Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.15
Liaison Andrea Trimble
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Virginia
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Dana Schroeder
Sustainability Outreach and Engagement Specialist
Office for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
A subset of the campus community or a sample that may not be representative of the entire community

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:

--UVA Office for Sustainability (OFS) developed and distributed survey in partnership with Institutional Research & Analytics (IRA)
--UVA Sustainability stakeholders (relevant faculty, Committee on Sustainability, etc.) helped set objectives and zero in on what we wanted to learn about UVA undergraduates
--OFS reviewed other higher ed institutions’ sustainability surveys, pulled some questions directly, adjusted many, wrote some new, then sought feedback/edits from stakeholders
--Final survey was 35 questions (15 required literacy questions, 15 optional values questions, and 5 optional demographics questions)
--OFS hopes to resurvey every three years, catching a small number of students in both their first year and their fourth year to be able to analyze individuals’ changes 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:

*ANSWER GRID: Not at all concerned, Slightly concerned, Somewhat concerned, Very concerned*
1. How concerned are you about the state of the global economy?
2. How concerned are you about worldwide social justice / equity?
3. How concerned are you about the health of the environment?

Which of the following statements best describes your level of interest in sustainability & the environment?
● N/A - I’m not sure what you mean by sustainability & the environment
● I am not at all interested
● I am slightly interested
● I am somewhat interested
● I am very interested

Who or what has been most influential in shaping your views about sustainability? *select up to 3*
● Friends or classmates
● Parents or other family members
● K-12 teachers
● UVA professors/courses
● UVA events/programs
● Work or internship experiences
● Personal outdoor experiences
● Media (news, books, videos, social media)
● Other (please describe):
● N/A - I’m not sure what you mean by sustainability

*ANSWER GRID: Not at all important, Slightly Important, Somewhat Important, Very Important*
1. How important do you think it is for UVA to reduce its physical impact on the environment by operating more sustainably?
2. How important do you think it is for UVA to be a leader in sustainability-related research and curriculum?
3. How important do you think it is for UVA to build sustainability awareness & engagement both on-Grounds and beyond?

How would you classify your level of familiarity with UVA’s sustainability goals and commitments?
● I did not know UVA had sustainability goals.
● I have heard about UVA’s sustainability goals, but I don’t really know what they are.
● I have some understanding of UVA’s sustainability goals.
● I am very familiar with at least some of UVA’s goals and commitments.

How would you classify your level of familiarity with UVA’s Office for Sustainability?
● I have never heard of UVA’s Office for Sustainability.
● I have heard of UVA’s Office for Sustainability, but I don’t really know what it does.
● I have some understanding of what UVA’s Office for Sustainability does.
● I am very familiar and/or have gotten involved with UVA’s Sustainability Office.

How would you classify your level of familiarity with UVA’s Green CIOs (like Green Grounds, Sustainability Advocates, the StudCo Sustainability Committee, and other groups working on these topics)?
● I did not know UVA had Green CIOs.
● I have heard of some Green CIOs, but I don’t really know what they do.
● I have some understanding of what some Green CIOs do.
● I am very familiar and/or have gotten involved with one or more Green CIO.

How would you classify your level of familiarity with sustainability-related events at UVA (like Green Games, Earth Week, Dorm Energy Race, on-Grounds Farmers Markets, etc)?
● I have never noticed any sustainability-related events at UVA.
● I have heard of some sustainability-related events, but I don’t really know much about them.
● I have some understanding of one or more sustainability-related events at UVA.
● I am very familiar with and/or have participated in one or more sustainability-related events at UVA.

Which of the following best describes your satisfaction with UVA’s sustainability efforts to date?
● Very satisfied - I am very impressed with UVA’s sustainability efforts.
● Somewhat satisfied - I think UVA is making pretty good sustainability progress.
● Somewhat dissatisfied - I think UVA could be doing a little more for sustainability.
● Very dissatisfied - I think UVA should be doing much more for sustainability.
● I am dissatisfied because I think UVA is currently doing too much for sustainability.
● N/A - I’m not sure what you mean by UVA’s sustainability efforts

How often does sustainability or the environment factor into your choices/actions in the following areas:
*ANSWER GRID: Never, Sometimes, Often, Always*
1. Day-to-day energy use habits
2. Day-to-day water use habits
3. Day-to-day waste disposal/recycling habits
4. Day-to-day transportation choices
5. Day-to-day food choices
6. Purchasing choices (for things like clothing, self-care products, housewares, etc.)

When making your voting choices, how important would you consider a candidate’s stance on issues related to sustainability or the environment?
● Not at all important
● Slightly important
● Somewhat important
● Very important
● N/A - I have not yet been old enough to vote
● N/A - I would not consider myself a voter

Have you pursued (or do you think you will pursue) sustainability-related internships or jobs?
● No
● Maybe
● Yes

Have any of the following barriers affected your participation (or lack thereof) in sustainability-related events, CIOs, classes, or other “green” involvement opportunities? *select all that apply*
● Time - I don’t have time to be more involved in sustainability.
● Communications - I don’t hear enough about sustainability involvement opportunities.
● Inclusivity - I feel like people of my gender are not very involved in sustainability, which turns me off from participating.
● Inclusivity - I feel like people of my race/ethnicity are not very involved in sustainability, which turns me off from participating.
● Convenience - Sustainability involvement opportunities are often at bad times for me.
● Convenience - Sustainability involvement opportunities are often in bad locations for me.
● Awareness - I’m not that familiar with what sustainability is.
● None of these - I don’t feel any barriers to participating in sustainability.
● None of these - I am just not interested in participating in sustainability.
● Other (please describe): _____________________


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

--Office of Institutional Research & Analytics (IRA) pulled a random sample of 5,000 undergraduate emails
--The Office for Sustainability (OFS) sent each student a unique link to their Qualtrics survey in mid-October 2019
--Students had two weeks to complete the survey & received periodic reminders
--Respondents were entered to win $50 bookstore gift card, of which there were 50 available (incentives were intended to combat the likelihood of pro-sustainability bias in respondents)
--Responses totaled 850 – a 17% response rate from our sample of 5,000
--Some populations ended up being slightly overrepresented in the respondents (including women, asian/asian american students, white/caucasian students, and students already interested or involved in sustainability), but the initial sample was a true unbiased random sample.


A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment:

For each values question, sliding scale responses were assigned a percentage (ex. “not at all” 0%, “slightly” 33%, “somewhat” 66%, “very” 100%) then values score was generated by grouping questions into seven equally weighted thematic “buckets” within which, the individual question scores were averaged. Average total values score was 65%. Below are the values score for each of the seven values question "buckets," in descending order:
--UVA importance (89%)
--Voting choices (80%)
--Interest (77%)
--Concern (77%)
--Everyday actions (51%)
--Familiarity (43%)
--Jobs/internships (38%)

For the questions we weren't able to assign scores to:
--55% of students indicated that they were "Somewhat satisfied" with UVA's sustainability progress to date.
--Media (news, books, videos, social media), Friends or classmates, and Personal outdoor experiences were selected as most influential in shaping students' views about sustainability
--And the top barriers affecting students' participation (or lack thereof) in sustainability were "I don't have time...", "I don't hear enough about...", and "...are often at bad times for me."


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