Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 86.82
Liaison Richard Demerjian
Submission Date March 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Carrie Metzgar
Sustainability and Planning Analyst
Campus Physical and Environmental Planning
"---" 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)?:

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

The University of California Cool Campus Challenge was adopted in 2015. The goal of the assessment was to create and assess the culture of sustainability on each of the 10 UC campuses, helping the UC system reach carbon neutrality by 2025. Students, staff, and faculty signed up to participate in the challenge, took sustainability-focused pledges to act in ways that would reduce their carbon footprints, and in turn received points for their efforts. Sustainability areas addressed included transportation, food & waste, purchasing, water, and energy.

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:


- Take the cool climate calculator
- Review the carbon neutrality initiative
- Start green office certification
- Be a cool ambassador

- Get transportation savvy
- Get outside your vehicle
- Fly more sustainably
- Take public transit
- Go virtual with next meeting

- Reduce and reuse
- Go meatless at your events
- Eliminate single use items
- Go paperless
- Eliminate personal printer

- Purchase EnergyStar or EPEAT
- Conduct an equipment audit

- Understand my energy use
- Turn down monitor brightness
- Manage computer power
- Turn off monitor when away
- Turn off that overhead
- Use cold storage efficiently
- Curtail that energy use
- Reduce vampire loads
- Turn off common area lights
- Unplug unused equipment
- Lower the fume hood
- Make the switch to LED
- Power strip it
- Wash in cold water
- Eliminate mini-fridge
- Keep sensors accurate
- Keep heat away from freezers
- Close doors and windows

- Dress for the weather

These questions assess climate change in relation to sustainability. For example how sustainable actions contribute to meeting carbon neutrality goals.

- How sure are you that climate change is happening?
- If climate change is happening, do you think it is caused mostly by human activities, natural cycles, other, no answer, or none of the above?
- How worried are you about climate change?
- How much do you agree with the following - My actions can make a difference to help reduce climate change.
- What was your knowledge of the Carbon Neutrality Initiative before participating in the Cool Campus Challenge?
- Are initiatives like the carbon neutrality initiative important to you in your choice to work or
go to school at UC?
- How did you hear about the Cool Campus Challenge?
- How often do you participate in offerings/communications from your sustainability office
(newsletters, Facebook, trainings, etc.)?
- How would you rate the communication you have had with local program implementers?
- How long do you anticipate you will keep up the actions you pledged to take during the Challenge?
- Overall, how would you rate the Cool Campus Challenge program?
- Do you volunteer for an environmental non-profit organization?

The assessment tool is no longer active online now that the Challenge is complete. A summary of the Challenge containing the list of questions asked and the pledges made can be seen here: http://www.coolcampuschallenge.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Cool-Campus-Challenge-2015-Program-Summary-Evaluation_May2016.pdf

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

The Challenge and corresponding assessment were sent out via ZotMail, UCI's primary electronic communication system, and through Student Affairs to the entire student body and all faculty and staff. Additional weekly emails and events promoted the program. Emails were themed according to sustainability topics, such as, transportation, food & waste, purchasing, water, and energy.

Students, faculty, and staff were also informed and received updates about the Challenge through the UCI Sustainability Facebook page.

The assessment was administered online at http://www.coolcampuschallenge.org/.

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

UC Irvine ranked number one in the UC-wide Cool Campus Challenge, with 3,969 students, staff, and faculty participating and making a pledge to live more sustainably. This participation accounted for 10% of the total UCI student, staff, and faculty campus community. UCI scored 8,588,934 points for their participation in the challenge between October 6, 2015 and December 10, 2015.

Assessment results revealed the following:
- CLIMATE: 79% of respondents said they agree or strongly agree that their actions can help reduce climate change.
- CARBON NEUTRALITY & SUSTAINABILITY: 71% of participants reported that UCI's carbon neutrality goal and other sustainability goals were important or very important to them in choosing to attend UCI.
- SUSTAINABILITY COMMUNICATIONS: 24% indicated that they participate in offerings and communications from UCI's sustainability office one or more times a month.
- 6.2 million pounds of CO2 reduced in 2015
- 2.7 pounds of CO2 could be reduced if UCI keeps up their pledges through the year

**The next Cool Campus Challenge will take place in 2019, and will serve as a follow-up assessment of UCI's sustainability culture.

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Articles and features:

UCI Sustainability: http://sustainability.uci.edu/ucool/

Cool Campus Challenge crowns a winner: https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/cool-campus-challenge-crowns-winner

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.