Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.72
Liaison Alex Frank
Submission Date Aug. 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Wisconsin-Madison
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.33 / 2.00 Alex Frank
Sustainability Analyst
Office of Sustainability
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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:

UW-Madison staff and faculty serve on the Dane County Council on Climate Change (https://climatechange.countyofdane.com/about-oecc/dane-county-council-on-climate-change, members representing UW-Madison include Mary Blanchard and Paul Robbins). Staff and faculty serving on the Council act as representatives of UW-Madison.

The Council's primary purpose is to draft a set of recommendations for programs, projects, and policies that will set Dane County on the path to deep decarbonization and establish Dane County as a national leader in climate mitigation. The Council includes local government officials from across the county, business leaders, local utilities, and equity and environmental advocates. These recommendations and the development process involve engaging directly with the legislators on the Council and advocating for the decarbonization recommendations developed.

The Council’s recommendations aim to demonstrate that deep decarbonization can be achieved in a just and equitable way. The recommendations also aim to create major economic and health benefits county-wide and provide energy security all while bridging the County’s rural and urban communities. When finished, this roadmap to sustainability will be a guide not just for county government but also the business community, homeowners, and other local governments.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
No

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:

COWS (https://www.cows.org/) is a “think-and-do tank” based at UW-Madison. COWS works primarily in the areas of work organization and human capital systems, clean energy, transportation, and government performance. They develop ideas for advancing the high-road, test them in practice, and evaluate results. They propagate high-road innovations through technical assistance, public outreach, and the policy learning networks they run for state and local government executives. While COWS supports advocacy at the state / regional level they do not formally engage in public policy advocacy on behalf of UW-Madison.

UW-Madison also participates in Research at the Rotunda (https://www.wisconsin.edu/research-in-the-rotunda/), an annual event that highlights UW student research for legislators. Like above, advocacy is not the specific intent of this event.


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:

The UW-Madison Office of Federal Relations regularly meets with policy makers on Capitol Hill and in the administration to advocate for policies that support sustainability. One example is Sea Grant. Sea Grant funds an average of 15 research projects a year, all of which foster the sustainable use of Great Lakes’ resources. UW-Madison has advocated for the program (not for funding to be appropriated specifically to the University).

UW-Madison also participates in hill events that highlight UW-Madison’s research enterprise and sustainability efforts including UW Day in the spring and the DC Meets Madison reception in the summer.

Additionally, the Wisconsin School of Business and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison are founding members of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network US Chapter (SDSN-USA, http://unsdsn.org/news/2018/12/04/sdsn-usa-launch-moving-america-forward/). The SDSN-USA joins 29 existing SDSN networks that are creating new online courses, educating their students and the general public, working with governments, engaging and empowering young people, and offering innovative solutions for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


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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