Methodology used to create the rankings
- The philosophy behind the rankings
We based our instrument on a broad philosophy that encompasses the three Es: Environment, Economics and Equity.
- The criteria
We selected criteria that are generally thought to be of importance by universities concerned with sustainability. These include the collection of a basic profile of the size of the university and its zoning profile, whether urban, suburban, rural. Beyond this we want to see the degree of green space. The next category of information concerns electricity consumption because of its link to our carbon footprint. Then we want to know about transport, water usage, waste management and so on. Beyond these indicators, we want to get a picture about how the university is responding to or dealing with the issue of sustainability through policies, actions, and communication.
Scoring for each item will be numeric so that our data can be processed statistically. Scores will be simple counts of things, or responses on a scale of some sort.
- The weighting of criteria
Each of the criteria will be categorized in a general class of information and when we process the results, the raw scores will be weighted to give a final calculation.
- Refining and improving the research instrument
While we have put every effort into the design and implementation of the questionnaire, we realize that this first version is bound to have shortcomings. Therefore, we will be reviewing the criteria and the weightings continuously to reflect input from participants and state of the art developments in the field. We welcome your comments and input.
- Data collection
Data will be collected between July and October 2011 from the universities we have contacted and who are willing to provide information.
- Initial results
The preliminary result of the metrics is expected to be released in November 2011, and final complete result will be shown in December 2011.