Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.04
Liaison Shoshana Blank
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Tufts University
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Tina Woolston
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::
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 Eco-Reps Survey is intended to provide assistance to the Eco-Reps program on how to best encourage sustainability in Undergraduate dorms, and which areas are of particular interest to the participants, and to measure impact. Questions include knowledge of Tufts' recycling programs, interest in various sustainability-education or outreach activities, self-awareness of personal environmental impact, ideas for improving sustainability at Tufts.


A copy or sample of the questions related to sustainability culture:
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A sample of the questions related to sustainability culture or the website URL where the assessment tool is available:

Where do you live?
If you live in a Special Interest House, where do you live?
If you live in a Greek House, where do you live?
What year are you at Tufts?
Have you heard of the Eco-Representative (Eco-Rep) Program?
Do you know who your Eco-Rep is?
How did you find out about your Eco-Rep? - Selected Choice
How did you find out about your Eco-Rep? - Other - Text
Do you know how to contact them?
Environmental issues are important to me
It is important to me that I act in ways that minimize my contribution to greenhouse gases
"How
important were strong University environmental policies and practices to you when choosing colleges"
I believe Tufts has an obligation to control its greenhouse gas emissions
How concerned do you think the following people are about global climate change? - Yourself
How concerned do you think the following people are about global climate change? - The average Tufts student
How concerned do you think the following people are about global climate change? - The average American
Recycling is important to me
I understand the recycling and waste infrastructure at Tufts.
I think tap water is as safe as, or more safe than, bottled water.
Which of the following are recyclable at Tufts
Do you know where the compost bin is in your dorm?
How often do you compost in your dorm?
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - Environmental or sustainability related movie (>1 hr)
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - Environmental or sustainability related video clips (<1/2 hr)
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - Anything with free food
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - Recycling competition
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - Grow your own seedling event
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - Trashion show
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - Local hike or bike ride
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - Crafting party
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - Eco-Trivia
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - Interactive cooking demonstration
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - Energy efficiency building tour of your dorm
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - Hall snacks in your dorm
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - How to 'live green' event
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - How to compost event
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - Other
How likely are you to attend or participate in the following events? - Other - Text
On average, how long are your showers? - minutes
About how often do you leave your computer on when you are not using it?
How often do you... - Unplug your cell phone, computer charger, power strip, or other electronics when they are not in use
How often do you... - Use a reusable water bottle
How often do you... - Use a reusable coffee mug
How often do you... - Buy or trade secondhand clothing
How often do you... - Print double-sided
How often do you... - Consider the environment when selecting food
How often do you... - Consider the environment when making transportation choices
How often do you... - Recycle
How often do you... - Turn off the lights when you exit an empty room
How often do you... - Compost in your dorm
How often do you... - Think about your impact on the environment
How often do you... - Talk about environmentally-friendly practices
Do you participate in Meatless Mondays?
What do you think are barriers to living in a more environmentally-sustainable manner at Tufts?


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

The survey is issued each semester via emails sent by the Office of Residential Life and Learning, the Eco-Reps, and the normal Office of Sustainability channels. The survey itself is built in Qualtrics, an online survey software. Past participants are not specifically targeted for longitudinal study (they were once but resulted in a very low response rate), but the data is gathered regularly and the questions are comparable over time. The survey is incentivized by a gift card raffle to increase response rate.


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

This assessment typically covers student's awareness of on-campus sustainability efforts, like recycling, compost bins, and Meatless Mondays. Additionally, the survey assesses students' awareness of their environmental impact through shower length, energy saving practices, sustainability considerations in food choices, and perception of climate change concern on campus and across America. It also allows for general measures of change over time.

The results show on average a sustainability aware student body, which on average participate in a given sustainability measure more than not. For example, more students assessed participated in Meatless Mondays in some form than did not. Also, more students assessed agreed that "environmental issues are important to me" and that "it is important to me that I act in ways that minimize my contribution to greenhouse gases."

Overall, the survey indicated that the respondents were more inclined to be aware of and participate in sustainability efforts, though were generally undecided or unlikely to participate in outreach programming like video showings and Eco-trivia activities, unless free food was an incentive.

Changes over time are not assessed from the same cohort or sample, but the questions are similar semester to semester to facilitate measurement of changes over time. Over time, the awareness of the Eco-Reps program was the most important feature considered, with goals of 95% awareness of the program and 90% awareness of each dorm's eco-rep. Survey results from 2016 to 2017 show an increase in program awareness of 12%, from 81% to 93%, and an increase in awareness of specific Eco-Rep individuals of 21% from 50% to 71%. This progress reflects an increased visibility of Eco-Reps and associated projects and initiatives on campus.


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