Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.79
Liaison Brad Haydel
Submission Date June 20, 2022

STARS v2.2

California State University, Los Angeles
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Brad Haydel
Energy and Sustainability Manager
Facilities, Planning, Design and Construction
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the literacy assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire (or predominate) student body, directly or by representative sample

Which of the following best describes the structure of the assessment? The assessment is administered as a::
Pre- and post-assessment to the same cohort or to representative samples in both a pre- and post-test

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
A list or sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:

17. Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons and ozone are all: a. Gases found on Mars b. Greenhouse gases* c. Okay for humans to breathe d. Needed to reduce global warming e. I don’t know

18. Ozone forms a protective layer in the earth’s upper atmosphere. What does ozone protect us from? a. Acid rain b. Climate change c. Sudden changes in temperature d. Harmful UV rays*

19. Ground level ozone is primarily caused by: a. Aerosol & spray cans b. Methane gases from landfill and cattle c. Emissions from industrial facilities and motor vehicle exhaust* d. Air traffic

20. Which of the following is a renewable energy resource? Select all that apply:
● Oil ● Geothermal* ● Coal ● Solar* ● Wind* ● Nuclear ● Hydropower* ● Biomass/Biofuel*

21. What is the most common cause of pollution of streams and rivers? a. Dumping of garbage by cities b. Surface water running off yards, city streets, paved lots, and farm fields* c. Litter near streams and rivers d. Waste dumped by factories

22. Of the following, which one would be considered living in the most sustainable way? a. Recycling all that is eligible for recycling b. Buying the newest products available c. Buying products labeled “green” or “eco” d. Reducing consumption of all products *

23. Which of the following statements about the relationship between environmental issues and socioeconomic issues is true? a. Poorer people are disproportionately impacted by climate change because they’re more likely to live in areas threatened by water scarcity, vector-borne disease, and/or potential storm, flood, and fire damage* b. Wealthier people are disproportionately impacted by climate change because they are more likely to own properties and businesses that can be negatively influenced by water scarcity, vector-borne diseases, and/or potential storm, flood, and fire damage c. People of all socioeconomic classes are equally impacted by climate change, but for different reasons d. Environmental issues and socioeconomic issues are unrelated

24. Which of the following is a leading cause of the depletion of fish stocks in the Atlantic Ocean? a. Reduced fish fertility due to genetic hybridization b. Ocean pollution c. Fishermen seeking to maximize their catch * d. Global climate change

25. Which of the following countries passed the U.S. to become the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide? a. China* b. Japan c. Brazil d. Sweden

26. Which of the following is an example of sustainable forest management? a. Setting aside forests to be off limits to the public b. Never harvesting more than what the forest produces in new growth* c. Producing lumber for nearby communities to build affordable housing d. Putting the local communities in charge of forest resources

27. Which of the following is the best example of environmental justice? a. Urban citizens win a bill to have toxic wastes taken to rural communities b. The government dams a river, flooding Native American tribal lands to create hydro-power for large cities c. All stakeholders from an indigenous community are involved in setting a quota for the amount of wood they can take from a protected forest next to their village* d. Multinational corporations build factories in developing countries where environmental laws are less strict

28. Select the list of activities that have the LARGEST to SMALLEST environmental impact: 1. Keeping a cell phone charger plugged into an electrical outlet for 12 hours 2. Producing one McDonald’s quarter pound hamburger 3. Producing one McDonald’s chicken sandwich 4. Flying in a commercial airplane from Washington, D.C. to China

Answer choices:
a. 1, 3, 2, 4
b. 4, 1, 2, 3
c. 4, 3, 2, 1
d. 4, 2, 3, 1*

29. Which of the following is the most commonly used definition of sustainable development? a. Creating a government system that provides universal access to education, health care, and social services b. Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs*
c. Setting aside resources for preservation, never to be used d. Building a neighborhood that is both socio-demographically and economically diverse


A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:

During summer 2021, Cal State LA engaged two Climate Action Corps Fellows to develop a Student Sustainability Survey. The survey included 35 questions focusing on 1) sustainability culture, 2) sustainability literacy, and 3) demographics. The first 15 questions focused on personal values, behaviors, and beliefs, including general awareness of campus sustainability initiatives. The following 13 questions focused on knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges with right/wrong answers. The survey concludes with 6 demographic questions. To develop the survey, the Climate Action Corps Fellows reviewed the STARS Help Center for both credits, including Resources, Templates & Tools and Example Responses. The survey was administered on November 17, 2021, and results were presented to administration and the Campus Sustainability Committee.


A brief description of how a representative sample was reached (if applicable) and how the assessment(s) were administered :

All students were surveyed via Qaultrics over a one week period in November 2021. A post-assessment is scheduled for November 2024.


A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s):

A total of 27,516 emails were sent with the survey link, and a total of 2,281 students completed the survey.


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