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

STARS v2.2

Université de Sherbrooke
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Emmanuelle Jodoin
Sustainable Development Accountability Officer
Office of the Vice-President, Administration and Sustainable Development
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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::
Longitudinally to measure change over time

A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or 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.

In total, students and employees were asked 13 questions related to sustainability culture. Nine of these questions were identical for both groups, and four were context specific. In all cases, the questions related to the importance attached to certain aspects of sustainability, knowledge of the university's initiatives, and behaviours and perceptions in this area. More specifically, some questions were related to the themes of the seven strategies of the University’s Sustainable Development Plan 2018-2022 (https://www.usherbrooke.ca/developpement-durable/fileadmin/sites/developpement-durable/documents/PlanDD_2018-2022.pdf), as well as to the projects that resulted from this plan.


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:

Some of the questions included in the survey are:

• Are you familiar with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals?

• Which of the UN's sustainable development goals (listed below the question) are of most concern to you personally, in your daily life?

• Are you interested in responsible investment?

• Do you own any responsible investments?

• Indicate your level of awareness of these initiatives that have been introduced from 2018 to 2022 at the Université de Sherbrooke:

o As the first francophone university in Canada to obtain the Fair-Trade Campus designation, all the Université de Sherbrooke’s cafeterias and snack bars offer Fairtrade certified coffee.

o Disposable dishes have been eliminated from cafeterias and snack bars for over 10 years, making way for a broad composting programme.

o The Badibus platform promotes the reuse of the University's surplus goods, such as old furniture, within the university community.

o The Université de Sherbrooke has adopted a policy to prevent and combat violence of a sexual nature, notably by making online trainings mandatory for the entire university community.

o Since 2003, the Université de Sherbrooke has drastically reduced GHG emissions from its buildings and is steadily improving its energy efficiency.

o The University has the largest Solar Park for applied research in Canada.

o The Équipe ambassadrice en gestion des matières résiduelles (GMR) [EN: Waste Management Ambassador Team] raises awareness of good waste management practices within the university community.

o The University recognizes the right of its community members to be identified by a first name, last name, and gender of their choice, different from those appearing in their legal documents.

o With its four beehives on the Main Campus, the Université de Sherbrooke became the first educational institution in Quebec to be designated a Bee City Campus.

o Since 2010, a composting unit on the Main Campus transforms more than 20 tons of organic matter into compost each year, which is used in outdoor landscaping.


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

The survey was embedded in the Microsoft Forms platform, and the survey link was emailed to all members of the university community, i.e., to all students, staff, and faculty. A total of 1208 students and 1473 staff and faculty of 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 sustainability culture of employees and 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 cultural assessment:

Among both the student community and employees, analysis of the responses to the questions on sustainability culture showed a significant concern for sustainability issues. It also revealed a propensity to take actions that are consistent with the interest given to this field. In addition, the good knowledge of several initiatives that have been put in place in recent years on the UdeS campuses was highlighted, as well as some opportunities to disseminate more information in this regard.

Here are some examples of specific results:

• 54% of students and 81% of employees report being aware that disposable dishes have been eliminated from university cafeterias and snack bars for over 10 years, making way for a broad composting programme.

• In terms of behaviour:
o 68% of students and 74% of employees indicate that they always or often limit their water consumption
o 90% of students and 93% of employees report always or often reducing their paper consumption
o 88% of students and 91% of employees report always or often limiting their consumption of single-use plastic
o 90% of students and 97% of employees report always or often sorting their waste materials

• 33% of students and employees indicate that they are aware of the UN's sustainable development goals.

• 50% of students and 60% of employees consider that their presence at the Université de Sherbrooke feeds their desire to get involved in the community.

• 61% of students and 83% of employees consider that their presence at the Université de Sherbrooke allows them to develop more environmentally responsible behaviours and habits.

• 81% of students and 85% of employees say they are interested in responsible investment.

• A strong majority of students consider that it is very relevant or relevant that their training at the Université de Sherbrooke allows them to develop skills and competencies in the areas of integrity (93%), interdisciplinarity (92%), social responsibility (92%), sustainable development (91%), openness to diversity (89%), and creativity (84%).


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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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.