Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.74
Liaison Moira Hafer
Submission Date June 28, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Stanford University
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

LOCAL TRANSIT ADVOCACY
One of the primary responsibilities of Stanford's Department of Parking & Transportation is to work closely with other regional transit providers to jointly advocate for system improvements that will reduce congestion throughout the Bay Area. This proactive approach helps encourage greater use of public transit by the university’s commuting population while enhancing the availability of public transit service for the entire Bay Area. As an example of how the university is pursuing this objective, Stanford is a founding member of the Caltrain Commuter Coalition, which is working to stabilize operating funds for Caltrain and build support and ensure funding for the Caltrain Modernization Program, a key component of which is electrification. The Caltrain Commuter Coalition (C3) is comprised of Bay Area employers focused on advancing local, regional, state and federal policies and programs that promote the improvement of commuter rail services along the 77-mile Caltrain corridor. The Caltrain Commuter Coalition works directly with Santa Clara County and San Mateo County locally, in addition to state and federal government entities, to advocate for these public transit improvements.


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:

Below are descriptions of programs and centers that advocate for environmental policies at the state and regional levels, including examples of those policies and how each entity works with government entities to advocate for them. As official university initiatives, they are funded by the university and thus have the support of the university administration.

WATER IN THE WEST PROGRAM
Stanford University established Water in the West in 2010 to address the West’s growing water crisis and to create new solutions that move the region toward a more sustainable water future. A joint program of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Bill Lane Center for the American West, Water in the West marshals the resources of one of the world’s preeminent research institutions to address one of the most urgent questions about the West’s future—how can the region continue to thrive despite growing water scarcity? Water in the West bridges the gap between academic research and applied solutions by creating new practical tools and forming strong partnerships to inform policymakers, water managers, businesses and environmental groups. Stanford University brings a range of unique assets to solving the West’s water scarcity challenge, including world-class faculty, researchers and students across an extraordinary breadth of disciplines; and credibility capable of influencing a broad range of leaders. Water in the West harnesses these resources toward solving the West’s growing water scarcity problem. Research from the Water in the West program is frequently published in regional publications. For instance, in June 2017, an article by the Water in the West program titled "Desalination will not solve California's Water Woes" was published in the San Jose Mercury News. More information on Water in the West can be found here: http://waterinthewest.stanford.edu/about

As one example of policy advocacy, the Water in the West program organized the Stanford Experts on Drought and Water Issues panel, a group of Water in the West-affiliated Stanford faculty that worked with the state of California to develop and refine California's water policies during the statewide drought between 2013 and 2016.

SHULTZ-STEPHENSON TASK FORCE ON ENERGY POLICY
The Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy is housed in the Hoover Institution at Stanford. The task force primarily considers threats to national security and adverse effects of energy usage on global climate and their implications on energy policy. The task force’s goals are to gather comprehensive information on current scientific and technological developments, survey the contingent policy actions, and offer a range of prescriptive policies to address varied energy challenges. It then recommends policy initiatives, large and small, that can be undertaken to the advantage of both private enterprises and governments acting individually and in concert. More information on the Task Force can be found here: http://www.hoover.org/research-teams/energy-policy-task-force

For instance, the Task Force regularly promotes carbon taxes and recently held an event titled "Is there deal space for carbon pricing in 2017?" which was meant for local government officials. The Task Force has also published articles based on policy recommendations in regional and local publications; for example, a recent publication from the Task Force in the Sacramento Bee was titled "Integrate Western Power Grid to Reduce Emissions, Energy Costs." Finally, the Task Force was a primary contributor to the state of California's participation in the Israel-California Green Tech Partnership, which launched in 2016 and primarily focused on water policy during times of drought.

STANFORD ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENERGY POLICY ANALYSIS CENTER
The Stanford Environmental and Energy Policy Analysis Center (SEEPAC) was established in 2011 to develop practical and economically viable solutions to the pressing energy and environmental problems facing 21st Century societies. SEEPAC undertakes and disseminates research that can help decision makers shape environmental and energy policy. Beyond discovering innovative solutions to problems, SEEPAC aims to influence policy decisions through close interaction with state, federal and global decision makers. SEEPAC is a joint venture of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. This joint sponsorship underscores one of SEEPAC’s goals: to build bridges across disciplines and between the academic and policy communities. SEEPAC’s research is highly relevant to policy makers. Consequently, communication and outreach efforts are considered vital to the initiative. These efforts are designed to help inform journalists and policy makers of the center's work and also ensure that researchers are aware of challenges facing policy makers. More information on SEEPAC can be found here: https://seepac.stanford.edu/

As one example of policy advocacy, SEEPAC organized the Stanford Experts on California Climate Policy panel, a group of SEEPAC-affiliated Stanford faculty that worked with the state of California to develop California's landmark climate policy, AB 32, and which continues to work with the state government to develop and refine other environmental and climate policies.

STEYER TAYLOR CENTER FOR ENERGY POLICY AND FINANCE
The Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy & Finance explores and advances public policies and financial mechanisms leading to an energy future that protects the environment in an economically sensible way. The Center engages in policy advocacy through promotion of research performed by affiliated faculty and students. For instance, the Center recently published articles in the New York Times, the Hill, Fortune Magazine, and New Republic Magazine advocating for policies relating to the Center's sustainability research, particularly in solar technology. More information on the Steyer Taylor Center can be found here: https://law.stanford.edu/steyer-taylor-center-for-energy-policy-and-finance/

An example of the work of both the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance and the Hoover Institution’s Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy is The State Clean Energy Cookbook, self-described as “A Dozen Recipes for State Action on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy." This publication advocates for a series of statewide policies on clean and renewable energy based on past performance in a handful of states. The "cookbook" has been shared with the state government through each center's channels and can be found here: http://media.law.stanford.edu/organizations/programs-and-centers/steyer-taylor/State-Policy-Report-hi-res.pdf?__hstc=224122052.d9575b7dd398a61384f554b9d663bca8.1463626851336.1463626851336.1463626851336.1&__hssc=224122052.1.1463626851337&__hsfp=3228276027


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:

PRESIDENTS LETTER ON IMMIGRATION EXECUTIVE ORDER
Stanford's President Marc Tessier-Lavigne joined 47 other college and university presidents in January in a letter to President Trump addressing the executive order on immigration. The joint letter is available here: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/stanford.ucomm.newsms.media/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/02161425/Presidents-Letter-January-Executive-Order.pdf.

In addtion, Stanford joined 30 other universities in April 2017 in filing an amicus brief challenging the executive order, arguing that the travel ban imposed on people from six countries threatends the universities' academic mission. the filing was made on Friday, March 31 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia. The brief can be read in it entirety at https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/stanford.ucomm.newsms.media/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/04153818/CA4-universities-amicus-brief-as-filed.pdf.

A Stanford Report article detailing Stanford's participation can also be found at http://news.stanford.edu/2017/04/04/stanford-joins-amicus-brief-opposing-revised-travel-ban/.

AFFIRMATION OF LEADING RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES COMMITMENT TO PROGRESS ON CLIMATE CHANGE
In June 2017, Stanford also signed on to a statement on tackling climate change issued by Ivy-Plus universities, affirming that Stanford's "commitment to leadership on this issue remains undiminished" following President Trump's decision to opt out of the Paris climate agreement. The statement is titled "Affirmation of leading research universities' commitment to progress on climate change" and is signed by 12 university presidents, including Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. The statement and a description of Stanford's stance can be found at http://news.stanford.edu/2017/06/05/stanfords-message-climate-change/.

Additionally, amidst news of the nation's decision to opt out of the agreement, this letter was featured on many national news outlets, including ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/colleges-vow-fight-climate-change-us-leaving-pact-47851401.


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:

OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY DELEGATES SENT TO CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES
Stanford sends delegates to each of the gatherings of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. In 2017, Chris Field, the Perry L. McCarty Director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Stanford climate scientist Katharine Mach joined COP22 as official Stanford delegates. http://news.stanford.edu/2016/11/09/can-world-manage-historic-climate-agreement/

BOARD OF TRUSTEES STATEMENT TO COP 21 SUMMIT CONVENERS
Ahead of the 2016 COP21 summit in Paris, Stanford’s Board of Trustees issued a statement to the summit conveners, urging global leaders to look to universities for climate solutions. The statement highlights the steps Stanford has taken to provide leadership on climate change, both in its academic enterprise and in its operations, and welcomes dialogue and idea-sharing with other universities. An article with the text of the statement can be found here: https://news.stanford.edu/2015/10/28/climate-change-statement-102815/


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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