Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.52
Liaison Ruairi O'Mahony
Submission Date Aug. 10, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Massachusetts Lowell
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 James Kohl
Dean of Student Affairs & Enrichment
Student Affairs
"---" 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 campus sustainability cultural assessment was developed through a partnership between the Office of Sustainability and the Climate Action Plan Student Life Subcommittee. The Office of Student Affairs and Office of Residence Life were instrumental in submitting the questionnaire.

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:

A sample of questions asked in the assessment are:

- How often do you recycle paper, plastics, cardboard, metals, and glass?
- How often do you recycle used electronics?
- How often do you use a refillable or reusable cup/mug instead of buying bottled water?
- Do you believe that your daily life decisions impact world energy use?
- When it is too hot/cold in your room, do you primarily...
- How often do you use the Hydration Stations (water refill stations) in UML buildings?
- Do you use green practices for washing dishes?
- Do you use power management for your electronic devices?
- What mode of transportation do you primarily use for getting to/from UMass Lowell?
- What mode of transportation do you primarily use for getting between campuses?
- Are the impacts of climate change currently affecting you personally?
- How significantly do you think the impact from climate change will affect you in the future?
-Do you believe that your activities and choices have an impact on climate change?
-Have you been to an event that discussed climate action/sustainability on campus in the last year?
-Where do you currently receive information about sustainability related topics on campus?
-How important is it to you that UMass Lowell provides opportunities on campus for students/staff/faculty to engage in sustainability education/efforts?

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

The cultural assessment was administered through email and all students and employees received it. We offered gift cards as incentives for student participation and got a very high response rate from the campus community.

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

We received over 1200 responses this year, the most out of all of the years we have completed the survey.

A few of the major themes that stood out to the individuals doing data analysis for the 2016 survey included:

- 95% of the population understand the basic impacts of climate change, however, the majority do not currently feel its impact but expect to feel at least a significant impact in the future
- 50% always recycle but 96% at lease sometimes recycle
-84% believe it is "very important" or "somewhat important" the campus provides opportunities to engage in sustainability issues while only 2% think it is "somewhat unimportant" or "unnecessary"
- 72% of respondents would participate in sustainable practices more if they had a clearer way to measure and see the difference it makes
- Water bottle refill stations are very popular amongst respondents
- Most respondents receive information about sustainability via email and the university website.

The survey is used to shape strategic initiatives on campus each year and some of the questions are edited to address questions related to sustainability on campus (e.g. Facilities wondered how high demand for water bottle refill stations was on campus). We plan to continue to pursue assessing campus sustainability culture regularly as the university's sustainability program continues to grow.

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.