Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.64
Liaison Rob Andrejewski
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Richmond
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Cassandra Collins
Sustainability Communications & Engagement Specialist
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:

University administration supports the participation of the Director of Sustainability in the City of Richmond's Green City Commission (GCC). Members of the GCC are appointed by the mayor to City of Richmond's to provide guidance on implementation of sustainability efforts and provide expertise to the city on code and advisory changes that would advance sustainability. The Director of Sustainability serves on the Energy Efficiency and Environmental Protection Subcommittees and attends all full committee quarterly meetings. The University also provides no cost meeting space to the commission.

Some of the work completed by the GCC recently include the following:
Endorsed the goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions citywide by 2050, and began to meet with city staff on the process and potential steps to achieve this goal.
• Supported adoption of the Pulse Corridor Plan, which addresses a number of key RVAgreen objectives, including promoting transit and transit oriented development, reduced surface parking lots, and increased incentives for affordable housing.
• Supported adoption of the Vision Zero concept to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries, and took part in efforts to identify policy steps needed to advance this vision.
• Worked with the Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities to develop a pesticide-free parks policy and pilot project, and lined up neighborhood support in the Fan District for participating in the pilot.
• Offered suggestions to incorporate sustainability provisions into the proposal to redevelop the Coliseum area, including energy and water efficiency, renewable energy, transit, community design, historic preservation, and affordable housing components.
• Assisted with planning and participated in the Affordable Housing Summit in October, and wrote a letter to the Mayor, identifying opportunities for policy reform to promote affordable housing. In addition, the Commission provided examples and draft language for Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to incentivize affordable housing and promote sustainability in future RFQ announcements to transition distressed communities to sustainable ones

In 2018, the University advocated an official position in support of renewable energy special use permits in central Virginia in a letter to the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors.


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 University is working with World Wildlife Fund and We Are Still In to host a Virginia signatory meeting on campus to discuss how to work together to affect state legislation on climate change.

In 2018, the University wrote a letter in support of issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a solar generating facility to the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

in 2017, Virginia Governor Terry McAulliffe created the Environmental Justice Advisory Council. The council consists of a group of experts tasked with investigating how low-income communities could be impacted by climate change. University of Richmond faculty member Dr. Mary Finley Brook was appointed as a council member. The council met regularly throughout 2018 to discuss environmental justice issues, like a proposed natural gas pipeline compressor station in Buckingham County, and advise the governor on the best way to protect Virginians and the state's natural resources. This group specifically advised the governor to halt the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, suspend the permitting decision on a contentious compressor station, and review the current air permitting policies in the state. University administration supported a University-sponsored Environmental Justice meeting with state and federal environmental justice leaders in spring 2019 to discuss and advance these initiatives.


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:

In 2017, the University of Richmond joined the We Are Still In (WASI) coalition with more than 1,200 governors, mayors, businesses, investors, and colleges and universities in a stand to fight against climate change and comply with the regulations set by the Paris Climate Accord.


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

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:
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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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