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Sulitest: the first international tool to assess Sustainability Literacy worldwide

Published on
24 February 2017

As of 2017, Grenoble Ecole de Management is making the Sulitest, the first international tool to assess Sustainability Literacy worldwide, compulsory for all of its staff, faculty and students. This is a further step in GEM’s journey to become a School for Business for Society.

We spoke to Jaclyn Rosebrook Collignon, Head of Sustainability & Global Responsibility and in charge of the Sulitest at GEM.

Please could you describe the Sulitest tool?

There is now more than ever an urgent need for knowledge and skills to address the current social, economic & environmental challenges the world is facing.  This urgency, combined with the demand to create and develop innovative tools and training opportunities in sustainability, global responsibility encouraged the Sulitest community to start to work collectively on the tool.

The main ambition when building the Sulitest was to measure, improve and develop Sustainability Literacy worldwide (core knowledge, skills, and mindsets) and help create and inspire global citizens who are engaged and committed to making informed and responsible decisions to collectively build a sustainable future. 

The Sustainability Literacy Test is an on-line multiple choice questionnaire with 30 questions from the same database of international questions and are identical for all users throughout the world and allows candidates and academic institutions and organizations to compare results at a worldwide level.
Because sustainability challenges and priorities are not the same around the world, the core international questions are combined with another set of 20  “specialized” questions that reflect local, regional and cultural specificities (e.g. local regulations and laws, culture and practices). This enables candidates to be able to understand trends from one region of the globe to another and make the Sulitest a truly diverse intercultural tool and movement. 

It is also a versatile tool, schools can organize sessions to…

  • Map the sustainability literacy of an incoming student body
  • Raise awareness amongst students, faculty and staff members
  • Assess the institution’s curricula (entry and exit testing)
  • Raise the awareness of staff/faculty members
  • Collect data for research
  • Preselect students for a specific course or program

How does the Sulitest fit in within the overall strategy of the school in terms of sustainability and corporate social responsibility ?

The Sulitest is just one key part of GEM’s journey to become a School for Business for Society as we are committed to contribute to our students’ development of skills and knowledge in sustainability and global responsibility throughout all our programs.  As a founding partner of the Sulitest since 2015, GEM has contributed to the platform’s development and deployment at a national and international level.

In 2017, the school reinforced its commitment by making the Sulitest mandatory for all incoming students and faculty beginning in September.  The Sulitest is an innovative pedagogical digital tool and highlights GEM’s expertise and ambition to be inspirational and our drive to create value by integrating new technologies. The Sulitest is also customizable, enabling schools and organizations to integrate their own sustainability strategies and culture to this knowledge platform and collectively create specific modules for courses, programs and internal services.

What are the main ambitions of the Sulitest on a larger scale?

Already the biggest international database on sustainability, the data gathered on the Sulitest platform is made available to researchers upon request to further knowledge in the field, in addition to contributing to the common good.

Sulitest is a non-profit organization supported by entities of the United Nations like Global Compact, PRME, HESI, UN-DESA and is recognized as a tangible tool that advances key initiatives of the UN to promote sustainability  in Higher Education and beyond. 

The Sulitest’s ambition is to be more than a test but a movement that seeks to bring together a dynamic community of questioners creating and contributing content to the platform to keep it highly relevant, reflect rapidly changing geopolitical landscape and challenges.  Sulitest goal is to be a tool for supporting change agents and engaged global citizens.

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