Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 92.73
Liaison Emmanuelle Jodoin
Submission Date Oct. 24, 2022

STARS v2.2

Université de Sherbrooke
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Jean-François Comeau
Director, Project for the Integration of Sustainable Development in Education
Office of the Vice-President, Academic
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Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the literacy assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire (or predominate) student body, directly or by representative sample

Which of the following best describes the structure of the assessment? The assessment is administered as a::
Pre- and post-assessment to the same cohort or to representative samples in both a pre- and post-test

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
A list or sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:

The list of questions is the following. For the purposes of this exercise, the correct answers are the last ones, except for number 10 where all answers are correct.

1. According to the UN, what is the definition of sustainable development?
(One choice of answer)
- Development that ensures the consumption of resources in perpetuity.
- Development that ensures access to quality education and free health care for all.
- Development that ensures the protection of the environment and resources throughout the world.
- Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

2. Responsible investment refers to investment practices which, in addition to the usual financial criteria, include environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.
(One choice of answer)
- False
- True

3. For a better management of residual materials, which action should be favoured?
(One choice of answer)
- Reuse
- Recycling
- Valorization
- Reduction at source

4. If everyone lived like Canadians, how many planets would humanity need to meet its needs?
(One choice of answer)
- 1 planet
- 3.5 planets
- 7 planets
- 4.8 planets

5. According to you, which sector of activity emits the most GHGs in Quebec?
(One choice of answer)
- Industrial
- Commercial and residential
- Agriculture
- Transportation

6. Check the answer choice that completes the following sentence: Biodiversity is threatened when... (One answer choice)
- ... a forest is clear-cut.
- ... a wetland is drained.
- ... alien invasive species are introduced into an area.
- All of the above.

7. According to you, how many litres of water does a Quebecer consume on average per day?
(One choice of answer)
- 88 litres/person/day
- 516 litres/person/day
- 262 litres/person/day

8. Residential consumption accounts for most of the water consumption in Quebec.
(One choice of answer)
- False
- True

9. How much food is wasted on average per year by a Canadian family?
(One choice of answer)
- 50 kg
- 270 kg
- 400 kg
- 140 kg

10. What characterizes fair trade? Check the statements that apply.
(Multiple choice answers)
- It ensures a fair and equitable price for agricultural producers.
- It prohibits child labour.
- It provides decent working conditions.
- It uses environmentally sound practices.

11. What is inclusion? Check the best answer.
(One choice of answer)
- It is providing opportunities for community members based on their personal characteristics.
- It is accepting that there are people of diversity in our community.
- It means providing an environment that respects people's diversity, integrates them and supports them on their journey.


A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:

A survey on culture, knowledge, and commitment to sustainable development was sent to the entire Université de Sherbrooke community between March 10 and 24, 2022. The questions were formulated by a team composed of two employees of the Office of the Vice-President, Administration and Sustainable Development, and an intern studying for a bachelor's degree in environment. They were tested with a group of students and employees, then clarified and improved based on the feedback received.

Eleven questions in this survey, to be completed only by members of the student community, were specifically related to knowledge of sustainable development issues and challenges.

The knowledge questions were first developed from the themes prioritized by the University, according to the seven strategies of its Sustainable Development Plan 2018-2022:
- Sustainable Mobility
- Green Space Planning
- Residual Materials Management
- Sustainable and Nurturing Campus
- Sustainable Investment
- Sustainable Procurement
- Energy and Greenhouse Gas Management
https://www.usherbrooke.ca/developpement-durable/fileadmin/sites/developpement-durable/documents/PlanDD_2018-2022.pdf

In order to obtain as complete a picture as possible, a knowledge question on the social aspect of sustainable development and a broader question on the general understanding of this concept were added to the questions on these themes and the related challenges. The questions were formulated in such a way as to favour, where relevant, a grounding in the Québec and Canadian contexts.


A brief description of how a representative sample was reached (if applicable) and how the assessment(s) were administered :

The survey was embedded in the Microsoft Forms platform, and the survey link was emailed to all members of the university community. A total of 1208 students from all three campuses, from all faculties, and all levels of study, responded. Participation in the survey was encouraged by the opportunity to enter a draw for ten gift cards.

The survey will be sent out again in 2024. Thus, it will be possible at that time to compare the knowledge of students in the same cohort, i.e., those who were in the first year in 2022 who will be in the third year in 2024.


A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s):

The analysis of the results of the eleven knowledge questions in the survey was very informative and revealed a good general level of knowledge of the issues and challenges related to sustainable development among the student community. It also highlighted some aspects with which students are less familiar.

For example, 85% of respondents were able to correctly answer the question, " According to the UN, what is the definition of sustainable development?” The success rate for questions on knowledge of responsible investment (96%) and inclusion (87%) was also very high. Some 69% of respondents also knew that the reduction at source is the preferred action in terms of waste management, and 96% were able to give a good answer to the question on biodiversity conservation.

Questions that asked for specific data related to current issues proved more difficult. For example, 39% of respondents were able to identify the correct answer (4.8 planets) to the question, "If everyone lived like Canadians, how many planets would humanity need to meet its needs?”. Some 43% of them also knew that the transportation sector is the one that emits the most GHGs in Québec.


Website URL where information about the sustainability literacy assessment is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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