Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.01
Liaison Paul Mathisen
Submission Date May 23, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 1.00 Liz Tomaszewski
Facilities Systems Manager/Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Department
"---" 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::
Without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples of the same population

A brief description of how and when the cultural assessment(s) were developed and/or adopted:

The sustainability survey of our students that is reported here represents the initial implementation of our survey process. An important part of this work was the design of a Smartphone application for delivering and scoring of the survey. In addition, this is more than a survey: tips for improving the respondent’s sustainability score are provided, based on the answers. While the Smartphone application was being developed, an initial administration of the survey was conducted via the Qualtrics tool on the web. Those results are reported here. A report was prepared that began with background information on the aspects of personal sustainability, survey techniques, and Smartphone applications, and then documented the development of both the application and the survey questions. Following is a section of the report which considered the questions to be asked, followed by the summary of the responses to the web-based survey. This initial administration of the survey received 61 responses, a number that will be substantially expanded in the future.

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:

More information is in the attached file.
1. How many times per day do you shower?
2. Estimate the average length of your showers.
3. If you have a dishwasher, how frequently to you use it?
4. What type of utensils do you use most often?
5. How often do you purchase bottled drinks in plastic bottles?
6. How often do you leave the lights on when not in use and/or not in the room?
7. How often do you leave the lights or electronics on overnight?
8. Do you leave chargers connected when not in use or overnight?
9. How do you get rid of the majority of paper products that you no longer use/need?
10. If you own an air conditioner, how old is it?
11. If you own an air conditioner, how often to you use it in the summer?
12. Do you use paper towels for cleaning?
13. Do you use any reusable bags for shopping?
14. How well do you think you know what is recyclable and what isn’t?
15. Do you keep up with politics related to sustainability?
16. How important would you say sustainability is for you personally?
17. Are you affiliated with any sustainability organizations, groups, or clubs?
18. Are you interested in learning about your own level of sustainability?
19. Do you use an Android or Apple mobile device?
20. Do you have any general comments, questions, or concerns based on this survey?

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

For this initial administration of the survey, no special efforts were made to assure a representative sample. Student social media was used to disseminate the survey and solicit participation. The first administration was conducted via the web; future surveys will be based on a Smartphone application.

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

sample. Student social media was used to disseminate the survey and solicit participation.
The attached file contains the survey response data and qualitative analysis. In general the results were quite positive with respect to the respondents' level of interest in, and knowledge of, sustainability. However, since participation was voluntary, there is undoubtedly some level of bias towards support for sustainability in the responses. In the future an attempt will be made to obtain more statistically representative responses from across the range of beliefs.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.