Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.87
Liaison Julie Hopper
Submission Date July 29, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Southern California
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Elias Platte-Bermeo
Sustainability Program Assistant
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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::
Without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples of the same population

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

In 2019, the Office of Sustainability launched the USC Sustainability 2028 Survey to gauge student, faculty, and staff awareness and understanding of campus sustainability challenges, share points of concern, and solicit input on how the USC 2028 Sustainability Plan could address these concerns. The Sustainability 2028 Survey was released on Earth Day 2019 and remained open through the end of 2019. In total, more than 1000 Trojans responded to the survey.

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

The USC Sustainability 2028 Survey was administered to all members of the USC community through a wide variety of channels.

Academic departments distributed the survey to their students, who voluntarily took the survey. The Office of Sustainability promoted the survey on digital and physical marketing materials across the university, including in the school newspaper, in USC buses and bus shelters, on digital screens in USC Housing, and more. Office of Sustainability staff also attended various in-person tabling events and class presentations to encourage students, staff, and faculty to take the survey. It was promoted at events across campus, including Earth Day celebrations and more.

These efforts resulted in more than 1000 survey responses from students, staff, and faculty across the university.

A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:

The campus community indicates a strong interest in sustainability but many Trojans do not feel that they know how to participate in efforts to advance sustainability at USC. The community feels that it is more important for USC to address sustainability in terms of environmental health and social equity than economic sustainability. The community ranges in its understanding of initiatives underway in areas such as Energy, Water, Waste, Transportation, and Dining. Survey responses indicate that there is much room for improvement in terms of raising awareness about campus initiatives and opportunities for involvement.

Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

In April 2021, a USC PhD student (Jennifer Gribben) and Professor (Gale Sinatra) in the Rossier School of Education developed and distributed a survey to study how USC undergraduates define sustainability in conjunction with what values they find important. A sample of the survey questions are included in the file attached to this credit.

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.