Participation in Public Policy

For details about this credit, including the criteria, reporting timeframe, applicability, scoring, and more, please review the full credit language:

Data Accuracy Video

Frequently Asked Questions

Has this credit changed from STARS 2.1 to 2.2?

No changes were made for this credit between STARS 2.1 and 2.2. A comprehensive list of differences across all credits can be found in the 2.2 Summary of changes.

What type of policy advocacy counts for this credit?

This credit recognizes institutions that promote sustainability through public policy advocacy. Examples of advocacy efforts include:

  • supporting or endorsing legislation, ordinances, and public policies that advance sustainability
  • active participation in campaigns aiming to change public policy; and
  • discussions with legislators in regard to the above.

In order to count, the policy advocacy must have the implicit or explicit support of the institution’s top administrators and/or governing bodies.

What type of “implicit support” from top administration or governing bodies is acceptable for this credit?

While advocacy with formal support from top administration is ideal, institutions can still earn points for policy advocacy that includes implicit support. Examples of implicit support include formal initiatives within major divisions, offices, and centers that result in policy advocacy, or policy work conducted by top-level officials such as vice presidents and directors. In addition, if an advocacy effort has been formalized and is displayed prominently on an institutional webpage, this can be interpreted as implied support.

Efforts by individual faculty members, staff members or students are usually not sufficient for this credit.

What common advocacy programs can count under this credit?

There are several regional, national and international advocacy programs that are commonly reported under this credit. Participation in any of these programs can be reported under the level(s) indicated.

Example Responses

Reporting Examples for EN 14: Participation in Public Policy includes reporting examples of valid responses reported by STARS institutions for EN 14: Participation in Public Policy under STARS version 2.

Common Issues Identified During Review

  • In order to count, the policy advocacy must have the implicit or explicit support of the institution’s top administrators and/or governing bodies.
  • Responses must provide sufficient detail about public policy advocacy. Examples of advocacy efforts include supporting or endorsing legislation, ordinances, and public policies that advance sustainability; active participation in campaigns aiming to change public policy; and discussions with legislators in regard to the above. Community partnerships, research efforts, or outreach campaigns are covered in other credits and should not be referenced here unless there is an explicit policy advocacy focus.
  • Responses must relate to policy advocacy at the Municipal/local, State/provincial/regional, National, and/or International levels, and should only be duplicated if there is clear advocacy at multiple government levels.

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