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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.78
Liaison Margaret Lo
Submission Date Sept. 1, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

George Mason University
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Mary Liang
Sustainability Analyst
Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

George Mason University (Mason) has multiple partnerships throughout the local area, and is largely involved in making the busy metropolitan area of Fairfax more sustainable. Mason’s Office of Transportation has a formal partnership with City of Fairfax to subsidize the CUE bus, which provides a low cost public transit option for citizens and Mason students. The new CUE Hybrid buses consume less fuel and operate on electric engines to decrease greenhouse gas emission. To further increase public transportation for the Fairfax area, Mason worked with Fairfax County in 2016 to complete an expansion of the Sandy Creek Shuttle stop to a transit center. The new transit center expanded bus services to allow riders to choose from multiple public transit options at one location. This project supports and increases public transit ridership, and reduces greenhouse gas admission throughout Fairfax County. Mason is also part of a working group for the Vision Fairfax planning process, which is a city planning project to connect the Historic Downtown Fairfax area and Mason's Fairfax Campus. This involves studying pubic transportation trends, increasing access to affordable housing, incorporating sustainability through land use changes, and incentivizing solar energy.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

Mason’s Office of Government and Community Relations is responsible for advocating on issues that are directly related to higher education and more specifically George Mason University. Staff from Office of Government and Community Relations engage state leaders to raise awareness of the ongoing conservation research completed at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation to influence state policy. This also includes fostering partnerships with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, so the agency’s policy choices can benefit from that research. The office also works closely with the Chesapeake Bay Commission to host meetings at Mason for multiple state leaders to discuss the best practice for the restoration of the bay.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

In 2015, Mason joined 317 other college and universities in signing the national American Campuses Act on Climate (ACAC). This initiative showed higher education support for United States to sign a strong international climate agreement in the United Nations COP21 climate negotiations in Paris. Mason has pledged to help facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy by enhancing sustainable and resilient practices on campus.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

Mason is a member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), which promotes sustainable development globally with respect to human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. Mason participates in the compact by submitting a Communication of Progress report, which articulate how Mason is striving to uphold the Compact. Mason plans to submit another progress report in the beginning of 2018 to reaffirm it’s UNGC commitment.


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
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A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.