Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.54
Liaison Kelli O'Day
Submission Date June 20, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of California, Davis
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Kelli O'Day
Assessment Program Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture?:

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 UC Davis Sustainability Culture Survey (formerly UC Davis Program Assessment Survey) was first developed and administered in 2018 as a means to better understand the current behaviors, barriers and beliefs on campus around sustainability, including an assessment of the current campus programs. A beta version of the survey was created and circulated with a few stakeholders before being implemented campus wide between May and July 2018. In 2022, the survey was updated in order to improve the survey taking experience, adjust for changes in program offerings, and incorporate questions about the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The survey was briefly circulated in 2022, and results were used to make minor adjustments to the survey before it was broadly administered in 2023.

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:

Have you participated in any of the following ongoing Sustainability office engagement and outreach programs or efforts on campus? Please select all that apply.

Please elaborate on your reasons for participating in sustainability-related campus programs by completing the following statement: “I felt participating in these programs would be…” (Select all that apply.)

What types of sustainable actions are you taking on campus? Please select all that apply.

What specific sustainable food-related actions are you taking on campus? Please select all that apply.

Choose your best response to the following statement: "My actions can contribute to solving sustainability challenges."

Do your academics, extracurriculars, or work relate to the UN SDGs? If so, which ones? Please select all that apply.

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

In 2023, the UC Davis Sustainability Culture Survey was distributed using all potential UC Davis Sustainability outreach strategies. These included multiple invitations to participate in the Sustainability newsletter, Farmers Market tabling, Instagram posts, Facebook posts, inclusion in the Staff Assembly newsletter, submission for the Academic Senate listserv, tabling at staff appreciation events, individually targeted emails to professional contacts of Sustainability staff, and LCD screen digital signage across campus. Participation was further successfully incentivized by inviting respondents to indicate whether they would like to be included in a raffle for a one of four gift cards to a very popular local market, the Davis Food Co-Op.

In all cases, outreach materials contained a scannable QR code that directed participants directly to the survey or a link to the survey hosted on the Qualtrics survey platform.

A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:

Over the course of two months from March 17th, 2023 to May 25th, 2023, 679 respondents began the assessment, 627 answered at least one sustainability-related question, and 506 completed the assessment. The breakdown of responses is as follows (N=627 for the rest of the summary):

49.8% Undergraduate Students
6.7% Graduate Students
35.2% Staff members
5.7% Faculty members
3.5% Other

Almost 98% of respondents indicated that an environmentally sustainable campus is at least moderately important to them, and over 50% described it as “extremely important.” Over 50% indicated that the campus’s sustainability efforts impacted their decision to study or work at UC Davis.

61% of respondents had participated in at least one sustainability-related program offered by the Sustainability office, a student organization, Student Housing and Dining Services, or another department on campus.

82% of respondents reported taking sustainable actions on campus. Energy- and waste-related actions (such as turning off appliances or recycling) were taken by nearly 70% of respondents each. Over 50% of respondents took transportation-related actions (such as biking around campus), and nearly 45% took food-related actions (such as buying locally grown food).

31% of respondents reported being somewhat or very familiar with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Almost 50% of respondents felt that their academics, extracurriculars, or work related to at least one UN SDG. SDGs 3: Good Health and Wellbeing, 4: Quality Education, and 5: Gender Equality were each selected by more than 20% of respondents.

Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Cora Ballek, a student employee in the Sustainability office, assisted in compiling this credit response.

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.