Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.39
Liaison Yolanda Cieters
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Seattle University
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Yolanda Cieters
Sustainability Manager
"---" 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::
A subset of the campus community or a sample that may not be representative of the entire community

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 Literacy assessment was adopted in August 2013. SUSTLIT is a standardized questionnaire designed to assess aptitude in sustainability. The questionnaire measures knowledge, attitudes, and behavior about sustainability. SUSTLIT has both the behavior checklists and an array of attitude questions; but, most of the items assess knowledge. Sustainability is defined across six dimensions of knowledge: climate change, energy, planetary assets, systems, environmental, and organizational influences, plus a set of definition questions. The six knowledge dimensions are assessed with four to eight items. There are also eleven definition questions, eleven attitude items, and sixteen behavior measures.

In recent years, we have included several questions that seek to understand the respondents’ opinion about specific campus sustainability and climate action plan topics such as carbon neutrality, divestment, offsets,… For example:
--How important was SU's commitment to sustainability issues (from academic offerings to
practices concerning energy use, recycling, food purchases, investments, etc.) to your decision to apply to Seattle University?
--How important would it be to you for Seattle University to go carbon neutral?
--How important was SU's commitment to divest its endowment from fossil fuels to your decision to apply to Seattle University?
--If I could offset my air travel's CO2 emissions by donating $10-$15 per flight to an SU fund for social and environmental projects that address climate change, I would participate.

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:

NOTE about the attached questions: the survey is distributed using Qualtrics. Qualtrics, by default, numbers the questions in the order they are produced. Those are not the numbers that appear to the respondent.

For more information, see: https://www.seattleu.edu/cejs/campus-sustainability/sustainability-literacy/

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

In August of 2013, Seattle University assessed the sustainability literacy of all incoming freshman. The class of 975 new students were invited to complete the SUSTLIT survey on-line. SUSTLIT is a standardized questionnaire designed to assess aptitude in sustainability. The scale was developed and its psychometric properties assessed, using SU students. Results from that development process are available; but, because they were not intended to be a targeted sample, they do not necessarily represent any specific group at Seattle University. This data collection was, therefore, intended to be the benchmark in a series of annual surveys of incoming freshman, to be supplemented with periodic assessments of graduating seniors.

The survey has been given to all incoming freshmen at the start of the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 fall quarters. The first post-test has been given to all graduating seniors in May 2017 and has been conducted since then in 2018 and in 2020. The survey is sent out by Academic Affairs and administered by two Faculty members from SU’s Albers School of Business and Economics.

A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:
Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.