EXPLORATORY RESEARCH INTO THE ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOURS OF DALHOUSIE FACULTY OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTICES AND POSSIBLE CHANGES TO DECREASE THE FACULTY’S IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT
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Dalhousie University has an incredible opportunity and responsibility to influence and shape the way its faculty, staff and students choose to live and face the decisions they are confronted with daily. Dalhousie must be the very epitome of positive economic, social and environmental decision making; leading by example to fulfill its role as an institution of higher learning. Through exploratory research, a review of Dalhousie’s policies, literature and other universities practices and studies that were performed, it was very evident that a lack of information surrounding the actions being taken on a faculty level at Dalhousie did not exist. In the spirit of the Greening the Campus initiatives, this research project strived to help eliminate this information gap by conducting an exploratory examination, focused on faculty members through face-to-face self-administered surveys. The objective of the project was to ascertain the environmentally sustainable behaviours, awareness and attitudes of faculty, while also providing base-line information for the support and development of future research initiatives. The population of focus was the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), with a sampling frame of full-time professors selected by simple random sampling. The survey combined both quantitative and qualitative questions and was analyzed using a variety of methods. The results provided a high level of confidence while also being reliable and internally and catalytically valid. The data gathered was used to understand faculty practices and beliefs, while also producing achievable, strategic recommendations for the FASS, divided into short, medium and long term goals. Through the implementation of these recommendations, the FASS will move closer to realizing the environmental commitments of Dalhousie University, and set an example as an environmentally sustainable and responsible faculty within Dalhousie and across Canada.