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Sustainability Survey Results Show Gaps and Opportunities

The results are in from the UMass Chan Medical School climate and sustainability survey. Conducted in November and December of 2019, the survey asked a range of questions on climate and sustainability issues to gauge awareness and concerns. A total of 503 people completed the online survey.

“For a first-time survey, the response surprised us,” said Suzanne Wood, program manager for sustainability and auxiliary services at UMass Chan. “We were hoping for at least 100 responses, so to see this level of interest is great.”

Awareness of UMass Chan sustainability programs varied widely. The school’s annual Earth Day event and the campus SWAP shop ranked highest on the survey, with some 70 percent of respondents indicating awareness of the programs.

Other campus initiatives did not fare so well. Only 21 percent of respondents were aware of the school’s investment in three solar power projects, and 32 percent were aware that the main Worcester campus has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent since 2004. 

Interestingly, most respondents indicated strong support for the sustainability goals, like addressing climate change, reducing waste and increasing energy efficiency, while few took active roles in campus sustainability committees or events.

“One of the biggest takeaways from the results is we need to do a better job communicating what’s going on in terms of sustainability and efficiency. Also, we need to find better ways for people to get involved,” Wood said.

A climate open house and ideation session is schedule for Feb. 20 in the Faculty Conference Room. To learn more about that event click here.

Below are selected results. For the full survey report click here.