Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.24
Liaison Justin Mog
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Louisville
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 4.00 Brent Fryrear
Program Manager
VPR - Research
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students (i.e. an assessment focused on student knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges)?:

Which of the following best describes the literacy assessment? The assessment is administered to::
A subset of students or a sample that may not be representative of the predominant student body

Which of the following best describes the structure of the assessment? The assessment is administered as a::
Standalone evaluation without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):

A sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:


Sustainability Literacy Survey

The Partnership for a Green City (a sustainability collaboration of the University of Louisville, Louisville Metro Government, Jefferson County Public Schools, and Jefferson Community & Technical College) created this survey to see how much people know about sustainability within the Louisville Metro/Kentuckiana area. The questions used in this survey have been used in other survey instruments - with the exception of the questions specific to Louisville Metro.

1. Which of the following is the most commonly used definition of sustainable development?
a) Creating a government welfare system that ensures universal access to education, healthcare and social services
b) Setting aside resources for preservation never to be used
c) Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs
d) Building a neighborhood that is both socio-demographically and economically diverse

2. What do you consider the top environmental problems in Louisville Metro? (You may select more than one)
a) Air quality
b) Water quality
c) Urban Sprawl
d) Flooding
e) Soil Contamination

3. The world population is currently 7.5 billion people. What was the world population in 1987?
a) 3 billion
b) 4 billion
c) 5 billion
d) 6 billion

4. Air quality alerts are periodically issued in Louisville Metro when the following chemical is projected to exceed health standards?
a) Oxygen
b) Ozone
c) Carbon Monoxide
d) Nitrogen

5. For each of the following statements, please indicate whether you believe it is true or false
a) The water quality of every stream in Louisville Metro meets all state water quality regulations
b) The water quality of every stream in Louisville Metro meets all state water quality regulations
c) The water quality of every stream in Louisville Metro meets all state water quality regulations d) Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District will spend $870 million by 2020 to eliminate combined sewer overflows
e) Energy produced by water (hydroelectric) is considered a "renewable" energy source
f) Coal is considered a "renewable" energy source
g) The largest use of energy per year in a typical home is lighting
h) A home refrigerator typically requires more energy per year than a desktop computer
i) Most electricity in the U.S. is produced by burning coal
j) Wind energy is theoretically possible but not a practical source of renewable energy
k) Over the past two decades, energy demands have been largely met through conservation efforts
l) The best way to manage solid waste is to not generate any waste in the first place
m) Louisville is warmer by 1 - 3 degrees Fahrenheit that surrounding rural counties
n) The benefits of a warmer city outweigh the disadvantages
o) The greatest difference between temperatures in the city and surrounding area occurs at night
p) Over the past three decades, the difference between the richest and poorest Americans has stayed about the same
q) The best measure of the quality of life for an individual is material wealth
r) The best measure of the quality of life for a society is gross national product
s) Abuses of the environment disproportionately diminish the lives of the poor
t) My decisions and actions affect me and those close to me, not other people or places around the globe
u) The U.S. has the highest level of social mobility in the world, where the poor can pull themselves up through hard work to be upper class citizens

6. In Louisville Metro, what is your opinion of the overall
Air Quality Poor Fair Good Excellent
Water Quality Poor Fair Good Excellent

7. What is the most common cause of pollution of streams and rivers?
a) Dumping of garbage by cities
b) Surface waters running off yards, city streets, paved lots and farm fields
c) Litter near streams and rivers
d) Wastewater from factories

8. The predominant method of disposing of municipal solid waste in Louisville Metro is by?
a) Incineration
b) Composting
c) Landfilling
d) Recycling

9. The most important strategy for our energy future is:
a) Develop alternative renewable energy sources
b) Developing technology to make the mining and burning of coal better for the environment
c) Increase conservation efforts
d) Don't know

10. Which of the following is not a fossil fuel?
a) Coal
b) Petroleum
c) Natural Gas
d) Wood

11. Contributing to the urban heat island effect is/are?
a) Heat absorption by pavement and rooftops
b) Exhaust from automobiles
c) Releases from air conditioners
d) All of the above

12. Since the 1960s, water quality in the US has improved primarily because:
a) Federal regulation of polluters
b) Voluntary actions by polluters
c) Public Education
d) It has not improved

13. Heat Islands can be minimized by:
a) Using lighter colored roofing materials
b) Planting trees
c) Using cement rather than asphalt for parking lots and roads
d) All of the above

14. What is the potential effect of global climate change?
a) Loss of habitat
b) Less severe weather
c) Loss of Ozone level
d) Decrease of sea level

15. Which of the following is an example of sustainable forest management?
a) Setting aside forests to be off limits to the public
b) Never harvesting more than the forest produces in new growth
c) Producing lumber for nearby communities to build affordable housing
d) Putting the local communities in charge of forest reserves

16. The most significant driver in the loss of species and ecosystems around the world is:
a) Over hunting/over harvesting
b) Conversion of natural spaces into human development
c) Pesticides
d) Climate Change

17. Please rate the frequency that you do the following behaviors
Never Rarely Usually Always
Choose mass transit as a means of local travel
Use car/van pool for travel to work or school
Choose bicycling for local travel
Choose walking for local travel
Consider the working conditions of product producers before buying
Boycott a company because of its social practices
Minimize waste
Conserve energy
Voted for or supported a candidate because of his/her position on environmental issues
Choose food conscientiously based on its impacts (e.g. Fair Trade Certified, locally grown, carbon footprint)

18. For the following measures of attitude, please select the best reflection of your attitude
Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
People should recycle and reuse, even if it is less convenient
People should choose a method of transportation other than driving a car alone, even if it is less convenient
People should be willing to lower the quality of their lives in order that other people in the world can live better
People should be willing to spend more to get products and services that are better for the environment
People should be willing to spend more to get products and services, if that is what it takes to make life better for other people
In general, I think climate change issues are among the most important challenges in the world today
In general, I think that energy issues are among the most important challenges in the world today
In general, I think that environmental threats are among the most important challenges in the world today
In general, I think that social justice issues are among the most important challenges in the world today
In general, I think the effects of businesses on society are among the most important challenges in the world today
It is possible to protect the environment and expand the economy
Private landowners should be able to use the land however they want
I am willing to pay more for products from businesses that are socially responsible

19. Of the sustainability programs at Louisville Metro, UofL, JCPS or JCTC, mark the programs you are aware of:
Free TARC pass
Energy Star
Single Stream/Commercial Dry Waste Recycling
Energy Conservation (Performance Contracts)
Local food purchasing
Green Purchasing
When not in use, turn off the juice or TYLO (turn off the lights)
Car pooling
Earn a bike
Bike sharing
Low emission (natural gas powered) mowers
Idle Free policy
Green infrastructure
Renewable energy
Bicycle plan
Free Store
Climate Change Commitment
Buy Local shopping
LEED Buildings
Energy Star Buildings
Green roofs/cool roofs
Green wall
Cool pavements
Building dashboard
Other (please specify)

20. Demographic information - Gender

21. Demographic Information - Student or Employee

22. Demographic Information - School or workplace
Louisville Metro
Jefferson County Public Schools
Jefferson Community & Technical College
University of Louisville
Metro Resident
Louisville Water Company
Other (please specify)

23. Demographic Information - Age
Under 21 years old
21 - 30
31 - 40
41 - 50
51 - 60
61 - 70
71 and over

24. Demographic Information - Educational Level
No High School diploma/GED
High School Diploma/GED
Professional Degree (Law, Medicine. Dentistry)

25. Is there anything you would like to add?

26. Demographic Information - Zip Code
ZIP/Postal Code

A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:

This survey was developed by the Director of the Partnership for a Green City, Brent Fryrear, using input from other survey instruments and localized information pertinent to Louisville. The intent is to provide a snapshot of existing, relevant, sustainable knowledge in the community of the university and its periphery. The survey is currently establishing a baseline and was adopted by the university in 2018.

A brief description of how a representative sample was reached (if applicable) and how the assessment(s) were administered :

Assessments are administered over the web-based third-party system Survey Monkey. Links to the survey in this system have been distributed via email to samples of the community.

A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s), including a description of any measurable changes over time:

As this survey is currently in its baseline years, trends and measurable changes over time have yet to be identified.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.