Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.67
Liaison Stephen Ellis
Submission Date Oct. 7, 2021

STARS v2.2

Boston University
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Lisa Tornatore
Sustainability Director
BU Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture?:

Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire campus community (students and employees) 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:

The Sustainability Annual Survey is used partially as a cultural assessment as well as a literacy assessment for BU students, staff, faculty, and post-grads. The survey was developed and first administered in 2010 and we still ask many of the same questions in order to track from year to year how the culture has changed at BU.

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:

Questions relating to sustainability culture fall into four categories: BU, Global, Behaviors, and Literacy.

Sample Questions for BU are:
-"I am aware of Boston University's efforts in reducing our environmental footprint"
-"I am familiar with the following BU Sustainability initiatives & collaborations".

A Sample question for the Global category is:
"According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), over 99% of all marine life will be lost if the earth warms to ______ above pre-industrial levels."

Sample questions for the Behavior category are:
"When it comes to how you think and act on sustainability and climate change, to what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Compared to 2-3 years ago, today I am more likely to . . ."
-"Incorporate, economic, social, environmental impacts into my purchasing decisions."
-"Prioritize working for an employer that demonstrates sustainable business

Sample Questions for the Literacy category are "Which of the following is the best example of environmental justice?"

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

The assessment is administered via email to the entire BU community annually in January/February.

A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:

Since 2010 (with the exception of 2012 and 2013), BU Sustainability has administered a survey about sustainability-related issues on and beyond the BU campuses. Responses (which have ranged in number from 2,100 to 4,900) have aligned closely with actual BU demographics and have become increasingly representative of the general population (rather than simply those who are most interested in sustainability-related topics). While respondents are concerned about BU-related and global sustainability issues, results show that the general population is often unaware of specific BU Sustainability initiatives and collaborations, although knowledge of and involvement in such programs and resources has steadily increased since 2010.

The FY20 survey has 2,542 total respondents:
- 70% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they are aware of BU's efforts in reducing its environmental footprint.
- 72% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they feel that BU's commitment to sustainability and climate change has had a positive impact on the BU community.
- 64% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they feel that BU's commitment to sustainability and climate change gives me a sense of pride.
- 74% of respondents are more likely to choose more sustainable means of transportation.
- 82% of respondents are more likely to incorporate energy and water conservation and waste reduction.

Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

This represents FY2020 BU Metrics.

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.