Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 81.82
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date Feb. 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Green Mountain College
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Ryan Ihrke
Director of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students (i.e. an assessment focused on student knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges)?:

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 sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:


These questions are a representative sample of the questions offered as part of the Sulitest. Each participant was tested with 30 internationally focused questions and 20 questions regionally focused on the United States. The questions each participant answers are selected randomly from a larger pool of pre-existing questions.

Question 1
According to official United Nations population estimates and projections, what is the estimated
population of Earth in 2050?
A Around 11.7 billion people
B Around 9.7 billion people
C Around 7.7 billion people
D Around 6.7 billion people
E I'm not sure

Question 2
The CFC (ChloroFluoroCarbons) gases endanger the ozone layer. In 1987, an international
agreement (the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer) was signed by
several countries.
What were the consequences of this agreement?
A The agreement has never been implemented and the destruction of the ozone layer continues.
B Halons and other substances that deplete the ozone layer are still not included in the agreement,
despite recent amendments.
C The ozone layer is recovering and is expected to have recovered by mid-century.
D By the year 2000, all ozone-depleting substances were completely phased out.
E I'm not sure

Question 3
The Ecological Footprint is an measurement method to evaluate whether the planet is sufficient
to continue to support the demands of humanity.
Among the following statements about Ecological Footprint, which one is FALSE?
A Moderate United Nations scenarios suggest that if current consumption and population trends
continue, by 2030 humanity will need two planets to meet its needs.
B Earth Overshoot Day indicates the date when humanity has exhausted the ecological budget of
the planet for the year. It went from early October in 2000 to August 13th in 2015.
C If all people on the globe had the 2010 Footprint of the average resident of the nations with the
highest per capita Ecological Footprint, humanity would require 4 to 5 planets.
D Today, all countries use more resources than what is available in a renewable way within their
own borders.
E I'm not sure

Question 4
Organized under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the
Paris Climate Conference (a.k.a. COP 21) gave rise to an agreement among nations, called the
'Paris Agreement'.
What is the main action requested of all countries signatories of the Paris Agreement, in order to
limit global temperature rise?
A Each country must get prepared for a global temperature rise of 4 degrees Celsius above pre-
industrial levels
B Each country must implement a global action plan, centrally defined by the UNFCCC Each
country must implement a global action plan, centrally defined by the UNFCCC
C Each country must define and implement its own action plan with quantified impacts, called
“Nationally Determined Contribution” (NDC)
D Countries are not involved in actions deriving from the 'Paris Agreement'
E I'm not sure

Question 5
The number of out−of−school primary age children fell from 100 million in 2000 to 60 million
in 2014 whereas world population grew by roughly 83 million per year.
If the trends continue, approximately how many children of primary school age will be out of
school by 2030?
A By 2030, all girls and boys will have access to complete free, equitable and quality primary
B 60 million children of primary school age will be out of school by 2030
C 150 million children of primary school age will be out of school by 2030
D 300 million children of primary school age will be out of school by 2030
E I'm not sure

Question 6
Which human activity removes the most of renewable freshwater resources worldwide?
A Industries
B Municipalities (including domestic)
C Agriculture
D The water that evaporates from artificial lakes or reservoirs associated with dams.
E I'm not sure

Question 7
How has the average proportion of women in parliament changed over the last 20 years in the
174 countries with reliable data?
A It decreased by 20%.
B It remained identical.
C It increased by 20%.
D It almost doubled.
E I'm not sure

Question 8
The book "Kick the Habit: A UN Guide to Climate Neutrality" explains in practical terms how
individuals, companies, corporations, cities and countries can start to change.
Which of the statements below is NOT reflective of guide's recommendations?
A Addressing climate change is an opportunity we cannot fail to take. "So why not address it now?
And if not here, where? If not now, when?"
B "Reducing financial institutions' travel or building-related emissions is their greatest influence.
As a second and smaller step, they could also require climate-friendliness to the projects they
lend to."
C Everyone has the capacity to act. "Who should do it? Politicians? Absolutely. Business and
industry? Certainly. Science and technology? Obviously. The United Nations? Of course. But if
we really do want a changed world, it is useful to remember where to begin: be the change you
want to see."
D "Local governments add to atmospheric damage when they design city centers to suit vehicles,
not pedestrians, and buildings to the cheapest and not the highest standards."
E I'm not sure

Question 9
Which of the following is a common framework used by companies and other organizations to
communicate with their stakeholders about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?
A CDM (Clean Development Mechanism)
B AER (Annual Economic Report)
C GRI (Global Reporting Initiative)
D SPI (System Performance Initiative)
E I'm not sure

Question 10
Most marine debris is made up of various forms of plastic that are highly persistent and often
contain toxic chemicals, which fragment into micro plastics.
What is the percentage of cetacean and seabird species affected by marine debris ingestion ?
A None, since marine debris is dissolved in the digestive system
B Approximately 10%
C Approximately 40%
D Every cetacean and seabird
E I'm not sure

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

Green Mountain College utilizes the Sulitest, an international sustainability literacy designed to assess the participants level of knowledge in economic, social, and environmental responsibility. The Sulitest was adopted for use by Green Mountain College in the Fall of 2017. The test assesses both international knowledge and knowledge more specific to the North America. The test is one of the featured initiatives of UN Partnerships for Sustainable Development Goals and is an implementation of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative.

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

For the pretest, all new entering students were assessed during the first semester of attending Green Mountain College. For most of the students, this assessment was administered during the required first semester course, IMAGES of Nature. For students who were transfer students and not required to take the course, or who had dropped the course before the assessment period, a e-mail was sent to these students directly asking them to participate in the assessment.

All students will take the post test during their delicate balance course. This course is a required course Taken either during a students 3rd or 4th year of attendance. . The first post test of delicate balance is scheduled to take place during the fall 2019 semester, when the first group of students who took the pretest this fall will be registered for Delicate Balance.

A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s), including a description of any measurable changes over time:

Below are the comparisons of worldwide and United States score averages and scores first semester students at Green Mountain College acheived during our pretest. The post test is scheduled for Fall 2019 and Spring of 2020 so no measurable change has been identified to date. The numbers indicate percentage of correctly answered questions.

1. CORE International—Worldwide: 54% Green Mountain College pretest: 39%
2. Knowledge - Global and local human-constructed systems—Worldwide: 53% Green Mountain College pretest: 40%
3. Knowledge - Role to play, individual & systemic change—Worldwide: 49% Green Mountain College pretest: 32%
4. Knowledge - Sustainable humanity and ecosystems—Worldwide: 59% Green Mountain College pretest: 40%
5. Knowledge - Transition towards sustainability—Worldwide: 50% Green Mountain College pretest: 40%

Local USA Module—Average USA Scores: 65% Green Mountain College pretest: 54%
1. Knowledge - Sustainable humanity and ecosystems—Average USA Scores: 57% Green Mountain College pretest: 44 %
2. Knowledge - Global and local human-constructed systems—Average USA Scores: 63% Green Mountain College pretest: 58 %
3. Knowledge - Transition towards sustainability—Average USA Scores: 72% Green Mountain College pretest: 49 %
4. Knowledge - Role to play, individual & systemic change—Average USA Scores: 83% Green Mountain College pretest: 82 %
5. Personnal skills—Average USA Scores: 68% Green Mountain College pretest:61 %
6. Working with others—Average USA Scores: 82% Green Mountain College pretest: 74 %
7. Think and act systemically—Average USA Scores: 71% Green Mountain College pretest: 57 %
8. Mindset—Average USA Scores:59% Green Mountain College pretest:42%

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The performance year is FY 2017.

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.