Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.45
Liaison Justin Mog
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Louisville
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Emily Spoden
Office of Institutional Effectiveness
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture?:

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::
Longitudinally to measure change over time

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

The UofL Sustainability Council collaborated with student interns and Institutional Research to develop, pre-test (summer 2021) and fully launch an annual assessment of a representative sample of the entire UofL community. In 2022, the survey was sent to a total of 5,971 faculty, staff, and students on 1/19/22 and the survey closed on 2/2/22.
Student intern, Klemmer Nicodemus, applied for a grant during the summer of 2021 in which he would receive funding to help him develop and pre-test the instrument which he would write with the help of Graduate Assistant James Joyce and UofL staff Justin Mog. The development and pretesting of the survey entailed many iterations of writing questions, providing carefully articulated answers, and administering the survey both in-person and online to fellow students and faculty/staff. The instrument was intended to ask two types of questions - those which would test one's literacy and those which would test one's habits and opinions (culture) of campus sustainability. The survey was written to have an even split of questions related to literacy and culture - as to gather the most information about our campus community as possible as well as serve as a fulfillment of two STARS credits. There were three main administration phases of this assessment - creating an assessment that will be readministered every year for the foreseeable future that will measure growth and change of campus sustainability literacy and culture. The first phase of testing was essential to the development of the instrument we use today; this was when the student intern held in-person meetings with peers and faculty in which he was able to see the reactions that the respondent had to the questions - were the questions too complex, too simple, or just not relevant? Through engaging peers and mentors, the student intern was able to receive a range of opinions on the instrument and how it may bet develop. The next phase came in the form of an online pretest in which a sample audience of 200 university community members were sent the survey and encouraged to provide constructive feedback. UofL faculty and staff were undersampled and students oversampled to compensate for the response tendencies during summer semesters. This pretest had a 10% response rate and was used to further refine the instrument and prepare it to be sent to a larger, more representative population of the University community. In the spring of 2022, the instrument was administered to nearly 30 times the sample size as the pretest - reaching a much wider audience and pulling a more representative measure of the campus' sustainability literacy and culture! The student intern and the team behind this survey were extremely excited at the opportunity to quantifiably make our campus more sustainable - and even more so proud of the instrument that they produced as a result which should help serve the campus community for years to come.

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. On average, how often do you participate in each of the following activities at the University of Louisville?
(Options: Never,Less than once a semester, Around once or twice a semester, Around once or twice a month, Around once or twice a week)
- Talks or workshops about social justice
- Talks or workshops about environmental issues
- Talks or workshops about financial or economic issues
- Community garden volunteer workdays
- Composting volunteer workdays
- Other on-campus sustainability events or programs If you responded to "Other on-campus sustainability events or programs," please list the type of event/program you attended:
If you answered "never" to any of these activities, briefly explain why.

2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
(Options: Strongly disagree, Disagree, Unsure, Agree, Strongly agree, Prefer not to say)
- I tend to eat meals including meat.
- I tend to drink dairy milk rather than non-dairy.
- I tend to buy groceries rather than eat out.
- I tend to throw food away if I haven't eaten it.
- I tend to mend or alter my clothes after they break or do not fit me anymore.
- I tend to donate or sell my clothes when I am done with them.
- I tend to donate or sell my shoes when I am done with them.
- I tend to buy and wear second-hand clothes.
- I tend to buy and use second-hand electronics.
- I am more likely to buy goods from sustainably operated companies.
- I am willing to pay more for sustainably sourced goods than conventional.
- I tend to buy locally sourced goods.
- I avoid driving whenever possible.
- I tend to volunteer my time in the community.

3. Do you prefer reusables or disposables?
(Options: I prefer the disposable option, I prefer the reusable option, Unsure, Prefer not to say)
- Water bottles
- Cutlery and plates
- Grocery bags
- Left-over food containers
- Kitchen towels

4. What do you do with the following electronic devices when they are not in use?
(Options: Keep off and unplugged or detached from power, Keep off, Keep on, Unsure, Don't have one of these, Prefer not to say)
- Computers
- Video game consoles
- Televisions
- Sound system

5. What do you do with the following items when they are not in use?
(Options: Keep off, Keep on, Unsure, Don't have one of these, Prefer not to say)
- Lights
- Fan
- Heating
- Air conditioning

6. You have now reached the end of the questionnaire. Is there anything that was not asked that you believe we should know?

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

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness drew the sample and administered the survey using an online platform, with participants notified via email, with two follow-up reminders. A representative sample was reached through random sampling of the entire populations of undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff. Sufficiently large sample sizes of each of those populations were used to get a statistically representative sample size for each group. Out of a total campus population of roughly 30,000, we sampled 5,971 faculty, staff, and students.

A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:

The results of all three administrations of this instrument - particularly the in-person pretesting phase - show a result that is very interesting in terms of how sustainability is practiced versus preached. In the in-person pre phases especially, it was typical of a respondent to display solid sustainability literacy, and then when responding to the sustainability culture questions display very poor practices of what they may have known to be the "right" thing to do. The dialogue between administrator and respondent during this first phase was a very big part of noting this observation in the difference between sustainability literacy and culture. The second and third administrations of the instrument yielded similar results - that while we may have tended to display good sustainability literacy, sustainability culture was less impressive. The next steps as a community would be to help students and staff build more sustainable habits that they may know are the best choice but don't necessarily have an easy time picking up.

Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The document supplied in "Optional Fields" is the PowerPoint that was used to present the objective, methods, and results/findings of the first two phases of survey administration. This is a great piece of evidence for how the instrument was developed into what it has become and how it may serve our community for years to come.

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.