Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.33
Liaison Austin Eriksson
Submission Date Dec. 10, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California State University, Northridge
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
0.50 / 1.00 Sarah Johnson
Sustainability Program Analyst
Institute for Sustainability
"---" 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)?:
Yes

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::
Without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples of the same population

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

In September 2018, a campus-wide survey was administered. The survey included 17 questions, plus 4 additional demographic questions, that were developed to assess awareness, behaviors, beliefs and attitudes about CSUN’s sustainability initiatives and climate change, more generally speaking, based on the following categories:
1. Familiarity with the concept of sustainability
2. Awareness of CSUN’s sustainability efforts
3. Willingness to engage in and/or actual participation in CSUN’s sustainability efforts
4. Beliefs about personal responsibility
5. Attitudes about and support for CSUN’s sustainability initiatives


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:

1. What does sustainability mean to you?
2. What sustainability efforts at CSUN have you heard about? Please list as many as you can think of.
3. How have you learned about sustainability on campus?
4. My knowledge about environmental issues has increased due to events, activities, courses, and/or signs posted on campus.
5. Environmental issues directly affect my life.
6. When it comes to environmental issues, I am
7. When it comes to participating in sustainability activities on campus, I am
8. My campus is a leader in sustainable practices among other universities.
9. I am well informed about what is being done to make the campus more sustainable.
10. I have a personal responsibility to help make a difference on environmental issues such as waste, pollution, resource consumption, and water use.
11. I have a personal responsibility to help make a difference on social issues such as safety and security, education, healthcare and overall wellness.
12. I have a personal responsibility to help make a difference on economic issues such as unemployment, inflation, fair and equitable wages, and local business/local economy.
13. Which of the following sustainability efforts at CSUN are you aware of (select all that apply)
a. Waste (e.g., recycling, waste reduction efforts, compostable dishes, plastic-free initiatives)
b. Energy and Building (e.g., conservation efforts, solar energy use, LEED-certified buildings)
c. Dining Services (e.g., sustainable food options, community gardens, food composting, etc.)
d. Water (e.g., low-flow faucets and toilets, “brown is the new green” initiative, hydrogel, etc.)
e. Transportation (i.e., discounted Metro passes, Lime Bike, EV charging stations, etc.)
f. Grounds (e.g., natural herbicides and pesticides, tree plantings, drought tolerant landscaping, composting lawn and green waste)
g. Purchasing (e.g., Energy Star, green cleaning products, recycled and Forest Certified paper)
h. Carbon emissions reduction initiatives
14. Please indicate how concerned you are with the following sustainability-related topics.
Climate Change Very Concerned Somewhat Concerned Concerned Not Concerned
Biodiversity Loss Very Concerned Somewhat Concerned Concerned Not Concerned
Population Growth Very Concerned Somewhat Concerned Concerned Not Concerned
Food Supply Very Concerned Somewhat Concerned Concerned Not Concerned
Pollution Very Concerned Somewhat Concerned Concerned Not Concerned
Social Justice Very Concerned Somewhat Concerned Concerned Not Concerned
Public Health Very Concerned Somewhat Concerned Concerned Not Concerned
Prosperity Very Concerned Somewhat Concerned Concerned Not Concerned
15. How important do you think it is for CSUN to incorporate sustainability in its planning and initiatives?
16. How important do you think it is for CSUN to add more sustainability-related courses?
17. I feel that CSUN makes sustainability a priority.


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

In September 2018, a link to our online survey was sent out via email to all faculty through the Provost’s office, all staff through direct emails to each department, and a representative sample of over 8,000 students through Associated Students. Participants were told that the purpose of the survey was to explore how our campus community thinks about sustainability, how effective our efforts have been in raising awareness, and that results would be used for internal benchmarking. Participation was voluntary, and upon completion participants had the chance to enter a drawing to win one of five $20.00 campus cash gift cards.

We received 920 responses, with 917 fully completed surveys. The final sample included: 592 students (with 12 alumni), 115 faculty, and 210 staff.


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

Preliminary results suggest that our campus community is generally concerned about environmental (e.g., pollution, climate change) and social (e.g., social justice, public health) issues. Respondents expressed more concern for environmental issues than for social and financial (e.g., prosperity, employment) issues related to sustainability. However, general awareness of campus sustainability initiatives could be improved in certain areas. For example, awareness of Waste Diversion efforts (92%) and Sustainable Transportation options (85%) were relatively high compared to awareness of operational programs such as those involving Purchasing (23%), the Sustainable Office Program (25%), Grounds (23%), and Carbon Emissions Reduction efforts (13%). Roughly 30% of respondents agree they are not well informed about sustainability initiatives on campus. Additional analyses are still being conducted, and the results will help to guide the goals and measures of the Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.