Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 81.30
Liaison Patrick McKee
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Sarah Munro
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Environmental Policy
"---" 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 questions in the survey were written to test for a variety of different topics under the umbrella of environmental/sustainability culture at UConn, ranging from what students believe to be the most important sustainability issue on campus to types of items that they recycle. The process of creating the survey included drafting many questions, and then choosing a select group of these to include in the survey, in order to have a sample representative of many different categories of sustainability culture.

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:
1. How do you identify your gender? Male Female Other Prefer not to Disclose 2. In what year are you? Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Graduate Student Staff/faculty 3. Do you currently live on or off campus? On-Campus Off-Campus 4. What is the most important environmental issue on campus? Trash/Litter Recycling Water Issues Air Pollution Energy Issues Global Warming Other Unsure 5. What environmental initiatives are most important for UConn? Purchasing recycled products Purchasing recyclable products Using fuel-efficient or alternative-fuel campus vehicles Using renewable energy sources for campus needs Carbon neutrality Sustainable water use Reducing plastic waste Composting or other reducing food waste Increase public transportation options Other 6. How frequently do you recycle products in your dorm room? Always Sometimes Never N/A 7. How frequently do you recycle products in the classroom, recreation, or student union buildings? Always Sometimes Never 8. What types of items do you regularly recycle on UConn’s campus? Newspapers Bottles/Cans Mixed Paper Cardboard Sneakers E-Waste Other 9. What types of items do you regularly recycle at home (not at UConn)? Newspapers Bottles/Cans Mixed Paper Cardboard Sneakers E-Waste Other 10. How convenient are the location of recycling bins at UConn? Explain. Very convenient Somewhat convenient Not very convenient Not at all convenient Explain: 11. Are you aware of UConn’s Mixed recycling program? Yes No 12. What is the single best way to encourage students to recycle more often at UConn? More recycling bins in academic buildings More recycling bins in residences More recycling bins in dining halls More recycling bins outdoors on campus Recycling outreach campaign More janitorial training Better markings on recycling bins Other (please specify) 13. In which of the following ways do you reduce waste on campus? Use double sided copies Use reusable plates, cups, or utensils Carry a reusable bottle or coffee mug Avoid plastic packaging Other (please specify) 14. What is the single best way to encourage UConn students to use more bicycles on campus? More bike paths More bike racks More storage facilities Bike loan program More bike signage Other (please specify) 15. How frequently do you use the shuttle service at UConn? Once a day or more Two or more times a week Three or fewer times a month Never 16. Do you carpool to campus? Yes, I carpool. No, I don't carpool but am willing to participate. No, I don't carpool and am not interested in participating. No, I live on campus. Other 17. How frequently do you try to reduce your energy and water use on campus or in your residence? Always Sometimes Never 18. In which of the following ways do you conserve water where you live? Limit shower time Turn off the sink while teeth brushing, hand washing, shaving, etc. Only wash full loads of laundry Report sink leaks to ResLife or landlord Other (please specify) 19. In which of the following ways do you conserve energy where you live? Use a clothing rack to dry clothes Turn off lights when not in use Turn off electronics when not in use Use light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) Lower thermostat when leaving the room for the day Lower thermostat when leaving the room at the end of the semester Other 20. What would you be willing to pay in student fees per semester to reduce UConn’s impact on the environment? $1 $2 $3 $4 $5 $5-$10 $10-$15 More than $15 Nothing Other N/A 21. Are you aware of the EcoHusky student group at UConn? Yes, I have heard of them. Yes, I participate in the group. No, but I am interested in learning more. No, and I am not interested in participating at this time. 22. If you chose yes, what interaction with EcoHusky have you had during this past school year? Choose all that apply. Seen articles in the Daily Campus Followed EcoHusky student group on Facebook Visited EcoHusky website Active Member Volunteered for event Attended meeting Seen poster or outreach materials Other (please specify) 23. What features are important for new building construction at UConn? Water Conservation Energy Conservation Alternative Energy Use Low Impact Design (noise pollution, rain gardens, porous parking lots, etc.) Sustainable Materials (recycled content, previously used materials, etc.) Sustainable Site Selection (ex. use of brownfields) Other 24. What events did you attend, participate in, or volunteer at this academic year? Green Game Day: Football Green Game Day: Football Attend Green Game Day: Football Volunteer Green Game Day: Football Did not attend Green Game Day: Football Never heard of this event Campus Sustainability Day Campus Sustainability Day Attend Campus Sustainability Day Volunteer Campus Sustainability Day Did not attend Campus Sustainability Day Never heard of this event EcoMadness EcoMadness Attend EcoMadness Volunteer EcoMadness Did not attend EcoMadness Never heard of this event Green Game Day: Basketball Green Game Day: Basketball Attend Green Game Day: Basketball Volunteer Green Game Day: Basketball Did not attend Green Game Day: Basketball Never heard of this event Earth Day Spring Fling Earth Day Spring Fling Attend Earth Day Spring Fling Volunteer Earth Day Spring Fling Did not attend Earth Day Spring Fling Never heard of this event Sneaker Recycling Sneaker Recycling Attend Sneaker Recycling Volunteer Sneaker Recycling Did not attend Sneaker Recycling Never heard of this event Food Waste Food Waste Attend Food Waste Volunteer Food Waste Did not attend Food Waste Never heard of this event Other Other Attend Other Volunteer Other Did not attend Other Never heard of this event None None Attend None Volunteer None Did not attend None Never heard of this event 25. Do you have any comments about sustainability at UConn? 26. Would you be willing to be contacted for a follow up survey in the future? Yes No 27. Please submit your UConn email address to enter into a drawing for various prizes such as travel mugs, hats, T-shirts, and more!

A brief description of how representative samples were reached (if applicable) and how the cultural assessment is administered:
The survey was administered in the fall of 2014 in the University Student Daily Digest email, which is also available to all staff and faculty. The link to the survey was also made available online. A follow up survey was administered in spring 2015, with the link sent to the Daily Digest email, as well as directly to the respondents who said yes to a follow-up email. The next round of this survey will be sent out in the fall of 2017 with the follow-up sent in the spring of 2018. This time frame allows for the original survey respondents to learn more about campus initiatives and allows us to view any changes in awareness.

A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment, including a description of any measurable changes over time:
Every few years the OEP sends out an environmental awareness survey to see how well our office is handling UConn’s important environmental issues. We design questions to determine which areas of sustainability are most important to UConn students and faculty. In 2015 there were 347 respondents. Respondents were asked if they would be willing to take a follow up survey; 52% said yes. Key findings from the 2015 Environmental Awareness Survey include: • 27% of undergraduate respondents believed the most important environmental issue on campus is recycling • Using renewable energy sources for campus needs (61%) and reducing plastic waste (57%) were environmental initiatives most important to UConn for the undergraduate respondents • Undergraduate respondents recycle Sneakers and E-waste more at home than at school; 3% to 10% and 4% to 11% respectively. • Only 50% of undergraduate respondents were aware of UConn’s Mixed Recycling program • Undergraduate respondents believe more recycling bins outdoors (24%) and carrying reusable water bottles (86%) to be the best ways to increase recycling and reduce waste • 31% of undergraduate respondents never use the shuttle system and 27% only use it three or fewer times per month • 65% of respondents said that only try to reduce energy and water use in their residence sometimes

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:

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.