Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.81
Liaison Christa Rieck
Submission Date Jan. 4, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Houston
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Melissa Halstead
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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 Houston Office of Sustainability Culture Survey and assessment was developed using subject and content matter experts. The Office of Sustainability staff conducted research and data collection while utilizing resources from academic advisers, other higher education institutions and from the AASHE and STARS website. The assessment was adopted in fall 2018.

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:

Please see the sample questions below.

1. Please indicate your confidence level in participating in the following sustainability activities on campus (1= least confident, 4= very confident; N/A =0):
h. Recycle
i. Use public/other transportation
j. Report energy issues
k. Report water issues
l. Use of biking repair stations
m. Contacting the UH Office of Sustainability
n. Volunteering at UH
o. Choosing sustainable food options

2. How would you describe your level of interest in sustainability?
p. Strong interest
q. Moderate interest
r. Either interested nor disinterested
s. Slight interest
t. No interest

3. Please select the top two statements that aligns with your personal and community values:
u. Communities should aim to meet basic needs (clean water, access to food, sanitation, etc.) and healthy living conditions for its members
v. To protect the natural environment from harm
w. Value the importance of diversity in the community
x. Understanding that our community hold different perspectives

4. During the past year how often did you participate in the following (1=never, rarely, sometimes, most of the time, 5= always):
y. Recycled
z. Carpooled or used public transportation (Metro rail, bus)
aa. Biked or walked
bb. Purchased sustainably sourced food items (local, organic, vegetarian based, antibiotic free, cage-free)
cc. Conserved water usage (short showers, don’t leave water running, full loads of laundry and dishes)
dd. Conserved electricity usage (turning off lights, unplugging)
ee. Utilized reusable items (travel mug/water bottle, bags)
ff. Bought products with an eco-label or certification (household cleaning products, shampoo)

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

Generated from an enrollment database, a stratified random group of enrolled students received the online survey. The survey administration was done through Baseline software offered by Campus Labs. The Manager of UH Services Assessment and Evaluation oversaw the assessment and administration.

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

The sustainability culture assessment revealed gaps and successes of student behavior on campus. The largest success is that recycling is well understood, with over half of participants stating that they recycle most of the time and feel confident with recycling practices. Additionally, the majority of students have a strong interest in sustainability. Areas of improvement include the need for better communication regarding energy or water usage and reporting methods, public transportation options and participation, and an increase student participation of sustainability events and opportunities. Lastly, participants had mixed results for how they personally value sustainability from a society and environmental standpoint. Below are a few key findings.
• 60% of participants are very confident in recycling on campus
• 54% of participants have a strong interest in sustainability
• 42% of participants value basic needs for community members
• 31% of participants always use reusable items (such as bags and bottles)
• 12% always use public transportation

The survey conducted was a pre-test, therefore there are no measurable changes to report at this time.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

A follow up assessment will be conducted in the near future.

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.