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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 67.81
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Texas A&M University
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Michael O'Quinn
Vice President for Government Relations
President's Office
"---" 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 University raises awareness and contributes to the body of knowledge through its research and scholarly engagements via speakers programs, public testimony, presentations, summer camps, and community events.

The Institute for Sustainable Coastal Communities (ISCC) is a joint initiative between the College of Architecture at Texas A&M and Texas A&M University at Galveston that helps prepare coastal communities to absorb, adapt and respond to disturbances from hazardous events. ISCC shares findings with community decision makers, residents, and interested parties about their roles in creating a sustainable and resilient community. The institute also provides knowledge that will help decision makers reduce hurricane/storm impact.

There is also the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center (HRRC) in the College of Architecture that focuses on hazard analysis, emergency preparedness and response, disaster recovery, and hazard mitigation. Researchers study the full range of natural disasters and technological hazards. HRRC includes the expertise of architects, planners, sociologists, policy analysts, economists, landscape architects, and engineers. The overarching mission of HRRC is to increase understanding of the nature and impact of natural and technological hazards upon humans and the physical and built environment in which they live, and to increase our knowledge regarding hazard mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery


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 University raises awareness and contributes to the body of knowledge through its research and scholarly engagement in speakers programs, public testimony, presentations, summer camps, and community events.

1) Indirectly Texas A&M provides information for elected officials at the state level regarding entities within Texas A&M that promote sustainability and energy efficiency. One example is the Engineering Energy Systems Lab (ESL), a premier facility in the state regarding evaluation of energy-related research, energy efficiency, and emissions reduction, thus providing sustainable solutions for building use efficiencies. This is one of several energy efficiency related initiatives in which the university helps support and advocates funding for at the state level.

2) Another program Texas A&M has officially requested support for at the state level is the Texas Sea Grant College Program, a program that seeks to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.

3) The Soil Security Grand Challenge team at Texas A&M advocates for collaboration between public and private institutions as appropriate, to develop solutions at the state level for an effective valuation of soil and soil services to contribute to better decision-making and engagement of the public relating to soil security.

4) The Institute for Sustainable Coastal Communities (ISCC) is a joint initiative between the College of Architecture at Texas A&M and Texas A&M University at Galveston that helps prepare coastal communities absorb, adapt and respond to disturbance such as hazardous events. ISCC also shares findings with community decision makers, residents, and interested parties. The institute also provides knowledge that will help decision makers reduce hurricane/storm impact.

5) The Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center (HRCC) in the College of Architecture focuses on hazard analysis, emergency preparedness and response, disaster recovery, and hazard mitigation. Researchers study the full range of natural disasters and technological hazards.


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:

1) Texas A&M has successfully advocated funding at the federal level for the Texas Sea Grant College Program through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The program is a collaboration of NOAA, the State of Texas and universities across the state. at the national level through Advocate for NOAA to have the cooperative institutes in the Gulf. Water resources natural something bill – always advocate. Sea grant also receives federal funding.

2) On September 22-23, 2016, a Texas A&M researcher participated on a Department of Energy Panel on "National Laboratories - Advancing U.S. Environmental Stewardship through Innovation," which focused on the role of the National Laboratories in environmental clean-up.

3) On January 24, 2017, a Texas A&M researcher was invited to participate in the "Improving the Energy Productivity and Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturers" briefing, hosted by the House Manufacturing Caucus.

4) March 2, 2017, a Texas A&M researcher was invited to a Congressional briefing on "Retaking the Field," to present funded research projects and educate Congressional staffers, the media, and other stakeholders about why funding for agricultural research is vital to the U.S.

5) Some of Texas A&M’s Congressional appropriations requests support funding for sustainability activities, including research in USDA’s Agriculture and Food Initiative (AFRI), the Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis program, and NSF’s Food-Energy-Water Nexus program (INFEWS: Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems).

6) Texas A&M also advocates for, and receives, federal funding through the U.S. Department of Energy for the Industrial Assessment Center. The center conducts free assessments for mid-sized industries to help them stay competitive through reduction of costs. The assessments include energy efficiency and productivity improvements, waste minimization, and pollution prevention. The center has also been recognized by the Department of Energy as a “Center of Excellence.”


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:

The University raises awareness and contributes to the body of academic knowledge through its research and scholarly engagement in speakers programs, public testimony, presentations, summer camps, and community events.


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):

Not applicable since Texas A&M University is a public university.


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.