Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 60.52
Liaison Lindsey MacDonald
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western Washington University
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 1.00 Masha Szaro
Research Assistant
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of sustainability culture (i.e. the assessment focuses on sustainability values, behaviors and beliefs, and may also address awareness of campus sustainability initiatives)?:

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:

Sustainability Literacy Assessment had its begining in the Office of Sustainability as an effort to evaluate the effects of educational programs administered by the office. "Literacy Assessment" had an objective to not only measure knowledge about issues, but also habits, behaviours and personal beliefs. The questionnaire was later taken over by students in Campus Sustainability Planning Class, who worked on narrowing down and polishing the language of the questions. First pilot run of the survey was executed in the Spring 2015 as well as Fall 2015 (two different cohorts) but did not prove success due to poor response rates. In Spring 2016, the questionnaire was added to the university wide WELS - Western Educational Longitudinal Study administered by research professionals. This assessment will continue to be included as part of WELS in order to provide long-run feedback on Ofiice of Sustainability's educational efforts.

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:

The Office of Survey Research which administers the survey sets a target for an appropriate representative sample of each cohort, sends e-mails to the students then follows up with calls and e-mails until the target is reached.

A brief summary of results from the cultural assessment, including a description of any measurable changes over time:

Since the survey study has only been incepted in the spring of 2016, no longitudinal results can be extracted. However, we've found that the two cohorts share similar habits and beliefs about the university. If we assume that the "positive" result in this study is to see the majority indicate that they practice "good", sustainable habits such as recycling, water conservation etc, we can judge the performance in each area covered by the question. Areas of "Paper/plastic/glass/metal recycling", "Composting", and "Biking as a mode of transport" turned out to be positive: vast majority confirmed that they do so almost always or often. In the middle of this provisionary scale we had areas: "Taking short showers" and "Purchasing fair tade/organic/local", both showing to be only practiced sometimes. The lowest performance was shown in two questions: "Recycling old electronics" and "Voting in elections". The two of those were indicated to be done "almost never" and need significant improvement.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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.