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Measuring Sustainability Literacy

April 26, 2012

Sustainability – There’s a lot of talk about it, but how much do students and staff really know?

Sustainability: the three-legged stool

To gauge ‘sustainability literacy’ of Red River College students and staff we set out to:

– measure knowledge of general sustainability concepts

– determine which College sustainability programs were having an impact

– and, to seek feedback on sustainability priorities for the future.

Student and staff surveys were conducted online in the Fall and Winter terms using random, representative samples.

Not only is measuring sustainability literacy one of the credits in STARS, but it’s also an important action in the RRC Strategic Plan.

Full results from the student and staff literacy surves are here.

For those looking for the highlights, check it out….

Top 3 Student Sustainability issues at RRC (in order of ranking):

  • Greater awareness of College sustainability programs
  • Paperless instruction
  • Installing more bottle fill stations

Top 3 Staff Sustainability issues at RRC (in order of ranking):

  • Implementing paper reduction programs
  • Reducing single use food containers at food service outlets
  • Extending the EcoPass to NDC

Other highlights include:

  • 69% of students commute to school using greener forms of transportation (bus, carpool, bike, walk, other)
  • 75% of staff beleive RRC should make sustainability a priority in our operations (buildings, purchasing, transportation, energy and water consumption etc.)
  • 98% of staff believe that human activities contribute towards climate change. Coincidentally, 97-98% is also the number of climate scientists who agree that climate change is happening, that human activities contribute to it, and that we need to act now!