A recent survey conducted at the University of Michigan asked more than 6,600 students, faculty and staff about sustainability awareness and behaviors. The study found that while people are generally aware and engaged in sustainability issues, there are disparities between older and younger members of the campus community.
The survey looked at sustainability factors such as climate action, waste prevention, healthy environments and community awareness, and was led by the Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program (SCIP) — a first-of-its-kind study by the Graham Sustainability Institute at the university and the Institute for Social Research.
At The Refinishing Touch, we are very much in favor of the university’s efforts to promote a campus-wide sustainability ethic, and found the results quite actionable. The survey revealed that while students may know more about various transportation options available and what sustainability happenings are taking place on campus, faculty and staff members tend to conserve more energy, prevent waste and be more knowledgeable about protecting the environment.
Last month, we wrote about how important it is for upper-level administrators to look at the university’s sustainability plan and ensure their initiatives yield positive results on environmental and financial bottom lines. Having worked with universities for the past 35-years – from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, to Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA – we know that both students and faculty care about sustainability. However, as these survey findings reveal, there is room to grow and engage all members of the community in sustainability efforts.