Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 53.99
Liaison Eric Meliton
Submission Date Dec. 20, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Wilfrid Laurier University
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.33 / 4.00 Eric Meliton
Manager: Sustainability Office
Facilities and Asset Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

The percentage of students assessed for sustainability literacy (directly or by representative sample) and for whom a follow-up assessment is conducted:

The percentage of students assessed for sustainability literacy (directly or by representative sample) without a follow-up assessment:

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
The questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s) :

A brief description of how the assessment(s) were developed:

This assessment was developed through a process of defining key areas where staff, student and faculty contribution was necessary and creating questions around those areas. In order provide the best projects for the new year we needed to assess the Laurier community to see where they saw most improvement needed. By asking questions that pertained to campus involvement, sustainable expertise and personal opinion we were able to gauge how the respondent viewed Laurier’s current sustainable status, where they saw weaknesses and their ideas going forward. Respondents gave great answers that helped our committee pinpoint areas of needed attention. We are now able to use these results to create a project plan that encompasses not only our sustainability needs but our school community’s needs as well.

A brief description of how the assessment(s) were administered:

The assessment was made using the SurveyMonkey website. Staff, students and faculty were sent a link via an inter campus email. From there respondents were directed to the online survey and were able to provide their responses. Each survey, Brantford and Waterloo, lasted 2 weeks and as incentive there were 3 gift certificates to the WLU Bookstore given to 3 respondents chosen by random draw.

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

Question 1:
Would you consider yourself a ‘Green’ Individual? (Students, Faculty, Staff, etc.)
1. Extremely – 14.25% (54)
2. Moderately – 75.46% (286)
3. Hardly – 8.97% (34)
4. Not at all – 1.32% (5)
Answered: 379

Question 2:
How familiar are you with Laurier’s Sustainability Features on campus?
1. Very familiar, I’ve seen the Sustainability Map, Reports, Plans and/or initiatives on campus – 8.99% (34)
2. Somewhat familiar, I’ve heard of initiatives on campus – 64.29% (243)
3. Not very familiar, but I would like to know more – 24.07% (91)
4. What are ‘sustainable’ projects? - 2.65% (10)
Answered: 378 - Skipped: 1

Question 3:
Are you aware of various sustainable groups on campus? (EcoHawks, Farm Market/Food Bank, Sustainability Council, Laurier Naturalists, etc.)
1. Yes, I am aware, I am involved in sustainable groups on campus – 12.40% (47)
2. Somewhat aware, I have seen a few of their events – 72.03% (273)
3. I am unaware of these groups but am interested in learning more about them – 7.92% (30)
4. No, I am not aware of these groups – 7.65% (29)
Answered: 379

Question 4:
What are your primary reasons for practicing social sustainable behaviors? (All are interrelated but which is the most important driver for you?)
1. Environmental Sustainability (health of air, water, land, food, wildlife, ecosystems, etc.) – 65.78% (246)
2. Social Sustainability (social justice, poverty, human rights, diversity & equality, governance, community, access to resources, etc.) – 21.12% (79)
3. Economic Sustainability (local and green economies, cost of utilities, waste, insurance, etc.) – 13.10% (49)
Answered: 374 – Skipped: 5

Question 5:
In your opinion, which of the following areas at Laurier need the most improvements? (0 no improvement needed, 5 needs most improvement)
Ranked in order of what students felt needed the most improvement
1. Green Building & Energy – 100 votes
2. Food Systems – 65 votes
3. Procurement Practices– 61 votes
4. Education and Awareness Initiatives - 56 votes
5. Curriculum and Academic Programs in Sustainability– 51 votes
6. Waste Program – 48 votes
7. Social Considerations – 47 votes
8. Water Initiatives – 45 votes
9. Alternative Transportation – 38 votes
Answered: 376 – Skipped: 3

Question 6:
What are your suggestions for improving environmental sustainability?
Student/Staff’s most frequent responses:
• More space for email storage to continue paperless emails
• Information session and related policies for staff/faculty sustainable workplace (i.e. printing/paper waste, automatic double sided printing, four box system (as in Career Centre), removal of staff water coolers in offices. )
• Solar panels on roof via FIT program
• More encouragement for public transit – awareness campaign
• Awareness/incentives
• More bike racks
• More green takeout options
• Litter collection, get staff and faculty involved in cleaning up around campus
• Residence recycling program
• Parking option for winter term only so you can ride your bike during the spring/summer term
• More plants around campus
• Easier access to recycling batteries, light bulbs etc.
• Green bin programs
• Lights off in buildings
• More contests and challenges
• Many students are very upset with the Dining Hall
• Moderate heating in all buildings, temperature control
Answered: 212 – Skipped: 167

Question 7:
What are your suggestions for improving social sustainability on campus?
• More awareness to make people more knowledgeable and more comfortable
• Many respondents were unaware of what social sustainability is
• Bookstore – socially conscious clothing
• More education, both academic and non-academic
• Having fair trade options for students
• Continuous promotion for pre-existing groups on campus (Laurier Food Bank, 5 Days for Homeless, Farm Market)
• Establish closer connection with faculty and/or staff to educate students or use sustainability in their daily conversations. For example: food services should ask students if they have an ecotainer card if they are ordering takeout
• More charitable social justice fundraising and awareness
• Provide a physical location for Women in Science Centre
• More access for underprivileged/disabled youth
• Reopen Dining Hall to all student and get back the community feeling
• More local social sustainability initiatives.
• More accessibility to the region of Waterloo
• Give students the information about exactly where their food is coming from
Answered: 159 – Skipped: 220

Question 8:
What are your suggestions for improving economic sustainability on campus?
• Having more continual scholarships based on progressive marks in order to create more incentive for students
• Reduce energy wastage and improve building efficiencies
• Small-scale food services rather than chain, Cut excess spending, more auditing of expense accounts and cut down financial waste
• More solar panels
• Students unaware of what economic sustainability is
• More awareness and education
• Engage in local products and offer more options to students
• Lower food costs for students/healthier food options
• Offer online textbooks/ lower textbook costs
• Upgraded lighting in residences and lecture halls
• Campaigns that provide incentives to “going green” (recycling to pay for library fees, etc.)
• Update buildings heating systems to optimize temperature and produce the lowest energy
• Holding fundraisers that allow the community to get involved. (I.e. Donations from places in Waterloo)
• Engage students more when making large physical developments to campus
• Solar energy, roof top gardens
• Getting rid of outside contractors who divert profits outside the community, do more in house (Ex. Food Services)
Answered: 157 – Skipped: 222

Question 9:
What are some ways Laurier could make it easier to your be sustainable?
• More online materials make it always an option (and should be preferred) to turn assignments in online. Less paper copies
• More outside green bins, Compost bins on campus
• Incorporating sustainability into customer experience so that individuals do not have to seek out the greener option, rewards/incentives (Ex. Loyalty program for bringing your own mug)
• Accessibility, signage, seminars
• More courses like the new one that was recently introduced
• Less food packaging
• More education, Let the students know about existing projects and the effectiveness
• More work areas on campus reduce the need to always go home between classes
• Reduce the cost of food
• Reward system, encouragement, and activities
• Sustainability facts in the Cord
• Improved infrastructure for alternative transportation
• Ecotainers at all places on campus
• Places to clean dishes in eating areas on campus, students want to be able to bring lunches but also rinse out their containers once they are done so that they can keep them in the backpacks without the fear of something spilling or creating a mess.
• More recycling bins
• Make it an option to have a bus pass but also a temporary Gold Pass that is discounted for people who also ride the bus/ bike but many in certain situations need to use a car – faculty
• Offer parking passes per term – only have ones for Winter so that students/staff can bike during warmer months
• Shut down computers (automatic shut down) at night, reduced lighting at night in buildings
• Motion sensor lights in hardly used rooms (Ex. Photocopying rooms)
• Free access to gym showers – if you want to bike to work
Answered: 195 – Skipped 184

Question 10:
What are the best ways for you to receive information on sustainable initiatives?
• Email
• Facebook/Twitter
• Events on campus
• Website
• Posters on campus
• Electronic Newsletter
• TV ads
Answered: 219 – Skipped: 160

The website URL where information about the literacy assessment(s) is available:

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.