Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.88
Liaison Alex Frank
Submission Date April 14, 2022

STARS v2.2

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

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

The Yahara CLEAN Compact (https://www.cleanlakesalliance.org/yahara-clean/) seeks to improve the condition and usability of the lakes and beaches in the Yahara watershed. It does this by expanding and strengthening the community partnership to clean up our lakes, and uniting around a common vision and action plan to which we can be accountable. Ultimately, it is a promise to build on our past successes and cooperatively deliver the bold solutions and actionable timelines that will improve water quality.

In 2008, Dane County, City of Madison, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection launched a lake cleanup partnership called Yahara CLEAN (Capital Lakes Environmental Assessment and Needs). Two years later, the group released a report outlining 70 recommendations.

In 2011, Clean Lakes Alliance reconvened the coalition of partners to turn the list of 70 recommendations into a streamlined action plan with clear goals, costs, and metrics. The partners hired an engineering firm to identify the 14 most cost-effective, ready-to-implement projects and practices to help reach a 50% phosphorus reduction goal (Yahara CLEAN 2.0).

In 2016, Clean Lakes Alliance evaluated the pace of community progress in carrying out the recommended action priorities set forth in the 2012 plan. The analysis showed that we would not reach our goals anytime soon, suggesting more would need to be done at a faster pace (Vision 2025 Analysis). This position was reaffirmed in 2018 when the Dane County Board of Supervisors approved a Healthy Farms Healthy Lakes (HFHL) Task Force recommendation to update our community lake-cleanup plan.

In 2019 UW-Madison joined as a partner to support updating the 14 actions for phosphorus reduction. Through this expanded Yahara CLEAN Compact, the Compact will account for accomplishments and progress to date, re-evaluate phosphorus reduction targets, and set forth revised strategies, costs and timelines to complete the needed work (Yahara CLEAN 3.0). The overarching goal is to remove the five lakes and eight public beaches off the federally impaired waters list. At the same time, to promote a culture of watershed sustainability that will benefit this and future generations. As an on-going partner UW-Madison participates in the Executive Committee and Steering Team with signing off on recommendations and deliverables and advocating for the implementation of the recommendations.


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:

- Fossil-Fuel Free Energy for the UW System
A group of sustainability professionals across the UW System institutions developed Fossil-Fuel Free Energy for the UW System, a document to communicate a common priority to Chief Business Officers at UW System schools: to improve the management of energy on their campuses in order to build a sustainable future (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GvzbiXWpthtkAoUrek1HElBkbWnSVl-8/view). The policy recommendation was made to support affordability and advance academic endeavors, as well as drive operational excellence in alignment with UW System’s 2020FWD strategic plan. The policy proposals includes the following goals:

*Reporting & Planning: Account and plan for all institutional energy consumption, on and off the main campus sites.
*Energy Efficiency: Reduce UW System energy consumption 30% per gross square foot by 2030
*Renewable Energy: Commit to 100% renewable electricity by 2030, in accordance with efficiency goals

- Wisconsin Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change
In collaboration with other UW-System schools UW-Madison submitted detailed comments to the Wisconsin Governor's Task Force on Climate Change (https://climatechange.wi.gov/Pages/Home.aspx) in 2020 advocating for policies and programs that help the state on UW-System schools take action on climate change.

A group of staff, faculty, and students with knowledge and expertise in a range of sustainability-related topics collaborated across the UW System to assemble and submit recommendations to support the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change and the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1H4au3IhXnD9ZxpwwFTeZwKmoARo8NFYy/view). Our recommendations fulfilled a request by Lt. Governor Barnes’ office and align with Governor Evers’s Executive Orders 38 and 52.

The goal of the document is to help Wisconsin—as well as our local, national, and global communities—to avoid climate-related costs and impacts while cultivating a vibrant, diverse, equitable, and resilient state. Our efforts seek to honor the knowledge and historical presence of First Nations inhabitants as well as our shared future and the generations of people whose realities will be shaped by the decisions we make today.

Contributing campuses determined 11 sustainability categories and identified high-impact actions that include:

Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Indoor Air Quality
Community Health and Wellbeing
Employment and Business
Energy Efficiency
Financial Sustainability
Renewable Energy
Resource Management
Social Sustainability
Transportation
Water Stewardship

In addition, UW-System school members continue to meet regularly with members of the Wisconsin Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy (https://osce.wi.gov/Pages/home.aspx) on the implementation of the Task Force recommendations and to support the development of the Wisconsin Clean Energy Plan.


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:

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:
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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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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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