Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.19
Liaison Jim Walker
Submission Date Jan. 31, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

University of Texas at Austin
PAE-24: Sustainability Policy Advocacy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Jim Walker
Director of Sustainability, Financial, and Administrative Services
University Operations
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Has the institution advocated for federal, state, and/or local public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability, including the issues, bills, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

At the federal level, UT-Austin has and continues to  advocate  for increased funding for The U.S. Department of Energy research portfolio, including the   Office of Science,  Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) , Energy Frontier Research Centers, Innovation HUBS,   the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (ARPA-E), and other  programs that further energy research.  UT Austin also engages in advocacy regarding policy and regulatory issues pertaining to the U.S. Department of Energy.  Similarly, UT Austin is engaged in efforts at other federal agencies, such as NSF, EPA, etc., that pertain to or are focused on energy.   

Texas state agencies, including public higher education institutions, are limited in the manner in which they can advocate for issues (Chapter 556.006, Texas Government Code). However, UT-Austin provides policymakers with information on sustainability issues and their potential impacts on the university which permits policymakers to make informed decisions as they deliberate on policy matters.
At the state level, UT-Austin closely monitors legislation that may impact the university. UT Austin continues to insure that its continuing energy production and efficiency efforts, admissions policies, budget policies and practices meet its core educational mission. During the 81st Legislative Session (in 2009), UT Austin worked with legislators to provide information that was critical to policy deliberations and decisions on support for the expansion and funding for Tier 1 research universities in Texas and on enabling student referendums to create campus green fees.

UT-Austin collaborates closely with other state agencies and governing boards. UT Austin has an exceptional record of collaboration with The University of Texas System Board of Regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and other state agencies on initiatives related to on-campus sustainability. Recent collaborative efforts established a new undergraduate degree program (BS in Environmental Science) and support to pursue LEED Silver on new educational buildings.

UT Austin’s diligence in advancing sustainability issues is evident in its community efforts. Locally, UT-Austin is actively participating on the Pecan Street Project, a $10M multi-jurisdictional initiative promoting renewable district energy infrastructure.

The website URL where information about the institution’s advocacy efforts are available:

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