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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 69.67
Liaison Trina Innes
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Trina Innes
Chief Sustainability Officer
Office of 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:

ENERGY TRANSITION ADVISORY COMMITTEE
https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/city_organization/energy-transition-committee.aspx

The university's Vice-President for Facilities and Operations (Don Hickey) joined the City of Edmonton's Energy Transition Committee. The committee encourages and promotes the strategy, provides advice to council regarding the implementation of the strategy, and assists council in developing performance measures. The committee provides a wide and strategic perspective on issues relating to energy transition in Edmonton.

ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE, CITY OF EDMONTON
https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/city_organization/environmental-advisory-committee.aspx

The university's Chief Sustainability Officer (Trina Innes) represents the university as a standing member of the City of Edmonton's Environmental Advisory Committee. This committee covers many aspects of city operations and citizen engagement related to sustainability (e.g., water, infill development, energy, land reclamation, sustainable food, and more). The committee provides advice to City Council, which makes key decisions about how the city will meet the targets and goals identified in its environmental strategy. Specifically, over the last couple of years, this committee has provided advice on: The Way We Green Implementation Plan, the Energy Transition Discussion Paper, Green Building Policy and Plan, the City Operations Greenhouse Gas Management Plan, and the Food and Agriculture Strategy.

CITY-REGION STUDIES CENTRE
https://www.ualberta.ca/city-region-studies-centre

The City-Region Studies Centre is an innovative research and community engagement centre dedicated to sparking meaningful conversation and action in city-region planning, community development, governance and placemaking. Housed at the university's Faculty of Extension, it engages rural and urban stakeholders to build sustainable, resilient communities.


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 uses a variety of approaches to advocate for sustainability at the regional/provincial level, including sharing research to help policymakers create evidence-based policies. The university is a host to a number of centres and institutes. We write letters to government, participate in public consultations, and serve on multi-stakeholder working groups. Three examples of our activities are provided below.

ALBERTA CENTRE FOR SUSTAINABLE RURAL COMMUNITIES
http://www.augustana.ualberta.ca/research/centres/acsrc

The Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities (ACSRC) is a joint initiative of Augustana Campus and the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences. ACSRC links the research, outreach and educational capacity of the university with students, researchers, rural communities and organizations, and policymakers across the province, country, and globe, in order to support the improved sustainability of rural communities and populations. Among other goals, ACSRC aims to stimulate and support innovative education in rural community development, sustainability and policy.

ALBERTA EMERALD FOUNDATION
https://emeraldfoundation.ca

The Alberta Emerald Foundation recognizes and celebrates environmental excellence. The university assists the foundation in promoting environmental leadership and engaging the next generation of environmental leaders.

ALBERTA LAND INSTITUTE
http://www.albertalandinstitute.ca/

This institute seeks to be an internationally-recognized research institute that provides evidence-based policy options to resolve land-use issues, support dialogue and identify new approaches to secure Alberta’s prosperity through transformational land management. The institute works with policymakers and land users to develop, design, evaluate and support the implementation of innovative and informed land-use policy. To do so, it leverages the multi-disciplinary research capacity of the university and other partners.

CENTRE FOR APPLIED BUSINESS RESEARCH IN ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
https://www.ualberta.ca/business/centres/energy/centre-for-applied-business-research-in-energy-and-the-environment

The Centre for Applied Business Research in Energy and the Environment (CABREE) is an independent research centre located within in the university's Alberta School of Business. Given the importance of the energy and environmental sectors to the provincial and national economies, the centre is focused on energy market and climate change analysis to support public policy development and debate. The analysis draws from business economics, finance and quantitative modeling, as well as from associated disciplines. CABREE's activities complement and support the Natural Resources Energy and Environment Bcom and MBA specializations. Students are a major resources and they actively participate in research projects and interact with decision makers in the private and public sectors through CABREE activities.

CLIMATE CHANGE ADVISORY PANEL
https://www.alberta.ca/climate-leadership-discussion.aspx

Dr. Andrew Leach, Associate Professor and Academic Director of Energy Programs for the university's Alberta School of Business, chaired the Government of Alberta's Climate Change Advisory Panel. The panel provided advice to the government to help form the foundation of Alberta’s new proposal to address climate change.

WESTERN CANADIAN UNIVERSITY PHYSICAL PLANT ASSOCIATION

Through presentations to Western Canadian provincial governments at the annual regional conference, the university's Facilities and Operations department has presented findings and engaged in discussions exploring ease and cost of implementation, length of time to receive certification, and the energy utilization index.


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:

UNIVERSITIES CANADA
http://www.univcan.ca/

Dr. David Turpin, president of the university, serves on the board of Universities Canada. Founded in 1911, this association is a non-governmental, membership-based organization headquartered in Ottawa. It consists of 97 public and private not-for-profit Canadian universities, governed by a board of directors consisting of university presidents. Universities Canada has requested that the federal government provide additional direct financial assistance for Indigenous students pursuing a university education, and new assistance for institutional-level programs that support Indigenous student retention and success at university.

U15 GROUP OF CANADIAN RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES
http://u15.ca

Dr. David Turpin, president of the university, serves on the U15 Executive Committee. The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities was established in 1991 to advocate for research and development funding from provincial and federal governments. The three federal granting councils operated by the federal government are largely focused on environmental and social sustainability: the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Institute for Health Research. In 2016, the federal government announced a $2 billion Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund aimed at enhancing and modernizing research and commercialization facilities on Canadian campuses, as well as projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the environmental sustainability of these types of facilities.

CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY BUSINESS OFFICERS
https://www.caubo.ca/

Through presentations to provincial governments, participation in national-level working groups of the Canadian Association of University Business Officers, and talks at conferences, our Facilities and Operations team influences changes in policy to support the acceptability of a broader range of green certification schemes related to building construction and renovations.

CANADIAN ALLIANCE OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY SUSTAINABILITY PROFESSIONALS

Trina Innes, the university's chief sustainability officer, serves on the national steering committee for the Canadian Alliance of College and University Sustainability Professionals. She curates the national mailing list and social media accounts for CUSP as a way of strengthening connections between Canada's higher education sustainability professionals. In this past year, this group has advocated for changes to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System to better reflect Canadian needs.


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:

ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SUSTAINABILITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION
http://www.aashe.org/about-us/who-we-are/board-of-directors/

Trina Innes, the university's chief sustainability officer, serves on the board of directors for this organization, which engages in activities to support sustainability transformation in higher education.

GLOBAL NETWORK OF RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES
http://www.leru.org/index.php/public/global-network/

In 2014, the U15 group of Canadian research universities joined the Global Network of Research Universities. This organization includes the Association of American Universities, the League of European Research Universities, The Russell Group, the China 9 group of leading universities, and the Australian Group of Eight research-intensive universities. The network promotes research collaboration among its members and also strives to be the voice for research universities, advocating on an international scale for the role that higher education plays in addressing and solving global challenges.


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.