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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 67.88
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Sept. 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Pennsylvania State University
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" 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:

The Office of Government and Community Relations has engaged local governments on the following issues which promote sustainability:

- A model ordinance on pollinator gardens
- Alternative modes of transportation to campus
- Support of and land transfer for a regional park
- Air quality issues related to local power plant


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:

The Office of Government and Community Relations has engaged state governments on the following issues which promote sustainability:

- Funding for agricultural research and extension
- Funding for energy efficient building research
- Legislation regarding green buildings


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:

The Office of Government and Community Relations has engaged at the national level on the following issues to promote overall funding of sustainability-related research programs:

Energy Appropriations - Department of Energy research programs:
- In support of increased funding for Office of Science.
- In support of funding for Basic Energy Sciences.
- In support of funding for Energy Frontier Research Centers.
- In support of funding for Fossil Energy Research.
- In support of funding for ARPA-E program.
- In support of funding for energy efficient building systems research.
- In support of funding for the Sun Grant program
- In support of funding for agricultural research
- In support of funding for NSF Geosciences Directorate


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:

In 2017 Penn State signed an open letter to the international community that affirmed the University’s support for efforts to follow through with targets outlined in the Paris Agreement to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale.


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:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Penn State engages in public policy advocacy through the Office of Government and Community Relations, which is within the Office of the President, and therefore is authorized to speak for the entire university on matters of public policy. The office chooses the issues to engage in through interactions with senior administrators, deans, faculty and staff from across the university.

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.