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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.81
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Texas A&M University
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Ben Kalscheur
Sustainability Assistant Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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)?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the cultural assessment? The assessment is administered to::
The entire campus community (students, staff and faculty), directly or by representative sample

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:

The cultural assessment was created by Office of Sustainability staff. We looked at similar assessments done by STARS peers as a starting point and then integrated our own specific TAMU questions. We combined the assessment of culture and literacy into one survey instrument.

We completed our first survey of the campus community during the Fall 2016 semester. This is an annual survey and we completed our first follow-up assessment during the Fall 2017 semester.

Additionally, Residence Life is on a 3 year cycle with the Educational Benchmark Institute (now SkyFactor) in administering a resident satisfaction survey which includes two questions about sustainability. Q093--As a result of your on-campus housing experience, you are better able to discuss sustainability issues and Q094--As a result of your on campus housing experience you are better able to alter your actions to live a sustainable life.


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:

See attached document.


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

We worked with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Evaluation (experts in designing and deploying surveys for our campus community) to design and administer the survey. They used email to randomly sample a representative portion of the entire campus community (students, faculty, and staff). The survey was sent as a qualtrics link to randomly selected campus members.


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

Results of the study are evaluated by Office of Sustainability Staff and are used to better understand areas of both strength and weakness in regards to the campus sustainability culture.

Highlights from the 2016 survey include: 95.93% of our campus community thinks sustainability is very or somewhat important, 86.7% thinks Climate Change is is very or somewhat important, 87.19% think biodiversity loss is very or somewhat important, 90.68% think social justice and equity are very or somewhat important, and 82.7% think diversity and inclusion are very or somewhat important. 88.26% of our campus community always or mostly uses reusable bottles or mugs, 59.36% always or mostly takes shorter showers, 39.7% eats less meat always or mostly, 97.95% turns off the lights in unused rooms always or mostly, 81.22% always or mostly recycles, and 33% participates in diversity and cultural activities always or most of the time. 92.57% of our campus community thinks it is very or somewhat important to incorporate sustainability into their everyday lives.

Highlights from the 2017 survey include: 94.9% of our campus community thinks sustainability is very or somewhat important, 84.9% thinks Climate Change is is very or somewhat important, 85.41% think biodiversity loss is very or somewhat important, 86.57% think social justice and equity are very or somewhat important, and 80.6% think diversity and inclusion are very or somewhat important. These numbers all slow decline by 1-5 percentage points from the 2016 results. 88.86% of our campus community always or mostly uses reusable bottles or mugs, 61.34% always or mostly takes shorter showers, 34.35% eats less meat always or mostly, 96.68% turns off the lights in unused rooms always or mostly, 78.88% always or mostly recycles, and 28.03% participates in diversity and cultural activities always or most of the time, while 34.05% does so sometimes. 89.85% of our campus community thinks it is very or somewhat important to incorporate sustainability into their everyday lives.While a couple of these have improved, most have declined by 1-5 percentage points from the 2016 results.


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