Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.69
Liaison Elizabeth Drake
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Swarthmore College
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Melissa Tier
Sustainability Program Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire campus community (students and employees) 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:

The College includes a few sustainability-related questions to campus-wide surveys. We frequently conduct waste, commuting, and lifestyle surveys. To plan for our dining hall renovation, we sent out a campus-wide survey in the Spring of 2018 that took suggestions for creating inclusive and sustainable spaces on campus, and applying these suggestions for developing our new dining hall and student center. In January of 2020, we sent out a transportation survey to faculty and staff in order to gauge the most common modes of commuting and collect feedback for improving sustainable transportation initiatives. We are also looking towards including more sustainability-related questions in the Enrolled Student Survey, which will be administered next year. Lastly, the HERI (Higher Education Research Institute) Faculty Survey, which will be administered by the end of the 2019-2020 school year, asks respondents to provide feedback for their ideal level for the College's emphasis on environmental sustainability intiatives.


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:

See the attachment above for a sample of the questions for our dining hall renovation.


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

The campus dining renovation plan was preceded by various data collection measures, conducted by external consultants. These included two townhalls that were open to the entire campus community and an associated survey that had 573 respondents (60% students, 40% faculty and administrators).


A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:

An emphasis on healthy food options was rated as the highest priority as indicated by the survey respondents. There is an opportunity to improve communications about special dietary needs and nutrition including allergen labeling. Dining services does an excellent job in promoting sustainability among students, which includes recycling, partnerships, and waste reduction practices. There is potential to increase interaction among students and communicating these stories among the campus community.


Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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This study was conducted and summarized by a third party consultant, Envision Strategies, in 2019 as a part of our ongoing Dining and Community Commons renovation project.

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