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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 81.30
Liaison Sarah Munro
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Sarah Munro
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Environmental Policy
"---" 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 questions in the survey were written to test for a variety of different topics under the umbrella of environmental/sustainability culture at UConn, ranging from what students believe to be the most important sustainability issue on campus to types of items that they recycle. The process of creating the survey included drafting many questions, and then choosing a select group of these to include in the survey, in order to have a sample representative of many different categories of sustainability culture.


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:

1. How do you identify your gender?
Male
Female
Other
Prefer not to Disclose

2. In what year are you?
Freshman
Sophomore
Junior
Senior
Graduate Student
Staff/faculty

3. Do you currently live on or off campus?
On-Campus
Off-Campus

4. What is the most important environmental issue on campus?
Trash/Litter
Recycling
Water Issues
Air Pollution
Energy Issues
Global Warming
Other
Unsure

5. What environmental initiatives are most important for UConn?
Purchasing recycled products
Purchasing recyclable products
Using fuel-efficient or alternative-fuel campus vehicles
Using renewable energy sources for campus needs
Carbon neutrality
Sustainable water use
Reducing plastic waste
Composting or other reducing food waste
Increase public transportation options
Other

6. How frequently do you recycle products in your dorm room?
Always
Sometimes
Never
N/A

7. How frequently do you recycle products in the classroom, recreation, or student union buildings?
Always
Sometimes
Never

8. What types of items do you regularly recycle on UConn’s campus?
Newspapers
Bottles/Cans
Mixed Paper
Cardboard
Sneakers
E-Waste
Other

9. What types of items do you regularly recycle at home (not at UConn)?
Newspapers
Bottles/Cans
Mixed Paper
Cardboard
Sneakers
E-Waste
Other

10. How convenient are the location of recycling bins at UConn? Explain.
Very convenient
Somewhat convenient
Not very convenient
Not at all convenient
Explain:

11. Are you aware of UConn’s Mixed recycling program?
Yes
No

12. What is the single best way to encourage students to recycle more often at UConn?
More recycling bins in academic buildings
More recycling bins in residences
More recycling bins in dining halls
More recycling bins outdoors on campus
Recycling outreach campaign
More janitorial training
Better markings on recycling bins
Other (please specify)

13. In which of the following ways do you reduce waste on campus?
Use double sided copies
Use reusable plates, cups, or utensils
Carry a reusable bottle or coffee mug
Avoid plastic packaging
Other (please specify)

14. What is the single best way to encourage UConn students to use more bicycles on campus?
More bike paths
More bike racks
More storage facilities
Bike loan program
More bike signage
Other (please specify)

15. How frequently do you use the shuttle service at UConn?
Once a day or more
Two or more times a week
Three or fewer times a month
Never

16. Do you carpool to campus?
Yes, I carpool.
No, I don't carpool but am willing to participate.
No, I don't carpool and am not interested in participating.
No, I live on campus.
Other

17. How frequently do you try to reduce your energy and water use on campus or in your residence?
Always
Sometimes
Never

18. In which of the following ways do you conserve water where you live?
Limit shower time
Turn off the sink while teeth brushing, hand washing, shaving, etc.
Only wash full loads of laundry
Report sink leaks to ResLife or landlord
Other (please specify)

19. In which of the following ways do you conserve energy where you live?
Use a clothing rack to dry clothes
Turn off lights when not in use
Turn off electronics when not in use
Use light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs)
Lower thermostat when leaving the room for the day
Lower thermostat when leaving the room at the end of the semester
Other

20. What would you be willing to pay in student fees per semester to reduce UConn’s impact on the environment?
$1
$2
$3
$4
$5
$5-$10
$10-$15
More than $15
Nothing
Other
N/A

21. Are you aware of the EcoHusky student group at UConn?
Yes, I have heard of them.
Yes, I participate in the group.
No, but I am interested in learning more.
No, and I am not interested in participating at this time.

22. If you chose yes, what interaction with EcoHusky have you had during this past school year? Choose all that apply.
Seen articles in the Daily Campus
Followed EcoHusky student group on Facebook
Visited EcoHusky website
Active Member
Volunteered for event
Attended meeting
Seen poster or outreach materials
Other (please specify)

23. What features are important for new building construction at UConn?
Water Conservation
Energy Conservation
Alternative Energy Use
Low Impact Design (noise pollution, rain gardens, porous parking lots, etc.)
Sustainable Materials (recycled content, previously used materials, etc.)
Sustainable Site Selection (ex. use of brownfields)
Other

24. What events did you attend, participate in, or volunteer at this academic year?
Green Game Day: Football
Green Game Day: Football Attend
Green Game Day: Football Volunteer
Green Game Day: Football Did not attend
Green Game Day: Football Never heard of this event
Campus Sustainability Day
Campus Sustainability Day Attend
Campus Sustainability Day Volunteer
Campus Sustainability Day Did not attend
Campus Sustainability Day Never heard of this event
EcoMadness
EcoMadness Attend
EcoMadness Volunteer
EcoMadness Did not attend
EcoMadness Never heard of this event
Green Game Day: Basketball
Green Game Day: Basketball Attend
Green Game Day: Basketball Volunteer
Green Game Day: Basketball Did not attend
Green Game Day: Basketball Never heard of this event
Earth Day Spring Fling
Earth Day Spring Fling Attend
Earth Day Spring Fling Volunteer
Earth Day Spring Fling Did not attend
Earth Day Spring Fling Never heard of this event
Sneaker Recycling
Sneaker Recycling Attend
Sneaker Recycling Volunteer
Sneaker Recycling Did not attend
Sneaker Recycling Never heard of this event
Food Waste
Food Waste Attend
Food Waste Volunteer
Food Waste Did not attend
Food Waste Never heard of this event
Other
Other Attend
Other Volunteer
Other Did not attend
Other Never heard of this event
None
None Attend
None Volunteer
None Did not attend
None Never heard of this event

25. Do you have any comments about sustainability at UConn?

26. Would you be willing to be contacted for a follow up survey in the future?
Yes
No

27. Please submit your UConn email address to enter into a drawing for various prizes such as travel mugs, hats, T-shirts, and more!


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

The survey was administered in the fall of 2014 in the University Student Daily Digest email, which is also available to all staff and faculty. The link to the survey was also made available online. A follow up survey was administered in spring 2015, with the link sent to the Daily Digest email, as well as directly to the respondents who said yes to a follow-up email. The next round of this survey will be sent out in the fall of 2017 with the follow-up sent in the spring of 2018. This time frame allows for the original survey respondents to learn more about campus initiatives and allows us to view any changes in awareness.


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

Every few years the OEP sends out an environmental awareness survey to see how well our office is handling UConn’s important environmental issues. We design questions to determine which areas of sustainability are most important to UConn students and faculty. In 2015 there were 347 respondents. Respondents were asked if they would be willing to take a follow up survey; 52% said yes. Key findings from the 2015 Environmental Awareness Survey include:
• 27% of undergraduate respondents believed the most important environmental issue on campus is recycling
• Using renewable energy sources for campus needs (61%) and reducing plastic waste (57%) were environmental initiatives most important to UConn for the undergraduate respondents
• Undergraduate respondents recycle Sneakers and E-waste more at home than at school; 3% to 10% and 4% to 11% respectively.
• Only 50% of undergraduate respondents were aware of UConn’s Mixed Recycling program
• Undergraduate respondents believe more recycling bins outdoors (24%) and carrying reusable water bottles (86%) to be the best ways to increase recycling and reduce waste
• 31% of undergraduate respondents never use the shuttle system and 27% only use it three or fewer times per month
• 65% of respondents said that only try to reduce energy and water use in their residence sometimes


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