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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 Silver
Overall Score 61.37
Liaison Preston Jacobsen
Submission Date April 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Tennessee at Knoxville
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Preston Jacobsen
Sustainability Manager
Facilities Services
"---" 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 Environment & Sustainability Student Services Committee (E&S) is dedicated to environmental advocacy opportunities, ecological and social sustainability initiatives, and change-making campaigns to promote awareness, stewardship, and action on campus and in the Knoxville community. As part of the Student Government Association (SGA), we also implement effective policy on a wide range of issues to ensure a lasting impact. E&S is a group that supports its members’ goals and appreciates the necessity of each individual’s personal passions in making UT and Knoxville a greener, better place. Past work includes: stakeholder involvement in the Tennessee Valley Authority Integrated Resource Plan, hosting events, Take Back the Tap, tabling on Pedestrian, campus clean-ups, advocating for an undergraduate Environmental Literacy curriculum requirement, meeting with administrators to communicate campus environmental needs, etc. Current work includes: establishment of a campus food pantry, reduction of solid waste on campus (particularly Styrofoam containers and single-use plastic bags), making UT more bike-friendly, volunteering with community beautification efforts, and collaboration across sectors of SGA and the student body." http://sga.utk.edu/branches/student-services/environment-sustainability/


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 of Tennessee’s Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE) seeks to promote the development of policies, technologies, and educational programs that cut across multiple disciplines, engage the university’s research faculty and staff, and grow in response to pressing environmental and security issues facing the state, the nation, and the globe. ISSE’s specialized centers, programs, and initiatives address a range of issues that fall under the broad rubric of sustainability." http://isse.utk.edu/ 2015-2016 projects include a project analyzing "persistent organic pollutants internationally recognized as chemical pollutants with a high priority for environmental cleanup, reduction of release, and restricted production", a project studying the spread of human and animal antibiotic genes from wastewater treatment plants and focusing on antibiotic-resistant genes and antibiotic resistant bacteria, and a research project on "Sustainable E-bikes: Naturalistic Behavior Approaches to Assess Sustainability." See http://isse.utk.edu/projects/seedprojects.html.


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 Howard J. Baker Center for Public Policy is UT’s avenue of engagement and advocacy in public policy for sustainability. This organization specifically has the Energy & Environmental Policy Program that strives to continue Senator Baker’s work the areas of energy and environmental policy. Among the issues addressed are energy consumption and conservation; nuclear energy; renewable energy; air and water pollution; ecosystem services; and climate change. The center studies the interaction of energy and environment to develop economically sound policies that improve the quality of life of the world’s citizens. The Baker Center also offers seminar series, delivers conferences, provides technical assistance, policy briefs and conducts grant/contract academic research that often focus on sustainability. Examples of the Baker Center’s environmental policy advocacy can be viewed in the Energy & Environment Policy Briefs. Last fiscal year, Dr. John Nolt authored the policy brief entitled "Nuclear Power, Fossil Fuels and Climate Change: The Long View." This study and report’s purpose was to examine the supporting and opposing viewpoints of nuclear power, fossil fuels, and renewable energy and to highlight the importance of a long-term perspective. In this policy brief and others, including "What are the Benefits of Federal Carbon Reduction Policies and How Well Do we Know Them?" and "The Clean Power Plan: Regulating Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Existing Power Plants" , the Baker Center recommends a balance between environmental stewardship and economic development strategies that will prioritize conservation and sustainability. See http://bakercenter.utk.edu//wp-content/uploads/2015/09/PolicyBrief-3-15-Nolt.pdf.


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 Howard J. Baker Center for Public Policy analyzes environmental policy at the global scale. The recently published Energy & Environment Policy Briefs titled "How Better Accounting Can More Cheaply Reduce Carbon Emissions" and "The Paris Climate Change Talks: What Did the President Promise and When Did He Promise It?" encompass international scopes, providing analysis and recommendations on important issues. See http://bakercenter.utk.edu/category/publications/policy-briefs/.


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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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.