Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 64.57
Liaison Sherri Mason
Submission Date June 14, 2023

STARS v2.2

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.67 / 2.00 Sherri Mason
Director of Sustainability
School of Science
"---" 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?:
No

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level:
In collaboration with the campus Public Policy Institute, the Director of Sustainability is working with both City and County government to re-envision waste management at the local level with the understanding that policies, practices and infrastructure within these municipalities affect what is possible on campus. For example, one of the goals within the Erie County Recycling Strategic Plan is to consider the creation of a local Materials Recovery Facility. Monies for a feasibility study for that MRF were included in a grant application submitted by Behrend, as was funding for the creation of a Solid Waste Management District and the expansion of City operations to include compost collection and glass recycling.

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level:
The Director of Sustainability is an international renown freshwater plastic pollution researcher who is frequently asked to present research findings which support various proposed legislation (such as bag bans or fees, etc.). Most recently she spoke with the Alleghany County (PA) legislators in support of such proposed legislation.

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level:
The Director of Sustainability is a member of the Science Advisory Board for the Microfiber report commissioned as part of Save our Seas 2.0 (federal legislation). The last chapter of that report specifically outlines recommendations for legislation and other solutions to the issue. She also frequently speaks out in support of the Break-Free from Plastic Pollution Act currently being considered by congress. The campus administration is aware and supportive of the directors research and advocacy efforts, providing time with her job description to remain active in these pursuits.

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:
In 2020, Penn State joined the International Universities Climate Alliance (IUCA). The vision of this group is "to provide a central hub for universities to share the latest climate research with the public and enable greater collaboration between leading research teams, supporting global leaders, policy makers and industry in planning for and responding to climate change". https://www.universitiesforclimate.org/members/ In December 2020 Penn State endorsed a letter drafted by the IUCA urging world leaders, specifically G20 leaders, to protect humankind from climate change. https://www.universitiesforclimate.org/climate-declaration/

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

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

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

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.