Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.42
Liaison Mary-Lee Townsend
Submission Date Feb. 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western University
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 14.00 / 14.00 Rob Pigeon
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the percentage of courses offered by the institution that are sustainability course offerings:
Undergraduate Graduate
Total number of courses offered by the institution 3,880 3,011
Number of sustainability courses offered 324 206
Number of courses offered that include sustainability 722 317

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer courses (at any level):

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer at least one sustainability course and/or course that includes sustainability (at any level):

Percentage of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its sustainability course offerings and descriptions:
Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

A brief description of the methodology used to determine the total number of courses offered and to identify sustainability course offerings, including the definitions used and the process for reviewing and/or validating the course inventory :

In order to count course offerings, each course was worth 1 course every time it was offered. We compared the course offerings from 1 academic year (May-April).

We did take into consideration different sections that the course would have in a given semester. Each course was counted for the total number of sections that were being taught at the same time or over 2 semesters. This was done because the outreach of a sustainability related or focused course would reach more individuals the more times it was offered.

Undergraduate courses:
An entire course inventory was provided by the Registrars Office, following a formal meeting to explain the process, and all relevant information that was required. The registrars office provided a list of every Undergraduate Course that was offered in 2016-2017 at Western University. Using this information, course descriptions were examined and Focused/ Related courses were chosen based on a set of criteria (listed below).

Graduate Courses:
The entire Graduate course offerings list was a little more difficult to acquire. Individuals from the registrars office were required to go through each department separately and extracted total courses offered in 2016-2017. The same criteria was used for Graduate courses as Undergraduate Courses (listed below).

How were courses with multiple offerings or sections counted for the figures reported above?:
Each course was counted as a single course regardless of the number of offerings or sections

A brief description of how courses with multiple offerings or sections were counted (if different from the options outlined above):

Are the following course types included in the inventory? :
Yes (included) or No (not included)
Internships No
Practicums Yes
Independent study Yes
Special topics Yes
Thesis / dissertation No
Clinical Yes
Physical education Yes
Performance arts No

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Information on Departments is included in the Course Inventory, on a separate sheet.

Criteria Used for classification as Sustainability Focused or Related

The criteria for the classification of the courses was developed using the definition as articulated by the Brundtland Commission, formally the United Nations' World Commission on Environment and Development:
"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising
the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." (UN Documents, n.d., 1.2.1)
Triple bottom line for sustainability:
 Environmental Systems: considerations include, but are not limited to, ecosystem services, climate change & adaptation, biodiversity, air & atmosphere quality, hydrology, water quality, renewable and non-renewable energy, land use, environmental design, etc.

 Economic Sustainability: considerations include, but are not limited to, energy and resource management, policy and regulations, health economics, true-cost or triple-bottom line analysis, organizational behavior, carbon markets, etc.

 Social Sustainability: considerations include, but are not limited to, social equity, gender equality, personal & public health, community development, cultural diversity, peace & human security, corporate social responsibility, etc.
The courses listed are either sustainability-focused or sustainability-related. The distinction used is provided by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), as developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE):
 Sustainability-focused (core) courses concentrate on the concept of sustainability, including its social, economic, and environmental dimensions, or examine an issue or topic using sustainability as a lens.

 Sustainability-related courses incorporate sustainability as a distinct course component or module, or concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue. They may complement sustainability-focused courses by providing students with in-depth knowledge of a particular aspect or dimension of sustainability (such as the natural environment) or by providing a focus area (such as renewable energy) for a student's sustainability studies, or they may broaden students' understanding of sustainability from within different disciplines.

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.