EN 14: Participation in Public Policy – version 2.2
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, as long as the advocacy is occurring and/or has occurred in the three years prior to submission.
- Signatories of We are Still In/America Is All In – National level, U.S. institutions
- Signatories of Higher Education Carbon Pricing Endorsement – National and state levels, U.S. institutions
- President or Chancellor declarations for support of DACA and DREAMERS – National level, U.S. institutions
- Signatories for Second Nature’s Transition to Clean Transportation Future, State/Regional level, U.S. mid-Atlantic institutions
- Signatories of Building Back Better to Ensure Well-being for All, Colleges & Institutes Canada – National Level, Canadian institutions
The following institutions include one or more solid policy advocacy example(s) in each policy level marked “Yes”:
- Dalhousie University
- Dickinson College
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Missouri State University
- SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
- University of California, Irvine
- University of Southern California
This AASHE-curated resource on STARS Reporting Example Excerpts lists excerpts of high-quality responses from dozens of institutions. Each example is succinct and includes labels for the three minimum required criteria.
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 reference sustainability-focused policy advocacy by the institution. 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.
- This credit recognizes institutions that promote sustainability through public policy advocacy. In order to count, the policy advocacy must have the implicit or explicit support of the institution’s top administrators and/or governing bodies.