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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 60.07
Liaison Mark Klapatch
Submission Date Feb. 24, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Wisconsin-River Falls
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Mark Klapatch
Sustainability and Custodial Supervisor
Facilities Management
"---" 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:

UWRF's Office of Sustainability has a seat on the committees listed below, and thus has or is having a direct impact on the decisions listed.
POWERFUL CHOICES:
-Powerful Choices has been instrumental in pushing the City of River Falls toward two prestigious designations - an EPA Green Community designation, and a Wisconsin "Energy Independent Community" designation.
-Powerful Choices pushed forward a River Falls approved "NEV Ordinance" allowing use of NEVs on nearly all city streets, including those adjacent to UWRF.
-Powerful Choices developed a River Falls approved property tax financed renewable energy program which leverages the city's bonding rate for providing homeowners low-interest loans to install renewables which are paid-back through annual property tax payments.
-Powerful Choices has developed a grant program which allows residents to apply for grant funding for conservation and/or renewable energy funds up-to $5,000.
-Powerful Choices developed a proposal in 2014 for the River Falls community which resulted in a Solar Garden award from WPPI, only one of two awarded throughout the member network.

JOINT ECO-MUNICIPALITY RESOLUTION: UWRF, RIVER FALLS SCHOOLS, CITY OF RIVER FALLS:
Joint Resolution for Sustainable Community Development and Declaration of Eco-Municipality has been co-signed by the City of River Falls, UWRF Campus, and River Falls School District.


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:

UWRF and the other UW campuses work together to advocate for changes at the UW System level. This is done through monthly conference calls and an annual meeting to unite all campuses as one to have a stronger voice. In 2016, one of the main areas of advocacy was a purchase power agreement which would allow the campuses to support renewable energy sources as opposed to fossil fuels.


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:

UWRF is a former signatory of the ACUPCC. While no longer a member with Second Nature due to financial limitations, UWRF Chancellor Dean Van Galen signed a Letter from Higher Education Leaders on Climate Action coordinated through Second Nature in 2016. The goal of the letter is to urge the new congressional delegation and incoming presidential transition team to take action against climate change.


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 letter referenced in the previous question which was signed by the UWRF Chancellor specifically called for the United States' participation in the Paris Agreement which is an international agreement which aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate with the aim of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.


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.