|Submission Date||July 15, 2020|
University of Tasmania
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture
|1.00 / 1.00||
Infrastructure Services and Development
Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture?:
Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
Which of the following best describes the structure of the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered::
A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or adopted:
The first Sustainability Survey was conducted in 2016 and it's planned to be conducted biennially. Our third survey will be conducted in March 2020.
to gain insights into student and staff perceptions, aspirations, and behaviours on sustainability in general and on the sustainability performance of the university specifically. Survey results inform implementation of university strategies and are used in benchmarking, development of key performance indicators and delivery of sustainability initiatives and programs.
The survey is run as two separate surveys with the majority of questions overlapping both staff and student cohorts
- The staff survey is wholly a proprietary survey called the Sustainability Culture Indicator (SCI) from Awake P.L. Because of IP protection, we are unable to provide the specific questions in this survey.
- The student survey uses the majority of the same questions under an agreement with the SCI authors, but with additional university-specific questions, such as queries on carbon neutrality and fossil fuel divestment.
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:
All staff and students are provided access to the survey via their university email address
A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:
The results of the 2018 survey showed pleasing increases in some key areas in comparison to the 2016 survey. In particular, the enablers of Strategic Commitment and Sustainability Leadership increased to a statistically significant degree. This suggests that people see sustainability is being supported and led to a greater extent by leaders than in the previous survey. There was also a substantial jump in the perception of the overall effort UTAS is making towards sustainability, whereby UTAS is now above the average for other universities on this measure. In summary, UTAS appears to have embedded sustainability in its culture more successfully since 2016. This has been driven by an increased strategic focus and leadership. While headed in the right direction, in order to catch up with the norm for the university sector, further improvements are needed in providing both organisational support mechanisms and staff empowerment and support.
The results of the 2018 survey seem to indicate that students, while more engaged with sustainability at the University, are now less equipped in regard to their sustainability knowledge in general relative to 2016.
Responses also suggests that the majority of students, while confident in advocating for sustainability, are hindered somewhat in getting involved themselves. This may be due to perceived or real barriers making involvement difficult. Similar results were obtained in 2016.
The majority of students viewed UTAS’s sustainability effort as above average in both years, however there is still a lot of room for improvement in meeting student expectations regarding a sustainable University. Students, while unaware to ambivalent about university leadership in terms of their actual practices for sustainability, are unaware to slightly positive about the support they provide to enacting sustainability.
The operationalisation of sustainability at UTAS is deemed by a majority of students as innovative. Furthermore, a similar proportion of
students also believe that the facilities of the university are supportive of sustainable behaviour. However an even larger proportion of students indicated that they would like to see the University implement more sustainability initiatives on its infrastructure and in processes.
The majority of students in 2018 much like in 2016 are ambivalent or perceive a lack of coverage of sustainability within their selected course. Student perceptions on the quality in which education for sustainability is delivered within the curriculum showed similar results. These observations are concerning given that the majority of respondents noted that they believe sustainability is relevant across all areas of the curriculum.
Most respondents agreed that students can make a difference and indicated a desire to be more involved in sustainability initiatives (with a 30% increase since 2016). However, most disagreed that there were many opportunities to do so in 2018. This indicates a need to further engage students in the making of sustainability at UTAS.
Website URL where information about the assessment of sustainability culture is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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