Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.80
Liaison Corey Peterson
Submission Date June 2, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Tasmania
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Sustainability Team
Infrastructure Services and Development
"---" 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::
Longitudinally to measure change over time

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 fourth survey was conducted in March 2022. The purpose is 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 2022 survey showed increases in 11 of the 13 enablers of a culture of sustainability. The exceptions were in respondents' sense of Responsibility for Sustainability, and Perceived Control over sustainability outcomes, both of which saw very minor declines.
The biggest increases were seen in Job Responsibilities (the extent to which respondents feel clear about the role sustainability plays in their role), the degree to which the University shows sustainability Innovation, and perceived Strategic Commitment. All of these improvements indicate a perception that the University is increasingly providing the necessary support mechanisms for people to engage in sustainable actions and decision-making.
The University’s perceived effort towards sustainability also showed a significant (p<.01) increase from 5.92 to 6.48 on a scale of 1-10.

The results of the 2022 survey continue a trend of increasing levels of concern and involvement with sustainability, as well as increasing confidence in the University’s leadership, teaching and facilities to promote and improve sustainability outcomes.
Responses suggest that the majority of students consider UTAS to have a clearly defined commitment to sustainability, with most also regarding the University’s leaders to be supportive of sustainability initiatives. While the majority of students viewed UTAS’s sustainability effort as above average in 2022 (consistent with 2020 and 2018), results indicate areas with potential for improvement. One such area is the discrepancy between the high proportion of students who believe that “students can make a big difference to sustainability issues at the University” (82.23% strongly agree or agree) and the significantly lower proportion of the student population who consider that “there are many opportunities to get involved in sustainability initiatives as a student” (only 56.3%). This indicates a need to further engage students in the enactment of sustainability at UTAS.
The operationalisation of sustainability at UTAS is deemed by a majority of students as innovative, with more than 50% agreeing or strongly agreeing (and 82% total agree) that the University is “very innovative in its approach to making its operations more sustainable.” Furthermore, a similar proportion of students also believe that the facilities of the university are supportive of sustainability and “make it easy to choose sustainable behaviours.” 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 2022 indicated a perceived increase in the coverage of sustainability within their selected course. With the large majority of students considering that sustainability is relevant across all areas of the curriculum (87% strongly agree or agree), 74% considered themselves to have engaged with sustainability principles during their course. It would appear, however, that more work is needed at the teaching level, with a proportionally smaller number of students considering that their lecturers and tutors are engaged in sustainable practice and that the lecturers and tutors include sustainability in their teaching.

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

Data source(s) and notes about 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.