Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.01
Liaison Meghna Tare
Submission Date April 3, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Texas at Arlington
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Bhargavi Jeyarajah
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the literacy assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire (or predominate) student body, directly or by representative sample

Which of the following best describes the structure of the assessment? The assessment is administered as a::
Pre- and post-assessment to the same cohort or to representative samples in both a pre- and post-test

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
A list or sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:

4. What is the United Nations’ definition of sustainability?
1. Saving the environment solely for the planet to be cleaner
2. Leaving no trace on the planet
3. Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
4. Integrating efficiency into everyday activities to conserve resources
5. I’m not sure

5. Hunger remains one of the most pressing development challenges. Several initiatives are attempting to reduce the loss and waste of food products in both developing and industrialized countries. Among the following statements on this subject, which one is not accurate?
1. Food is lost or wasted throughout the entire consumption cycle, from the initial stage of production to the final stage of household consumption
2. Up to 1/3 of the food produced in the world is spoiled or wasted before being consumed by households
3. Food losses are a waste of manpower, water, energy, land and other resources used in the production of these foods
4. The amount of food produced in the world is not sufficient to feed the entire population: it is inevitable that nearly a billion people suffer from hunger
5. All of the statements are accurate
6. I’m not sure

6. “Earth Overshoot Day” is the calculated calendar date on which the current world population has consumed more resources than Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources. From that day on, humanity is thus using up resources of future generations. How has the “Earth Overshoot Day” date moved in the last 50 years?
1. Fortunately current world’s population does not overshoot the use of available resources.
2. in 2017 it was later in the year that it was 50 years ago
3. It has not moved
4. In 2017 it was earlier in the year than it was 50 years ago
5. I’m not sure

7. In December 2015 the 21st Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris was held. A historic agreement called “The Paris Agreement” was adopted to organize the action of the international community against climate change. What is the main goal of “The Paris Agreement”?
1. Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere shall be stabilized at a level that prevents dangerous human interference with the climate system.
2. Industrialized countries shall reduce their GHG emissions by 4.2%
3. The increase in the global average temperature shall be held to well below 2° C above pre-industrial levels and the world shall reach carbon neutrality before the end of the century
4. The Paris Agreement is not legally binding and does not set any goals for the international community
5. I’m not sure

8. If everyone on Earth were to consume as much as the average American, we would require the resources of approximately how many planet Earths?
1. 0.8
2. 1
3. 2-3
4. 4-5
5. 6-7
6. I’m not sure

9. Why does climate change put poorer people more at risk than people in more affluent populations?
1. Climate change will increase agricultural prices making it harder for those in poverty to afford basic needs
2. Poor people are more exposed to river floods and higher temperatures in many countries than non-poor populations
3. Some populations of poor people are more vulnerable to climate-related diseases such as malaria and diarrhea from unclean water
4. All of the Above
5. I’m not sure

10. What is the federal agency of the United States that is responsible for protecting human health and the environment?
1. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
2. Department of Health, Environment, and Safety (DHES)
3. National Environmental Agency (NEA)
4. Federal Pollution Control Agency (FPCA)
5. I’m not sure

11. In order to face climate change, policies can both target mitigation (which means trying to reduce the cause) and adaptation (which means adapting to the impact). Which of the following is considered an adaptation?
1. Energy conservation and efficiency
2. Withdrawal of activities and populations from areas at risk (e.g. flooding)
3. Capture and use of landfill and digester gas
4. Sustainable transportation
5. All of the above
6. I’m not sure

12. What is the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) “Red List” ?
1. The list of countries with the fewest conservation areas.
2. The list of countries with the worst environmental impact.
3. The list of plants and factories with the highest pollution levels.
4. The list of species threatened with extinction.
5. I'm not sure

13. What is the name of the framework which has 17 goals to transform our world to be more sustainable?
1. UN Sustainable Development Goals
2. UTA Strategic Plan 2025
3. EPA Sustainability Plan
4. UTS 169 Sustainability Practices
5. I’m not sure


A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:

The Sustainability Literacy Assessment was a part of the UTA Sustainability Assessment, the survey that was sent to all UTA students, faculty and staff in early 2022. The Office of Sustainability created this assessment to better understand what kind of programming and education is needed at the UTA campus. The sustainability literacy portion of this survey was created using questions found on sulitest.com. It contains 10 questions directly related to sustainability literacy. This survey will be administered at least once a semester in the upcoming years.


A brief description of how a representative sample was reached (if applicable) and how the assessment(s) were administered :

The survey was distributed through snowball sampling via email though UTA's Sustainability Committee, student organizations, and through professors in class. Respondents took the survey and then distributed it to other potential respondents. Overall, 152 responses were completed and included in the analysis.


A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s):

The results show that respondents scored an average of 60.4% calculated through 1 point for every correct answer and half a point with every "I don't know." The assessment is scored this way, consistent with the scoring on sulitest.com, to differentiate between respondents who know that they don't know the answer and respondents who don't know that they had the wrong answer. On average, 46.44% of the questions were answered correctly, 27.92% were marked "I don't know," and 25.64% of answers were incorrect. The highest scoring question was "Why does climate change put poorer people more at risk than people in more affluent populations?" with 84.42% of respondents getting it correct and 0% choosing the wrong answers. The lowest scoring questions was "In order to face climate change, policies can both target mitigation (which means trying to reduce the cause) and adaptation (which means adapting to the impact).Which of the following is considered an adaptation?" For this question, 22.22% of respondents picked the right answer and 64% of respondents got it wrong.


Website URL where information about the sustainability literacy assessment is available:
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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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.