Last month, all UC staff were invited to take part in a sustainability survey to help measure the extent to which sustainability is embedded in the culture of our university. The results from this survey have allowed us to benchmark how we are progressing against other universities and other organisations.
Called the Sustainability Culture Index (SCI), the purpose of this survey was to get a better understanding of staff views about sustainability, and what factors are both helping and hindering staff to achieve sustainability outcomes. These barriers and opportunities are built around the ‘enablers’ of a culture of sustainability – both individual and organisational. By assessing the extent to which those enablers are present at UC, it is possible to better prioritise and target to embed sustainability in culture.
What are the enablers?
The individual and organisational enablers for sustainability range from the psychological: for example beliefs about sustainability, responsibility and perceived control, to the support mechanisms: for example strategic commitment, leadership, job responsibilities and facilities.
The results are in!
The University of Canterbury scored above the tertiary institution average for 7 of the 13 enablers, with results suggesting that while staff see some tangible efforts to embed sustainability they would like to feel more empowered and educated to make sustainable choices.
On an individual level however, the SCI shows that overall there is a strong commitment to sustainability among UC staff – those who participated in the survey believe it is important and are prepared to make it a priority in their life and in their work.
Even better, the SCI has shown that UC staff are performing a higher frequency of sustainability-related behaviours than those in other tertiary institutions, both when at work and when at home. These behaviours range from sorting waste to reducing consumption of materials and resources, and being mindful of the impacts of their transport and commuting choices.
Written comments in the survey suggested that reducing transport-related emissions, increasing energy efficiency and reducing paper usage are key areas where UC can improve its sustainability performance.
Interested in learning more?
If you’re interested in seeing in more detail how these enablers play out for staff sustainability-related behaviours at UC, see the full report on our website here.