Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.13
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Nov. 7, 2022

STARS v2.2

Colorado State University
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Tonie Miyamoto
Director of Communications and Sustainability
Housing and Dining 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:

CSU advocated for multiple inclusions in the City of Fort Collins' Active Mode Plan, a community-wide bicycle and pedestrian plan that guides development, investment, and expansion of active modes of transportation for community members of all ages and abilities. CSU served on the RFP selection committee and advocated for prioritized investments to support the community and campus including protected and buffered bike lanes, mid-block pedestrian crossings, and sidewalk connectivity. CSU also advocated to include the CSU Foothills Campus in the plan, opening up access for the community to existing shared-use trails and a future trail planned on the Foothills Campus that will be open to the public. CSU has also advocated for the City to join Vision Zero, a campaign to end transportation-related death and injuries.


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:

At the state level, the CSU System Office sends fiscal notes for proposed bills so CSU can weigh in on potential fiscal impact to the institution (positive or negative) before a bill is introduced. If the bill gets introduced to the state legislature, the CSU System Office sends a bill review to CSU. The President’s Office manages the review with input from the Provost, Policy and Compliance Office, and subject matter experts throughout the University. Responses are consolidated into favor, oppose, or amend and sent back to the CSU System Office for the CSU System and its state relations team to represent/advocate at the capital.

The CSU System Chancellor holds weekly meetings with campus presidents and the state and federal relations team during the legislative session to discuss bills, share reviews, and strategize on behalf of the System.

Specific legislation CSU has supported:
CSU advocated for the passage of House Bill 21-1286 in 2021, which established a statewide requirement for reporting building energy use data and improve the performance of buildings. The bill aligns well with the goals CSU already has in place for building performance and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

CSU supported the "Expand Agricultural Chemical Management Program Protect Surface Water” bill, which was signed into law on June 3, 2019. https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-186


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:

At the national level, CSU is actively involved with its representative national organizations, including APLU, to advocate on behalf of higher education issues at the national level. The University also has a federal relations team that works in partnership with the Colorado congressional delegation on issues and opportunities specifically impacting the CSU System, its students, and its research programs.

The CSU System Chancellor holds weekly meetings with campus presidents and the state and federal relations team during the legislative session to discuss bills, share reviews, and strategize on behalf of the System.

A specific bill CSU advocated for in 2021 is the APHIS American Rescue Plan Surveillance Program: Strategic Framework (APHIS-2021-0061) - Excerpt from our letter of support: "Increasing land use changes, agricultural intensification, climatic shifts, human population growth, and human encroachment into wildlife habitats, enhance interactions between animals and humans, increasing risk of pathogen transmission. Consequently, zoonotic diseases that spill over from animals to humans, may ‘spillback’ from humans to animals, perpetuating transmission cycles. Various Federal Agencies have the core mission and basic infrastructure to address wildlife disease as it impacts natural resources, agriculture, and human health. However, gaps exist in leveraging those efforts, both in terms of efficient communication, and effectively coordinating and leveraging those assets across agencies and stakeholders. The four pillars identified in the APHIS Strategic Plan are a good start and Colorado State University is appreciative of the Agency’s outreach efforts."

CSU also participates in public policy at the national level through the Center for New Energy Economy (CNEE). Founded in 2011 as a department of CSU, CNEE is a group of energy policy experts led by Colorado’s 41st Governor, Bill Ritter Jr. with the purpose to educate, convene, and inspire decision makers to create policies that facilitate America’s equitable transition to a clean energy economy. CNEE acts as an advanced energy policy think tank for states and works with them directly to enact policy. An example of a CNEE initiative is the Clean Energy Legislative Academy (CELA) http://cnee.colostate.edu/clean-energy-legislative-academy/, which brings together a bi-partisan cohort of state legislators and their energy staffers to learn about emerging energy issues and resources they’ll need to develop effective clean energy policy in their states. To date, 111 state legislators from 35 states have attended the Academy. As stated on the webpage, each summer the CNEE “convenes a bipartisan group of state legislators for a four-day conference in Breckenridge, Colorado. At the Academy, legislators learn from a team of expert policy ‘faculty’ in a variety of issue areas, they share their stories with one another, and discuss their plans for making their states more competitive in the clean energy marketplace. Since it started in 2017, the Academy has been attended by 77 Democrat and 33 Republican lawmakers from 35 states. Breakout sessions have focused on energy storage, grid modernization, electric transportation, new utility business models, mainstreaming renewables, energy efficiency, and clean energy financing. To build on the success of the legislator session, CNEE convenes respective legislative staff members and returning legislators for a deep dive workshop. Alongside expert faculty, attendees participate in an in-depth workshop which explores more detailed policy solutions to the key issue areas identified by legislators in the prior session”.

To date, CELA attendees have had 155 pieces of legislation enacted. Lawmakers who attended the academy and whose bills have been passed or are advancing through state legislatures in 2020 and 2021 include, but are not limited to:

- HB37 - Community Energy Efficiency Dev. Block Grant – New Mexico state Rep. Kristina Ortez (D), was the primary sponsor alongside Rep. Debra Sariñana also a CELA attendee, of an enacted bill that improves utility affordability and increases utility access for low-income residents through the creation of a block grant.

- LD 1959 - An Act Regarding Utility Accountability and Grid Planning for Maine's Clean Energy Future – Maine state Senator Stacy Brenner (D) was the primary sponsor on an enacted bill that requires the state to use an integrated grid planning process that supports the state’s emissions reduction goals. The planning process must be reviewed and updated every five years.

- HB 1013 – Microgrids for Community Resilience Grant Program – State Senator Dennis Hisey (R) of Colorado was a primary sponsor of a bill signed into law by Governor Gov. Jared Polis (D) that created a grant program to fund microgrids that support community energy resiliency.

- HB1042 - Environmental Justice, Virginia Council on; established – In Virginia, Delegate Mark Keam (D) was a sponsor of bill signed into law in 2020 that established the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice which will advise the Governor on how to protect vulnerable communities from disproportionate environmental harms.

The Center’s assistance is tailored to the opportunities, needs, and conditions in each client state. All of our services are free of charge. Generally, this assistance will consist of one or more of the following:

- Assistance in developing legislative, regulatory and programmatic plans for clean energy development, building on policies already in place and on models from other states. Our work involves building upon proposals already in development, and suggesting new policies.

- Direct engagement with the governor and staff, state energy office director and staff, legislators, regulators, and opinion leaders, to advise on policy best practices and how to implement them.

- Coordination with local industry and policy stakeholders.

For more information visit http://cnee.colostate.edu.


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:

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability is responsible for managing CSU’s participation as an official observer organization in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). CSU can request that a small number of people receive credentials for the annual meetings of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP), which is the international body in which negotiations for a global climate change agreement take place. CSU most recently attended the 26th session of the United Nations Climate Change conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021.

The CSU delegation included multiple faculty and student representatives. Advised by CSU faculty member Gillian Bowser, students participated in the "Voices of Optimism: The Youth Environment Alliance in Higher Education" speaking as future scientists. The students also produced a Livable Future podcast from the conference.

CSU faculty member John Killingsworth, an assistant professor in the Department of Construction Management, attended COP26 to share circular economy principles and influence future thinkers regarding the way people design and build structures.


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):

CSU's Center for the New Energy Economy works closely with CSU’s rural economic development activities, spearheaded by Director of Economic Development and former Larimer County Commissioner Kathay Rennels, to advance statewide economic initiatives related to clean and renewable energy.


A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):

N/A - as a public institution, CSU does not make political contributions


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

The Center for a New Energy Economy - http://cnee.colostate.edu/
Center for Public Deliberation - https://cpd.colostate.edu
Global Biodiversity Center - http://biodiversity.colostate.edu

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.