Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.93
Liaison Nathanael Schildbach
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Nathanael Schildbach
Marketing Manager
University Relations
"---" 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:

The University uses 350 million gallons of water annually and draws on the reservoirs of the Town of Amherst, so its interest in water conservation is intimately connected to those of the local municipality.

In 2016, when a drought was predicted, the Chancellor of UMass Amherst formed a task force that included university staff, town administrators and town residents, and tasked the group with developing plans to reduce water usage and comply with any water use restrictions that might be instituted. In August of 2016, a water use restriction order was issued by the Town of Amherst and this task force was prepared to communicate these requirements to the town and campus communities and promote water conservation through a marketing and communications campaign.

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 initial restrictions lasted 4 months and the work of the task force was instrumental in the success of the restrictions in reducing water use and stabilizing the water sources in the Town of Amherst.

UMass Amherst continues to work with the Town of Amherst on improving water use on and off campus and updating and implementing the Town of Amherst Mandatory Water Restrictions that it and the Town developed during the 2016-2017 statewide drought.


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:

The administration actively works with our state stakeholders to further climate and mitigation efforts. There are ongoing conversations with the Governor and House and Senate Leadership on efforts they are making towards mitigation efforts that we can work together on with them.

One such law that came out of this public policy advocacy is Chapter 209, passed in 2018. The Chancellor directed the Executive Director of Government Relations and Special Advisor to the Chancellor to advocate for the passage of this act directly to the state's legislators.

The text of the act, "AN ACT PROMOTING CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION, ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL RESOURCE PROTECTION, AND INVESTMENT IN RECREATIONAL ASSETS AND OPPORTUNITY", is available at
https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2018/Chapter209.


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:

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.
https://www.wearestillin.com/organization/university-massachusetts-amherst


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:

UMass Amherst’s Center for Heritage and Society worked with the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a UNESCO partner organization, in 2019 to write and publish their report to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, The Future of Our Pasts: Engaging Cultural Heritage in Climate Action. The report focuses on the critical importance of heritage issues to international climate change policy and will be used as the framework for the formal policy of ICOMOS that is on track to be finalized and adopted in 2020 through the joint UNESCO-ICCROM-IUCN-ICOMOS Policy update process.

The Center for Heritage and Society received its initial funding by the Chancellor’s office at UMass Amherst and still receives the majority of its funding from central UMass Amherst administration (Vice Chancellor of Research) and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and College of Humanities and Fine Arts.


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