Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Julie Newman
Submission Date Oct. 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 sustainableMIT@mit.edu sustainableMIT@mit.edu
sustainableMIT@mit.edu
sustainableMIT@mit.edu
"---" 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:

At MIT, top administrators and governing bodies directly support a variety of advocacy efforts at the local, state, federal, and international level. In MIT's Plan for Action on Climate Change, the MIT President and Provost have publically committed support to the institution to advance and advocate efforts on climate action in the realm of research, education, public policy advocacy, congressional hearings, study tours, etc. MIT's Washington Office, which is MIT administration's public policy and advocacy office within the Office of Government and Community Relations, coordinates a myriad of public policy activities at the direction of senior leadership. Several examples at each scale are included below:

Municipal efforts: On behalf of our senior leadership,

- MIT has provided expert faculty and staff testimony before the Cambridge City Council to support and inform Net Zero Emissions standards for new construction and provided stakeholder participation to support regulatory process
- Provided expert testimony and stakeholder participation in support of a city-wide building energy use disclosure ordinance and its proposed amendment
- Senior leadership participates in a green ribbon commission in Boston that advocates for and helps develop policiers and programs that advance greenhouse gas mitigation and climate resiliency measures
- Established the Cambridge Compact for a Sustainable Future with the City of Cambridge and Harvard University, which advocates for sound public policies related to climate action, transportation, and energy efficiency
- MIT staff shared expertise and input on a local petition to establish a new resiliency municipal ordinance
- MIT staff are serving on a new City-established Resiliency Task Force to make policy recommendations
- MIT staff serve on a variety of City-established committees on sustainability and climate change to make policy recommendations


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:

State efforts: On behalf of our senior leadership,

- Convened and hosted Massachusetts gubernatorial debates on campus focused exclusively on environmental and sustainability topics, highlighting opportunities for policy improvements in the areas of climate action, renewable energy incentives.
- Hosted state congressional delegations to campus to meet with leading faculty in the areas of energy, climate, transportation to provide input on state legislative affairs.
- Professional staff have participated in state greenhouse gas regulatory policy development stakeholder groups focus on the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA).
- MIT hosted MA state chair of public utility commission for expert briefings and campus tours in support of future utility policy development that embraces renewable energy, storage, etc.

Federal Level: On behalf of our senior leadership,

- MIT has provided public comments to the U.S. EPA in opposition to proposals to weaken national greenhouse gas emission guidelines
- MIT has created expert podcasts for advocacy on the human environmental nexus and the need for national leadership on climate change

International Level: On behalf of our senior leadership,

- MIT advocated advancing practical emissions reduction strategies at the regional and country level in support of Paris Agreement goals at the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Policy reports were prepared and disseminated to COP members.
- MIT advocated for “Diversifying economic activity as an adaptation strategy” and “A Guide to Linking Emissions Trading Systems” in support of global climate policy-making through public policy discussions via expert panels and reports.
- MIT has published public policy reports focused on key public policy issues related to policies that support effective use of nuclear, natural gas, and solar energy to accelerate national progress for climate action


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:

Federal Level: On behalf of our senior leadership,

- MIT has provided public comments to the U.S. EPA in opposition to proposals to weaken national greenhouse gas emission guidelines
- MIT has created expert podcasts for advocacy on the human environmental nexus and the need for national leadership on climate change

At the federal level, MIT engages in public policy advocacy for the science, technology, research, and education that is fundamental to MIT's mission to tackle the worlds greatest challenges including energy, environment, and sustainability. In addition, MIT participates in congressional hearings on issue related to energy, environment and sustainability.

MIT ROLE IN WASHINGTON
The mission of the MIT Washington Office is to maintain a constant flow of information between Washington, DC and the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA. Since its formation as part of the MIT President's Office in 1991, the MIT staff in Washington have followed and engaged in research and development and education efforts throughout government, managing a wide portfolio of related policy issues.

In addition to communicating the latest developments in these key policy areas, MIT Washington staff facilitate interactions between campus experts and those in Congress, the Administration, associated federal agencies, and national organizations seeking that expertise. Our staff maintains a deep understanding of emerging and ongoing campus initiatives, and weaves those initiatives into their advocacy efforts in Washington. Over time, the role of the office has also evolved to include engaging and educating MIT's students in the larger science and technology policy-making process, either through classes taught on campus or via the office’s internship and science policy fellows programs.


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:

International Level: On behalf of our senior leadership,

- MIT advocated advancing practical emissions reduction strategies at the regional and country level in support of Paris Agreement goals at the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Policy reports were prepared and disseminated to COP members.
- MIT advocated for “Diversifying economic activity as an adaptation strategy” and “A Guide to Linking Emissions Trading Systems” in support of global climate policy-making through public policy discussions via expert panels and reports.
- MIT has published public policy reports focused on key public policy issues related to policies that support effective use of nuclear, natural gas, and solar energy to accelerate national progress for climate action


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

MIT has advocated for the U.S. to remain in the UN Paris Climate Change Accord, via public statements of support for the Paris Accords. MIT has advocated for federal support of STEM research and education, including research related to sustainability.


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:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Office of Government and Community Relations and Washington, DC office OGCR;
MIT Energy Initiative; Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

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