Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.20
Liaison Juanita Van Norman
Submission Date Aug. 5, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Manitoba
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Christie Nairn
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students?:

Which of the following best describes the literacy assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire (or predominate) student body, directly or by representative sample

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

1. What is the United Nations definition of sustainable development?
a) Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs
b) Setting aside resources for preservation, never to be used
c) Balancing the economy, society, and environment to create harmony for all
d) Conserving the diversity of earth
e) Do not know/unsure of answer

2. What are the three pillars of sustainability?
a) Land, Water, Air
b) Economy, Environment, Ecology
c) Social, Economic, Environment
d) Social, Systems, Sustainability
e) Do not know/unsure of answer

3. What are the potential effects of global climate change?
a) Loss of habitats
b) Increase in sea level
c) More severe weather events
d) All of the above
e) Do not know/unsure of answer

4. Certain substances in the atmosphere, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, influence the Earth's temperature and climate. These substances are commonly referred to as:
a) Ozone
b) Radiation
c) Greenhouse Gases
d) Ultraviolet Light
e) Do not know/unsure of answer

5. What percentage of Earth's water is available and accessible as drinking water?
a) 80%
b) 50%
c) 10%
d) 1%
e) Do not know/unsure of answer

6. What is an invasive species?
a) A predator species that largely hunts prey in an area far from its den
b) A non-native species whose introduction to an ecosystem is likely to cause environmental harm
c) A native species that outcompetes other species for resources
d) A species found in many countries
e) Do not know/unsure of answer

7. Which protein produces the fewest greenhouse gas emissions?
a) Beef
b) Tofu
c) Prawns
d) Eggs
e) Do not know/unsure of answer

8. What is a "food desert"?
a) An arid region of land unsuitable for farming
b) Food that is deemed unacceptable for human consumption
c) Urban or rural areas without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food
d) A sweet served after a savoury meal
e) Do not know/unsure of answer

9. What is not considered to be a sustainable mode of transportation:
a) Cycling
b) Walking
c) Driving an automobile
d) Taking the bus
e) Do not know/unsure of answer

10. A model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products is called a:
a) Green Economy
b) Circular Economy
c) Good Economy
d) Flow Economy
e) Do not know/unsure of answer

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

The survey was developed by the Office of Sustainability in January of 2022. The survey was designed to assess the general knowledge of the University of Manitoba community on the topic of sustainability. The survey was approved by the UM survey committee and was administered from February 28 – March 28, 2022. The survey is a baseline tool to determine progress among students, staff, and faculty regarding sustainability literacy, and the information provided will help improve sustainability outreach and education initiatives at the University.

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

Promotion of the survey included campus-wide email communications to all staff, students and faculty in addition to a university news article and social media posts made on Instagram and Twitter. The survey was also promoted to all attendees Sustainability Day which is a campus wide event with student, staff, and faculty attendees.

A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s):

The survey received 990 responses, with most responses being from undergraduate students, followed by staff, graduate students, and faculty. The literacy assessment demonstrated that students, staff, and faculty have a good understanding of the potential effects of global climate change, what greenhouse gases are, what invasive species are, and the different types of sustainable transportation. Approximately 25% of respondents were either unaware or unsure of the definition of sustainable development and the three pillars of sustainability. The results also showed that the topics of accessible drinking water, greenhouse gas emissions related to food production, and circular economy were least understood by approximately 50% of participants.

Website URL where information about the sustainability literacy assessment 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.