Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.16
Liaison Kylee Singh
Submission Date Sept. 19, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California Polytechnic State University
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Courtney Kienow
Director of Community Relations
Office of the President
"---" 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:

Cal Poly staff works closely with city and county government officials to take a holistic approach to many issues involving sustainability, including managing local water, energy, waste infrastructure, multi-modal transportation, housing policies and economic development, among others. This close communication ensures that local policy is created with the university in mind and that key university stakeholders participate in the local policy making process.

Some specific examples of how Cal Poly engaged in public policy advocacy at the local level for sustainability include:

1. City of San Luis Obispo (SLO) Study Session on implementation of bike share policies: Cal Poly law enforcement, procurement and sustainability staff have been meeting and communicating with city staff over the past 6 months as the two entities consider moving forward with city and campus policies to allow for a bike sharing service. Cal Poly’s police chief spoke at a recent SLO City Council meeting to further advocate for policies that make sense for both institutions as the city moves forward in its own process. This included consideration of the prioritization of the need for more bicycle infrastructure in the City.

2. County of San Luis Obispo Housing Policies: Cal Poly President Jeff Armstrong wrote a letter that was read at a SLO County Board of Supervisors meeting advocating for more and varied options as they consider new policies around housing and sustainability. This advocacy highlighted the need for allowing more people to live where they work, cutting down on emissions and impacting quality of life for students, staff and faculty and all of the county’s residents.

3. President’s Local Economic Development Committee: This Committee is made up of the city manager of each of the seven cities in San Luis Obispo County and leaders from the County of SLO. The committee is charged with reviewing current university activities that promote economic development in the Central Coast region; and, identifying opportunities to improve Cal Poly’s position in the region as an active, intentional contributor to economic development which inevitably ties to sustainability.

4. Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP): Cal Poly staff meets regularly with local municipal leaders and Pacific Gas & Electric Company staff regarding the planned closure of the only remaining nuclear power plant in California, DCPP. Cal Poly staff is involved in many conversations around future, sustainable uses of the lands and buildings that make up the DCPP.

5. Cal Poly Master Plan 2035: Cal Poly staff are in ongoing conversations with the City of SLO regarding all elements of impacts (water, traffic, sewer, public safety) of the university’s Master Plan as some of our utilities and public safety services are provided through the City. We engage with them consistently to

advocate for sustainable practices in all of these areas, especially where there is overlap with the university.

6. Public Transportation: Cal Poly pays the City of SLO for public transportation services through their bus system. CP staff advocates for better and more efficient routes to ensure optimal ridership.
An example of this is our recent work with City officials to determine the feasibility of an on campus water reclamation facility. By working directly with the city on this project we have been able to more succinctly map out the future of water for the university and the local community.


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 CSU system as a whole does engage in advocacy at the state level through our Advocacy and State Relations team, and some of these efforts are for sustainability-related legislation.

Any sustainability-related legislation that would directly affect CSU campuses is referred to the Energy & Sustainability Unit (along with any other relevant departments) at the Chancellor's Office, and they provide an analysis and recommendation that ASR uses to determine the CSU’s official position on the bill. The level of advocacy involved will be different for each bill, and can range from an official statement of support or opposition to meetings with legislators to testifying in subcommittee hearings.

Most recently, the Chancellor's Office did officially support the student transit pass bill (AB 17, previously AB 2222) that passed last year (though it was vetoed) as well as lobby for cap and trade funds. The final outcome was $11 million “to be used to fund research on reducing carbon emissions, including clean energy, adaptation, and resiliency, with an emphasis on California.” This language was included in Section 2 of AB 109 of 2017.

Taken from CSU Dominguez Hills STARS report:
https://reports.aashe.org/institutions/california-state-university-dominguez-hills-ca/report/2018-07-27/EN/public-engagement/EN-14/


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:

Cal Poly is a Charter Signatory of the Second Nature Climate Leadership Commitment. By signing this commitment  the university is committed to moving toward Climate Neutrality and also is part of a larger effort to advocate for national climate policy. Most recently the Second Nature organization submitted an open letter on behalf of over 230 universities to the newly elected President and incoming congress to advocate for climate action nationally.


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:

We Are Still In is the broadest cross-section of the U.S. economy ever assembled in pursuit of climate action. Over 2,500 leaders strong and growing, We Are Still In shows the world that leaders from across America’s state houses, city halls, board rooms, and college campuses stand by the Paris Agreement and are committed to meeting its goals. As the United States withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord in 2017 and the We Are Still in movement was launched and the CSU system as a whole signed on in support.


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.