Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 63.76
Liaison Mark Youndt
Submission Date March 10, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Skidmore College
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Levi Rogers
Director of Sustainability Programs and Assessment
Sustainability Office
"---" 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)?:

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::
Longitudinally to measure change over time

A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or adopted:
As outlined in our Campus Sustainability Plan and in connection with our efforts around enhanced communication, we have been developing a brief survey to administer annually to a random selection of not only students, staff, and faculty at Skidmore, but also to the surrounding community. We thought it was important to include the surrounding community in our survey since we consider broader outreach and information sharing to be important components of our work. We plan to administer these surveys for the first time this year and once a year in subsequent years. Shorter-term studies have been administered for various projects. For several years, the S-Reps have administered campus-wide and student-specific waste and recycling surveys. These surveys help the College track our community's understanding of the Zero-Sort recycling program and identify common misconceptions. The results inform future outreach efforts to increase institutional diversion rate. The Sustainability Office and S-Reps have also used survey results to develop sustainability-focused case studies. During the Spring 2017 semester, the S-Reps and Sustainability Office launched a case study in four residence halls to test the effectiveness of various infrastructure improvements and outreach methods. The team will track diversion rates within each hall to identify the most impactful actions.

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:
-What sustainability initiatives has Skidmore implemented? - Please list the specific ways that Skidmore's sustainability initiatives help advance environmental, social, and economic improvements? - Please describe the ways you've learned about Skidmore's sustainability initiatives? Waste Survey: 1. What is your affiliation to Skidmore? 2. Do you think recycling is important? 3. How often do you recycle at Skidmore? 4. If you can't always recycle, what prevents you from doing so? 5. Which of the following are recyclable in Skidmore's Zero-Sort Recycling system? 6. How could Skidmore help make recycling easier?

A brief description of how representative samples were reached (if applicable) and how the cultural assessment is administered:
We are tabling at a variety of locations on campus (e.g., the dining hall, the library, our campus center, residence halls, etc.) and several key locations in the broader community (the library, several downtown locations, etc.). At this point, we believe this more random survey approach will yield more accurate results than an email survey.

A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment, including a description of any measurable changes over time:
We are administering our more formal annual survey for the first time this year and will report on results on our Sustainability Office webpage, our annual updates on our Campus Sustainability Plan, and in subsequent STARS applications. Waste Survey: The results from our waste survey showed that our community was unsure how to manage specific items (tin foil, pizza boxes, plastic utensils), and allowed us to identify the most common challenges that people face when trying to recycle (lack of accessible bins, missing signage).

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.