Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.77
Liaison Nathanael Schildbach
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Massachusetts Amherst
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Ezra Small
Sustainability Manager
Physical Plant
"---" 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:

During the 2016-2017 statewide drought, UMass Amherst administration worked with the Town of Amherst to develop a set of Town of Amherst Mandatory Water Restrictions lasting for 4 months. These restrictions included:
1. Watering lawns, perennial or annual plants/flowers by any method.
2. Washing cars or trucks at non-commercial vehicle washes.
3. Washing of buildings, sidewalks or patios.
4. Filling of swimming pools.

The University continues to work with the Town of Amherst and other institutional partners in Amherst on monitoring, reporting and updating one another regarding the situation.


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:

The administration actively helped develop "Chapter 286 of the acts of 2014 - AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE PRESERVATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF LAND, PARKS AND CLEAN ENERGY IN THE COMMONWEALTH or more publicly known as the "Environmental Bond Bill." This act resulted in a number of sustainability advancements and funding for the Commonwealth including those related to the University of Massachusetts:

$4M for capitalizing a Massachusetts Water Technology Innovation Trust Fund, which shall be administered by the Massachusetts clean energy technology center to promote water innovation; provided, that not less than $4,000,000 shall be expended to establish testing and piloting facilities for the advancement of water technology at sites throughout the commonwealth; and provided further, that not less than $4,000,000 shall be expended to establish testing and piloting facilities for the advancement of water technology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

$5M for the development of a statewide climate center (NECSC) by the secretary of energy and environmental affairs in conjunction with the president of the University of Massachusetts; provided, that not more than $5,000,000 shall be expended for the development of a Strategic Framework for Climate Resilience, or SFCR, program by public and private institutions to study, develop and promote cross-sectoral resilience planning for the commonwealth relating to climate change, including, but not limited to: (i) the development of information products for municipalities and the private sector; (ii) a capacity needs assessment for effective involvement of municipalities in SFCR; (iii) approaches for incentivizing and monetizing climate change resilience; (iv) integration strategies for building resilience through support of new private sector efforts; (v) a strategic program for climate resilience design in priority sectors and regions; (vi) sensitivity vulnerability and adaptation assessments of initial key sectors and municipalities; (vii) a cross-sectoral guideline and best practice manual to integrate climate change factors into organizational planning; and (viii) a strategic-level set of consistent, reliable and justifiable scientific scenarios of key projected climate change impacts and capacity-building within and across sectors.

For establishing an office and programming under the direction of the president of the University of Massachusetts, in consultation with the secretary of energy and environmental affairs, to work with municipalities, regional governments and the private sector to assess, plan, coordinate and support the implementation of resiliency measures; provided, that work may include, but not be limited to: (i) public education and engagement; (ii) technical assistance, training, research and formulation of metrics, and (iii) preparing and disseminating guidelines, manuals and other products to assist in the in the preparation, planning design, and implementation of resiliency measures.

For the design, rehabilitation or construction of a research and extension building of approximately 20,000 square feet at the University of Massachusetts Center for Urban Sustainability in the city of Waltham to conduct research and advance urban sustainable agriculture through public-private partnerships, to include, without limitation, urban agricultural issues related to food security, safety and access, environmental stewardship and workforce development; provided further, that best efforts shall be made to construct a zero-net energy building

$3M for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for costs associated with a timber frame demonstration project (the UMass Amherst Design Building) including, but not limited to, planning, design, consulting and construction costs.


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, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:
---

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:

In June, 2017, following the Trump Administration announcement that the US would pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Chancellor Subbaswamy signed onto the "We Are Still In" Letter, an open letter to the international community and parties to the Paris Agreement from U.S. state, local, and business leaders showing our institutional commitment to upholding the climate action goals set by the Paris Agreement.


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):
---

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.