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Webinar: Engaging Hearts, Minds and Hands: Tracking Sustainability Drivers in Your Institutional Culture

This presentation outlines the implementation of a standardized survey tool for measuring and tracking the extent to which sustainability is embedded in the culture of a higher education institution.

In 2019, the Ramapo College of New Jersey—a Public Liberal Arts College—surveyed its students, staff and faculty using the Sustainability Culture Indicator (SCI), a survey developed in Australia by Tim Cotter of Awake, and used successfully through numerous organizations, including over a dozen tertiary colleges. The intention of Awake is to be a provider of psychology-based resources for embedding sustainability in the culture of organizations and communities.

The unique aspect of the SCI model is its focus on both the psychological and attitudinal drivers of sustainability engagement, along with perceptions of the organization’s support mechanisms for sustainability. This allows the institution to evaluate and benchmark key elements of sustainability culture, and to build action plans to specifically target areas of weakness.

After the instrument was implemented at Ramapo College in 2019, the COVID-19 Pandemic took control and things went into a particularly strange mode. We are now planning an extensive follow up strategy, which we will describe in this session—starting with an abridged attitudinal version of the SCI some time in the 2021-22 Academic year and followed up with a full-blown survey perhaps two or three years later (depending on the particulars of the anticipated recovery).

This presentation will provide an overview of the approach and the model, the lessons learned, and the benefits of a rigorous and standardized benchmarking tool for tracking sustainability in the organizational culture.

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