Concordia University


Are you sustainability savvy?

JAN. 29: Watch your inbox for a new test — and contribute to prioritizing campus initiatives
January 26, 2018
By S. Baker

How sustainability literate are you? Concordia’s Sustainability Team wants to know.

On Monday, January 29, all first-year graduate and undergraduate students will receive email invitations to participate in the Sulitest, the world’s first international assessment tool designed to measure sustainability literacy.

Wondering what that is, and why it’s important? 

“Sustainability literacy refers to an individual’s knowledge base, mindset and understanding,” says Concordia sustainability coordinator Chantal Forgues. “It’s important because 'literacy' is what allows individuals to make informed decisions and become engaged in building a sustainable future.”

Comprising 30 multiple-choice questions, the Sulitest will be completely anonymous and take approximately a half-hour to complete. Questions have been designed to evaluate people’s knowledge on a variety of topics and will provide Concordia’s Sustainability Team with a number of invaluable indicators.

“We need to understand people’s strengths and weaknesses,” says Forgues. “If they’re aware of the environmental side but limited in their social understanding, we’ll know we need to focus our energy on elevating social awareness.” 

How does the Sustainability Team intend to do this? Through awareness campaigns, events, workshops and more.

“We will be re-evaluating everyone again in three years to see if our programming has had any impact,” says Forgues.

Currently, Concordia’s Sustainability Team works on a wide variety of initiatives across campus such as the Sustainability Amabssador Program, campus compost, sustainable transportation, Fair Trade and sustainable purchasing practices for food and more.

They work closely with students on projects such as the Waste Not, Want Not campaign which increases awareness about composting and CUCCR which helps to divert waste from landfills. Check out Concordia’s Sustainability Hub to learn more. 

“From environmental to social problems, our world today is full of issues, and sustainability is about solving those issues,” says Forgues, who insists that we need to stop focusing solely on the financial impact of our decisions and start looking at the social and environmental impact as well.

The first step in that process is understanding and awareness.

“The great part about the Sulitest is that, in addition to providing us with information about the knowledge gaps that exist in the Concordia community, it’s acting as an awareness campaign in itself. People will walk away learning something, thinking about sustainability and making connections.”

Be sure to keep your eyes on your inbox on January 29, and fill out your Sulitest

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