Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.52
Liaison Gina Talt
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Princeton University
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Shana Weber
Director
Office of 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 2015, the Office of Sustainability evaluated sustainability contradictions on campus by surveying staff and students. The survey was administered using a free, online wiki survey tool called All Our Ideas, which was created by Professor Matthew Salganik from the Department of Sociology. The findings have revealed areas rich with opportunities to develop initiatives that better align campus practices with sustainability principles, as well as where there are mismatches between perception and reality.


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:

Please note the URL with the survey has been deactivated to prevent any further submissions. Here is a sample of questions:
As a staff member, which campus experience do you find to be most contradictory with sustainability?
3-hole trash/recycling can lids haven’t yet been converted for mixed recycling
Bottled water served at meetings and events
Disposable plastic water cups near bottle-filling stations
Flyers on lampposts
Frist TVs are always on
Gas-operated campus golf carts
Gas-powered leaf blowers
High odor materials during small renovations
Inefficient heating and cooling in offices
Inefficient lighting still in place in many buildings
Lack of accessible public transportation in 10-mile radius
Lack of electric vehicle charging stations for personal cars
Lack of food scraps composting options for individuals
Lack of signage about the sustainability features already existing on campus
Lack of sustainability training for staff


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

Surveys were sent to both undergraduate and graduate students through campus email. The survey was also advertised on table tents in dining halls. Staff were reached via email as well as through in person tabling at large administrative meetings.


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

Overall, the top options selected among all surveyed groups were primarily related to events and waste. These included "Too many foam and plastic cups and plates at meetings and events"; "waste leftover from campus events"; "the use of styrofoam at Princeton sponsored events"; and "Immense amount of food thrown away at Reunions and other large events".

To address the event-related sustainability contradictions happening across campus, the Office of Sustainability established The Sustainable Event Working Group. The group is made up of staff from key departments involved with event planning on campus, as well as students. The group has developed a list of sustainable event guidelines that can be applied to all events on campus to help guide event planners to green their events.

Another finding was a clear mismatch between the perception of what’s happening on campus and reality. For example, while many impactful behind-the-scenes operations have little impact on campus ethos, less-impactful, yet highly visible activities have an enormous perceived impact. To help bridge perception and reality, campus-wide communications efforts will continue.
Looking ahead, these and other findings are also helping to inform the next version of the University's Sustainability Plan, expected to be rolled out in 2018.


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