Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.22
Liaison Olivia Wiebe
Submission Date Jan. 28, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Idaho
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Olivia Wiebe
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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::
Without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples of the same population

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

The 2022 University of Idaho (UI) Campus Sustainability Survey was developed by the UI Sustainability Center in collaboration with Dr. Kenneth Wallen and doctoral student Madison Dougherty. The primary measures to assess sustainability culture were environmental identity (Clayton et al., 2021), sustainability attitude (Zwickle & Jones, 2018), and climate change beliefs (Chryst et al., 2018). To assess sustainability behavior, a literature review and review of AASHE resources was conducted to inform these measures and items. The questionnaire was reviewed and approved for distribution by the Director of Institutional Research within the Office of the Provost & Executive Vice President. Two versions of the survey were created for the two target populations: Moscow-based students and UI staff/faculty. The survey was distributed to a representative sample of both populations via email invitation contact mode (to an individuals’ UI email address) and an online response mode (Qualtrics).

Both the student and the employee surveys were used as our Cultural Assessment.


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:

Cultural Assessment Questions (Employees and Students)

How sustainable do you think you are?
-I have a lot of room for improvement
-I do some things when I can, but don’t make a full effort
-I am sustainable when it is convenient
-I make a point to act sustainably in many aspects of my -life
-I am doing all that I can to be sustainable

How often, if at all, would you say you engage in the following activities?
-Recycle
-Conserve water or energy at my residence
-Buy environmentally friendly products
-Buy energy-efficient products
-Talk to others about environmental issues
-Participate in an environmental organization (group or club)
-Sign petitions about environmental issues
-Write letters to a politician/government official about environmental issues
-Volunteer my time to an environmental issue or organization
-Educate myself about environmental issues
-Take part in a rally/protest on environmental issues
-Use a reusable drink container
-Minimize the amount of waste I generate
-Compost
-Minimize air conditioning and heater energy use
-Bike or walk to class/campus
-Use fans or open windows instead of air conditioning
-Wash only full loads of laundry
-Run only full loads of a dishwasher
-Take 10-minutes or less in the shower
-Minimize my consumption of meat, dairy, and other animal products
-Eat locally grown or organic food
-Bike or walk for errands/shopping

Please rank these barriers to you participating in sustainability efforts at the University of Idaho. If you do not perceive any barrier, move "I do not perceive any barriers to acting sustainably" to the top of your rankings.
-I do not have enough time
-I do not know what to do
-I do not feel sustainability is encouraged by UI
-I do not feel my behavior will make a difference
-Sustainability is not a high priority for me
-I do not perceive any barriers to acting sustainably

Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statements:
-I know how to act in ways that improve campus sustainability.
-If I wanted to, I could act in ways that improve campus sustainability.
-I can choose whether I act in ways that improve campus sustainability.
-At UI, it is easy for me to act in ways that improve campus sustainability.
-At UI, it is convenient for me to act in ways that improve campus sustainability.
-At UI, it doesn’t take me much extra effort to act in ways that improve campus sustainability.

Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statements:
-Access to clean water is a universal human right
-Clean air is part of a good life
-Our present consumption of natural resources will result in serious environmental challenges for future generations
-Biological diversity in itself is good
-Equal rights for all people strengthens a community
-Community cooperation is necessary to solve social problems
-I believe that many people can work together to solve global problems
-The well-being of others affects me
-Consumerism is not sustainable
-I am willing to put forth a little more effort in my daily life to reduce my environmental impact
-An unsustainable economy values personal wealth at the costs of others

Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statements:
-I consider the impact my actions will have on sustainability issues while on campus.
-I act in ways that have a positive impact on sustainability issues while on campus.
-I encourage other people to adopt sustainability behaviors on campus.

Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statements:
-The University of Idaho should be a leader in sustainability
-Sustainability should be part of the University of Idaho's values and mission statement
-The University of Idaho should take on a larger role in sustainability
-Universities that are sustainability-oriented have advantages in recruiting and retaining students
-Sustainability will be considered more and more by students when they chose a university to attend
-Sustainability is important to me
-Sustainability is important to the University of Idaho

Please indicate the extent to which each of the following statements describes you.
-I like to spend time outdoors in natural settings (such as woods, mountains, rivers, fields, local parks, lake or beach, or a leafy yard or garden)
-I think of myself as a part of nature, not separate from it.
-If I had enough resources such as time or money, I would spend some of them to protect the natural environment.
-When I am upset or stressed, I can feel better by spending some time outdoors surrounded by nature.
-I feel that I have a lot in common with wild animals.
-Behaving responsibly toward nature -- living a sustainable lifestyle -- is important to who I am.
-Learning about the natural world should be part of everyone's upbringing.
-If I could choose, I would prefer to live where I can have a view of the natural environment, such as trees or fields.
-An important part of my life would be missing if I was not able to get outside and enjoy nature from time to time.
-I think elements of the natural world are more beautiful than any work of art.
-I feel refreshed when I spend time in nature.
-I consider myself a steward of our natural resources.
-I feel comfortable out in nature.
-I enjoy encountering elements of nature, like trees or grass, even when I am in a city setting.

In general, how much of a barrier to you recycling would you say the following are?
-No bins are available
-Unsure if something can be recycled
-I don’t know where to recycle
-Bins are full
-Bins are too far away
-It takes too much time
-Recycling is inconvenient
-I didn't know the City of Moscow recycles
-I don't care about recycling
-Other (please specify):

How often do you use the follow transportation modes?
-Single-occupancy vehicle (only you driving a private vehicle)
-Zero-emissions vehicle
-Walk, cycle, or other non-motorized mode
-Van or carpool (multiple people sharing a private vehicle)
-Public transport or campus shuttle
-Motorized scooter/bike or moped

How important is the issue of global warming to you personally?
-Not at all important
-Not too important
-Somewhat important
-Very important
-Extremely important

How worried are you about global warming?
-Not at all worried
-Not very worried
-Somewhat worried
-Very worried

How much do you think global warming will harm you personally?
-Not at all
-Only a little
-A moderate amount
-A great deal

How much do you think global warming will harm future generations?
-Not at all
-Only a little
-A moderate amount
-A great deal


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

We distributed the survey to a representative sample of the Moscow campus by email. An invitation was sent out by University Communications and Marketing in January 2021 to both the students and the employees. The Sustainability Center sent out reminders and marketing for two consecutive weeks through a weekly newsletter and the survey was promoted on student-focused social media pages of the Sustainability Center and the Department of Student Involvement. QR codes were posted in the on-campus living buildings, and a peer-to-peer outreach campaign was conducted by three student staff. Reminders for the employee survey were posted in the Daily Register, the university's daily newsletter sent to all staff and faculty, as well as was distributed through Staff Council and through departmental list serves. The response rate is --% for students and --% for employees. The resulting data is de-identified, which means the survey is anonymous.


A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:

Cultural Assessment Key Findings:

83.34% of employees and 81.43% of students agree or strongly agree that sustainability is important to them.

56.98% of employees and 35.30% of students make a point to act sustainably or are doing all they can to be sustainable.

83.28% of employees and 58.72% of students recycle, despite the temporary suspension of campus collection.

86.28% of employees and 77.83% of students agree or strongly agree that they are willing to put forth a little more effort in daily life to reduce environmental impact.


Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:

Survey Creation: Dr. Kenneth Wallen, Faculty, College of Natural Resources and Madison Dougherty, doctoral candidate; Environmental Science Department

Survey Sources:
Chryst, B., Marlon, J., van der Linden, S., Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., & Roser-Renouf, C. (2018). Global warming’s “Six Americas Short Survey”: Audience segmentation of climate change views using a four question instrument. Environmental Communication, 12(8), 1109-1122. https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2018.1508047

Clayton, S., Czellar, S., Nartova-Bochaver, S., Skibins, J. C., Salazar, G., Tseng, Y. C., et al. (2021). Cross-cultural validation of a revised environmental identity scale. Sustainability, 13(4), 2387. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042387

Zwickle, A., & Jones, K. (2018). Sustainability knowledge and attitudes: Assessing latent constructs. In W. Leal Filho, R. W. Marans, & J. Callewaert (Eds.), Handbook of sustainability and social science research (pp. 435-451). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67122-2_25

Survey Distribution: Olivia Wiebe, Sustainability Center Coordinator; Department of Student Involvement

Student Cultural Assessment responses are attached to AC 6 Sustainability Literacy Assessment credit.

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.