, 3 = about equal in importance to other issues, 4 = more important than a few other issues, 5 = more important than many other issues, 6 = more important than most other issues, 7 = more important than all other issues)
a. Ensuring that every person in the world has equal opportunities in life.
b. Protecting the natural environment from destruction or harm.
c. Understanding people who are different or who hold opposing views.
Note for #2: A, B, and C were presented in a random order.
(3) “Sustainable food” can be defined as one or more of the following: locally-sourced, organic, from humanely-treated animals, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat, grass-fed beef, fish from sustainable fisheries, or fair trade food.

During the past year, about how much of your grocery and food purchases were sustainable food?
• 0 = none
• 1 = around 10%
• 2 = around 20%
• 3 = around 30%
• 4 = around 40%
• 5 = around 50%
• 6 = more than 50%
• 999 = I don’t know

(4) Which comes closer to your own view about sustainable food/dining options at ASU?
a. ASU provides an adequate amount of sustainable food/dining options, and they are generally appealing.
b. ASU provides an adequate amount of sustainable food/dining options, but they are generally unappealing.
c. ASU provides fewer sustainable food/dining options than I would prefer.
d. I care about ASU providing sustainable food/dining options, but I am unaware of whether there are any.
e. I do not care about ASU providing sustainable food/dining options.

(5) Which comes closest to your own view about global warming?
a. Most scientists think global warming is happening, and that human activity exacerbates this climate change.
b. Most scientists think global warming is happening, but human activity does not influence this climate change.
c. Most scientists think global warming is not happening.
d. There is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening.
e. I don’t know enough to say.

(6) During the past year, how often did you do the following when you had the opportunity?

(1 = never, 2 = rarely, 3 = sometimes, 4 = most of the time, 5 = always/almost always, 999 = Not Applicable/Did not have the opportunity)

1. Set thermostat (heater) to 65 degrees or lower during cool or cold weather
2. Set thermostat (air conditioner) to 78 degrees or higher during warm or hot weather
3. Turn off lights when I leave the room
4. Unplug electrical appliances when not using them
5. Use the power saving settings on my computer
6. Turn off my computer (not put it to sleep) when not using it
7. Print double-sided
8. Run washing machine only when I have a full load of clothes
9. Wash clothes with only cold water in the washing machine
10. Hang dry clothes rather than using a clothes dryer
11. Limit time in the shower to 5 minutes or less
12. Recycle bottles, containers, and paper products
13. Use a reusable water bottle, coffee cup, travel mug, etc.
14. Recycle electronic waste (i.e., computers, cell phones)
15. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store
16. Shop for things with minimal packaging
17. Shop in a second-hand store or online site such as eBay or Craigslist when I have to buy something (e.g., clothing, furniture, appliances)
18. Compost food scraps
19. Buy products (besides food) that carry some type of eco-label or certification (e.g., organic cotton clothing, household cleaning products)

Note for #6: 1-19 presented in a random order

(7) Have you ever participated in the following at ASU? (Yes, No, I don’t know)

a. the Online Sustainability Literacy Education program
b. another ASU course that focused on or strongly addressed sustainability
c. School of Sustainability or Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability event or program (e.g., Wrigley Lecture Series, Sustainability Series)
d. University Sustainability Practices event or program (e.g., Carbon Cleanse, Walk the Green Carpet)
e. Volunteering relevant to sustainability and/or environmentalism

(8) Do you feel confident that you know how to do the following at ASU? (“Yes”, “No, but I would like to know”, “No, and I don’t care”)

a. Sign up for the Online Sustainability Literacy Education program
b. Participate in the Green Certification Programs
c. Report energy issues (e.g., Air Conditioning running too much or too little)
d. Report water leaks
e. Recycle plastic, glass, and paper products
f. Recycle plastic film (i.e., soft plastic that stretches before it tears, e.g., case wrap, bubble wrap)
g. Recycle special items (e.g., printer ink and toner cartridges) through materials management/mail services
h. Recycle special items (e.g., batteries, coffee pods, candy wrappers) through the Blue Bag program
i. Compost food scraps
j. Reuse your cup in order to get a discount
k. When catering, order from the sustainability menu from Aramark
l. Sign up for a plot in the Polytechnic Campus Community Garden

On-Campus Student PTS Questions (for students who live on campus; 3 Questions)

(Instructions) Next, we are going to ask you a few questions about how you get around on-campus and off-campus.

(1) When travelling ON campus (e.g., between dorm, classes, library, student union), how often do you use each of the following modes of transportation?

(0 = never, 1 = sometimes, 2 = often, 3 = every time / almost every time)

Bus (Flash)
Bus (Orbit)
Personal vehicle (car, motorcycle, moped)
Other (please describe)

(2) About how often do you travel OFF campus (e.g., off-campus restaurants, grocery stores, shopping)?

(1 = less than once a month, 2 = about once a month, 3 = about twice a month, 4 = about once a week, 5 = a few times each week, 6 = about once a day, 7 = multiple times each day)

(3) When travelling OFF campus (e.g., off-campus restaurants, grocery stores, shopping), how often do you use each of the following modes of transportation?

(0 = never, 1 = sometimes, 2 = often, 3 = every time / almost every time)

Light Rail
Bus (Orbit)
Bus (Valley Metro)
Shuttle provided by your apartment/dorm
Enterprise CarShare
Rideshare service (Uber, Lyft)
Taxi or Cab
Drive alone
Other (please describe) 

A brief description of how representative samples were reached (if applicable) and how the cultural assessment is administered:

Surveys distributed (2017): Over 40,000 students and over 10,000 faculty and staff.
Total number of completed surveys: Over 11,000
Response Percentage: greater than 20%

Survey Period: January 9, 2017 - February 3, 2017 and February-March 2018.

More detailed information can be found in the final report In March 2018.

A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment, including a description of any measurable changes over time:

Results from Year 1 are below - Year 2 will be available March 2018:
Key Observations
Sustainability Literacy
• Sustainability literacy seems to be evenly divided along gender lines, with females outperforming males in four questions, while males outperforming females in the other four.
• The percentage of correct responses in the sustainability literacy domain, generally increased from freshmen up through to graduate-level students. However, in some questions seniors outdo graduates, while in a couple of other questions, juniors and sophomores scored a higher percentage of correct responses than higher academic levels.
• Comparing correct responses between 2016 and 2017 show that responses were very similar however, the number of students that scored 75% or more dropped from 27.06% to 25.8% (Goal: achieve 90% sustainability literacy by FY2021).
Sustainability Culture
• The majority of respondents indicated that they have considerable or moderate interest in sustainability (around 69%), while just a few (around 9.5%) have a passion for sustainability (Goal: achieve a culture of sustainability within 75% of university community members by FY2021).
• Interest in sustainability appears to be evenly divided along the gender lines.
• Generally, the environment and its associated issues are valued the most when compared to equality and tolerance.
• Nearly 36% of respondents identified that they “care about ASU providing sustainable food/dining options, but unaware of whether there are any”.
Sustainability Behavior
• Across all sustainability behaviors, 48.1% of respondents answered “Most of the Time” or “All of the Time” (Goal: achieve an average of 75% adoption rate of sustainability behaviors by campus community members by FY2021).
• Less than 50% of the respondents were confident in knowing how to report water leaks and/or energy issue.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Corey Hawkey

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.