Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.07
Liaison Erin Akins
Submission Date March 5, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Saskatchewan
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
1.00 / 1.00 Matt Wolsfeld
Community Engagement Co-ordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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)?:
Yes

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 sustainability culture assessment was conducted for the first time in 2019. It was developed by the Office of Sustainability with the support of the Social Sciences Research Lab on campus, a group that assists campus units with the effective and rigorous design, distribution, and analysis of social sciences research such as surveys and assessments. A follow-up assessment has been scheduled in 2023 to add a longitudinal element to the assessment to measure change over time.


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:

U of S Sustainability Assessment Questions
Introduction
This survey is intended to assess the sustainability literacy and cultural behaviours of the University of Saskatchewan community. It is being conducted as part of the university’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Ratings System (STARS) submission in 2020 and will help inform the university’s actions as related to sustainability in the coming years. First-year students who complete the sustainability literacy assessment will be followed up with in subsequent years to address year-over-year changes in sustainability literacy. For any comments or questions regarding this survey, please do not hesitate to reach out to sustainability@usask.ca.
Breakdown:
• Sustainability definitions: 2 questions
• Social/financial aspects: 2 questions
• Science concepts: 2 questions (1 GHGs, 1 Waste)
• Local considerations: 2 question (1GHG, 1 Waste)
• Climate impact: 2 questions (1 enviro/1 social)
• Solutions: 2 questions (1 personal/1 global)

U of S Sustainability Culture Assessment Questions

This section of the survey asks you about your current attitudes and personal practices related to sustainability. There are no right or wrong answers for any of the questions in this section. We are only interested in your opinions.
1. How important are environmental issues to you personally?

a. Extremely important
b. Very important
c. Moderately important
d. Slightly important
e. Not at all important

2. How environmentally sustainable would you consider your lifestyle to be?

a. Extremely
b. Very
c. Moderately
d. Some
e. Not very
f. Not at all
g. Don’t know

3. How environmentally sustainable would you LIKE your lifestyle to be?
a. Extremely
b. Very
c. Moderately
d. Some
e. Not very
f. Not at all
g. Don’t know

4. During the past year, on a scale of 1-5 (1 = never and 5 = always, or N/A) please rank how often you did the following when you had the opportunity:

a. Adjust thermostats to save energy (cooler in winter, warmer in summer)
b. Turn off lights when not used
c. Turn off power strip/electronics when not used
d. Recycle electronics
e. Print double-sided
f. Wash clothes in cold water
g. Reuse containers/bags
h. Walk, skate, bike, bus, van, or carpool
i. Carry a reusable drinking mug with you
j. Shop with minimal packaging in mind
k. Buy used goods (clothes, electronics, etc.)
l. Make sustainable food choices (organic, locally grown, humanely treated, etc.)
m. Buy products with an eco-label (e.g. office supplies, electronics, clothing, household products)
n. Conserve water (turn off faucets, shorter showers)

5. Have you engaged in voluntary service in any areas related to sustainability/environmental/eco-social justice issues in the past year?

6. How engaged are you in sustainability-oriented events and programs on campus?

a. Extremely
b. Very
c. Moderately
d. Some
e. Never

7. How engaged are you in sustainability-oriented events and programs on campus or in the broader community?

f. Extremely
g. Very
h. Moderately
i. Some
j. Never

8. Please indicate all of the following sustainability student events at the U of S that you were aware of or took part in before taking this survey: (check all that apply)

a. Campus Sustainability Week
b. U of S Campus Farmer’s Market
c. Hike, Bike, and Roll
d. Winter Cycling Workshops
e. Bike to work day
f. Clothing swap events
g. EcoHack
h. None of the above

9. Before taking this survey, which of the following sustainability student programs at the U of S were you aware of or involved in? (check all that apply)

i. Green Pack
j. McEown Community Garden
k. Sustainability Revolving Fund
l. USSU Sustainability Committee
m. Living Lab
n. Campus sustainability tours
o. None of the above

10. Before taking this survey, which of the following sustainability services at the U of S were you aware of? (check all that apply)

a. Reusable mug discount
b. Plastic-bag free bookstore
c. Plant-based options at Marquis
d. Local food week at Marquis
e. Single-stream recycling service
f. Battery and electronics recycling
g. Bike lockers
h. U-Pass transit pass
i. Water-bottle filling stations
j. None of the above

11. Before taking this survey, which of the following sustainability projects at the U of S were you aware of? (check all that apply)

a. John Mitchell Building Solar Panel Array
b. Horticulture Building Solar Panel Array
c. College of Agriculture and Bioresources Rooftop Garden
d. Composting of Marquis Culinary food waste
e. LED lighting retrofits
f. LEED building Certifications
g. Green Globes Building Certification
h. None of the above

12. Before taking this survey, which of the following sustainability plans and policies at the U of S were you aware of? (check all that apply)

a. UofS Sustainability Plan
b. UofS Climate Action Plan
c. UofS Water and Energy Conservation Policy
d. None of the above

13. Please indicate your level of agreement with these statements:

a. It’s important to me that the U of S has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability.
b. I try to make environmentally sustainable choices in the way I live.
c. I chose the U of S in part because of its reputation for sustainability.

14. Which of the following sources of information informed your answers for this survey? (Check all that apply)
a. A class
b. Television
c. Books
d. News articles
e. Academic journal articles
f. Social media
g. News websites/blogs
h. I guessed
i. Other (please specify) [textbox]


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

The use of the Social Sciences Research Lab was integral to the administration of the sustainability cultural assessment. Their experienced staff helped to ensure that appropriate representative samples were reached and that the survey was administered in a professional and effective manner.


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

The purpose of these surveys was to examine attitudes and sustainability practices among students, faculty, and staff at the University of Saskatchewan.
The first survey was administered to second and third-year undergraduate students, as well as staff and faculty on campus, and was comprised of 3,439 respondents. Most respondents stated that environmental issues were very important (40.6%; n = 1,367) or extremely important (26.8%; n = 921) to them, with most respondents living moderately environmentally sustainable (59.3%; n = 2,039) lifestyles. However, nearly 80% stated that they would like to lead very or extremely sustainable lifestyles (n = 2,744). Additionally, 85% of respondents agreed that they try to make sustainable choices and 89% agreed that it is important to them that the University is committed to environmental sustainability. However, only 10% of respondents chose the University of Saskatchewan for its sustainability reputation, with one participant stating that USask does not have a reputation for sustainability.
Approximately 43% of respondents were at least somewhat involved in sustainability events on campus, and 53% were at least somewhat involved in sustainability events in the community. Overall, participants were most aware of the water-bottle filling stations (86%), U-Pass transit (85%), bike lockers (51%), single stream recycling services (51%), rooftop garden (47%), battery and electronic recycling (43%), campus farmer’s market (37%), plastic free bookstore (37%), reusable mug discount (35%), and Campus Sustainability Week (31%). Most participants stated their information sources were from social media (52.6; n = 1,808), news articles (47.0%; n = 1,615), or news websites/blogs (43.1%; n = 1,483).


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Transparent results of the surveys are going to be on the website soon, as they are being distilled into a reader-friendly infographic. Full results have been included in this submission as additional documentation.

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.