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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 68.76
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Washington University
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Meghan Chapple
Director of Sustainability, Senior Advisor on University Sustainability Initiatives
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for national, state/provincial, or local public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability?:

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

GW is engaged with public policy leaders on sustainability at the local (District of Columbia) and Federal level. GW’s engages in public policy advocacy and advising on a myriad of campus and academic sustainability issues.

GW President Steve Knapp serves on the Governance and Policy Committee of the Steering Committee of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The Steering Committee is the chief governing body of the ACUPCC and is responsible for guidance, policy and direction of the ACUPCC. The Governance and Policy Committee reviews and recommends positions that the ACUPCC takes on public policy matters. President Knapp joined fellow members of the ACUPCC to publicly endorse the US Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon standards and regulation of carbon pollution from existing power plants in May 2014.

GW’s President Knapp supported United States Congressional reauthorization of the University Sustainability Program at the Department of Education in July 2013.

Faculty across GW are regularly called upon by Federal agencies for help in evaluating sustainability opportunities and appear as witnesses before the US Congress. In most cases, these faculty are undertaking this work and sharing their opinions as independent researchers/experts in the field. The GW administration supports these efforts and encourages faculty to engage in public policy.

In 2014, GW's Executive Director of Sustainability served on a panel of three judges to determine the winner of the U.S. governments "Green Gov Awards," gave a keynote address at the White House ceremony honoring award winners, and continues to work with the Council of Environmental Quality to find ways to bring attention to outstanding federal efforts so to encourage more agencies to undertake sustainability goals.

GW provides ongoing input to Washington, D.C. legislators and regulators at all points of developing and reviewing public policy on issues including green buildings, stormwater regulation and permeable space, renewable energy, tree canopy, farmers markets, and bicycle infrastructure. The university’s goal is to enable more sustainable infrastructure within the constraints of the District mandated Campus Plan rules.

In May 2012 and April 2014, GW President Knapp wrote the US EPA Administrator in support of green infrastructure as part of the proposals submitted by the DC Water Clean Rivers Project under the terms of the 2005 Consent Decree between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice, and the District of Columbia government’s Long Term Control Plan.

GW provides intellectual and physical space for policy makers and public managers to create sustainability policy and practice.

A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years:

A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):

The website URL where information about the institution’s advocacy efforts is available:

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.