2018 SCIP Results: The Culture of Sustainability at U-M

SCIP 2018 Infographic

After many months of data collection and analysis, the results of the 2018 SCIP survey are live! The Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program (SCIP) is a collaboration between the Graham Sustainability Institute and Institute for Social Research to assess sustainability knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes across U-M students, faculty, and staff over time. First implemented in 2012, the 2018 survey is the 5th iteration of SCIP, and it received over 5,000 responses from the campus community in each of the survey years. The SCIP survey is a great way to see what we as Planet Blue Ambassadors are doing well to help the University of Michigan become a more sustainable campus and learn about areas we can grow in the coming years.

The results of the 2018 SCIP survey show that awareness around university sustainability initiatives is fairly high! Still, there is always room for improvement:


Over 80% of students, staff, and faculty know about campus recycling initiatives, and over 60% of undergrad students know about the University’s effort to promote composting. Yet less than 40% of graduate students, staff, and faculty were aware of the universities efforts to promote composting.


More than 60% of the University community is aware of the University’s effort to encourage alternative forms of transportation, such as biking or taking the bus, and more than half of faculty and staff know about U-M’s efforts to promote ridesharing. Over 70% of undergraduate students, faculty, and staff are informed about Michigan’s efforts to conserve energy, but less than 50% of survey respondents knew about initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Over 60% of undergrad students are aware of the U-M initiative to promote food from sustainable sources, but less than 50% of grad students, faculty, and staff are aware.


Less than 60% of all the survey respondents were aware of U-M’s effort to maintain campus grounds in an environmentally friendly manner, and less than 40% were aware of U-M’s efforts to protect the Huron River.


Participation in the Planet Blue Ambassador program from students, staff, and faculty survey respondents decreased from 2015 to 2018. Volunteering with sustainability-related organizations increased since 2015, with just over 25% of students and 10% of faculty and staff volunteering in the past year.

So, what can we do increase awareness and participation in U-M sustainability initiatives?

  1. Ask a friend or colleague if they know about university sustainability initiatives. If they don’t, encourage them to take the Planet Blue Ambassador training where they can learn about sustainable food, waste, water, energy, and community programs at U-M!
  2. Log on to the PBA Dashboard to get ideas for actions you can take by yourself or with others to make the campus more sustainable! [Editor’s Note: the PBA Dashboard is no longer available, but you can explore this blog for action ideas.]
  3. Attend and encourage others to attend talks, events, volunteer opportunities, and gatherings hosted by the many great sustainability groups, departments, and schools on campus, including the Graham Sustainability Institute, the Office of Campus Sustainability, the School for Environment and Sustainability, and more! Pro Tip: any event posted on The University of Michigan Events Calendar tagged “sustainability” will automatically be posted here: http://sustainability.umich.edu/events.

We want to thank everyone who took the 2018 SCIP survey and Robert Marans, John Callewaert, Noah Webster, and everyone else involved in making SCIP possible.