Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Carol Rosskam
Submission Date May 28, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Northeastern University
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Carol Rosskam
Sustainability Program Manager
Office of Sustainability, Facilities Mgmt.
"---" 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:

Boston Green Ribbon Commission's Higher Education Working Group, chaired by Katie Lapp, Executive Vice President of Harvard University, includes GRC participants from the University of Massachusetts, Boston; MIT; Boston University; Tufts University, Emerson College; and Northeastern University - in addition to Harvard. The HEWG executive group includes one representative from each participating school and is co-chaired by Dennis Carlberg, Associate Vice President of Sustainability at Boston University, and Jaclyn Olsen, Associate Director of the Harvard Office for Sustainability. The HEWG has had a pivotal role in the City’s climate action success to date by sharing and transferring their knowledge and learned lessons to other sectors for the effective and equitable implementation of the City’s climate goals. Because of HEWG members’ physical and cultural influences, the City continues to value HEWG’s leadership, contributing both research and best practices.

Myra Kraft Open Classroom - School of Public Policy: A longstanding tradition in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, the Myra Kraft Open Classroom is a semester-long seminar series for the Northeastern community and the general public. The series seeks to invite diverse audiences to converge around a central theme and generate conversation about current topics relevant to our local and national communities.


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:

Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI) seeks to spur original cutting edge research in the greater Boston area that advances urban scholarship and improves public policy and practice. Pursue core research-policy partnerships utilizing modern data to probe current challenges in greater Boston. To achieve its goals, BARI focuses on three major areas of activity: Pursuing core research-policy partnerships and projects that use modern data to probe major themes and challenges facing greater Boston. Developing technologies that make emergent data sources accessible for research, policy, and practice, centered around BARI’s flagship project, the Boston Data Portal where researchers, policymakers, and community members can map and download data generated by BARI projects.


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:

The University advocates for increased federal investment in sustainability research, including for the Department of Energy Office of Science and the Department of Defense research programs. Another example is the research on battery storage that is continued by faculty such as Dr. Sanjeev Mukerjee.

The Global Resilience Institute, under leadership of Dr. Steven Flynn and Dr. Jennie Stephens, is committed to informing and advancing societal resilience around the world. Individuals, communities, nations, and the systems they depend upon, can thrive only if they have the means to better withstand, recover from and adapt to the inevitable shocks and disruptive events of the 21st century. This university-wide Institute is partnering with other leading academic research institutions, nonprofits and the public and private sectors to devise and apply practical, interdisciplinary innovations and solutions to resilience challenges.

21st Century Lifelong Learning Infrastructure: In 2020, as the US Congress turned to the next phase of COVID-19 recovery measures, Northeastern urged them to include investments in lifelong learning, in order to develop a 21st century workforce infrastructure built to grow our future. These infrastructure investments should include incentives for all types of institutions to build digital learning capacity, new savings mechanisms to help Americans reskill and upskill, data sharing best practices, activities to support returning military and veterans, and robust research and development focused on the future of work and learning. The University stands ready to partner with Congress and to be a resource on this important topic. We encourage members to review these principles while considering any infrastructure legislation.

In 2021, Northeastern became an updated signatory to the Green Chemistry Commitment which it originally signed in 2013 as one of the original ten signatories. Its commitment to green chemistry goals in education includes: bring Green Chemistry Education to Puerto Rico High Schools; introduce potential chemistry students to green chemistry; continue to add green chemistry across the curriculum; and collaborate with other schools and industry. Green Chemistry has a tremendous impact on practitioners such as procurement specialists, business services staff, and building services program. As a relevant piece of the University's commitment, in November 2021, Northeastern's Green Chemistry group will convene a Green Chemistry Conference that targets the connection with decisionmaking practitioners rather than keeping the conference an academic-only focused event; prospective attendees will include other Boston-area colleges/universities and those implementing green chemistry-based decisions around the United States and beyond.


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:

The Global Resilience Research Network, in conjunction with the Global Resilience Institute, is a global membership network of researchers and practitioners collaborating to apply interdisciplinary knowledge to support resilience across multiple sectors. GRRN is comprised of leading universities, institutes, non-profit organizations, and companies from around the world engaged in resilience research that informs the development of novel tools and applications.

The Center for Research Innovation hosted delegates from the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Intellectual Property Attaché Program to showcase Northeastern’s success in building global patent portfolios, pairing industry needs to Northeastern solutions, spurring commercial licensing efforts, and creating impact-generating ventures. Attachés work directly with foreign officials to advocate for U.S. businesses and stakeholders seeking to improve Intellectual Property policies, laws, and regulations abroad. The Program also serves as a resource for entrepreneurs seeking subject matter experts on international jurisdictions.

Northeastern's Coastal Sustainability Institute is creating cleaner, safer, smarter coastal communities, using environmental sensing, predictive analytics, and other technology tools to reduce threats at the land-sea interface, including sea-level rise, collapsing fisheries, coastal pollution, and gaps in port security.


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

To support reinvestment in America's infrastructure, Northeastern's solutions range from developing new building materials to designing resilient infrastructure that can better withstand and recover from natural and human-made disasters. Northeastern urges Congress to take up comprehensive infrastructure legislation, a rare opportunity for bipartisan collaboration. The moment calls for bold, innovative thinking.


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

Not Applicable


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

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.