Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.40
Liaison Parker Long
Submission Date Aug. 27, 2021

STARS v2.2

Virginia Commonwealth University
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Parker Long
Sustainability Reporting and Outreach Coordinator
Facilities Management - 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:

RVAgreen 2050 is the City of Richmond’s equity-centered climate action and resilience planning initiative, spearheaded by the RVA Office of Sustainability, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 45% by 2030, achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and help the community adapt to Richmond’s climate impacts of extreme heat, precipitation, and flooding. RVAgreen 2050 is a community-driven initiative that has relied on ongoing community support and participation. Members of the topical working groups represent a wide variety of community partners, as well as local and state organizations that bring together multiple perspectives, constituencies, and ideas.

VCU is an official community partner that is in support of this climate action plan process and implementation. The support of VCU is helping to drive the City of Richmond to create a more equitable, healthy, and resilient Richmond through the RVAgreen 2050 planning process.

URL: https://www.rvagreen2050.com/partners


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:

Virginia Commonwealth University has a formal partnership with the Greater Richmond Transit Authority (GRTC) to subsidize the GRTC Transit System and Pulse Bus Rapid Transit, local and express routes for all VCU, VCU Health System and Virginia Premier students and employees. The regional riders covered under GRTC's transit area, even those unaffiliated with VCU, benefit from the University’s participation as the extra operating funds paid in by VCU improve the bus service for the entire region.

GRTC officials credit the launch of the Pulse bus rapid transit line, a new partnership with VCU, and an overhaul of bus routes for reversing ridership decline. GRTC is currently zero-fare through Summer 2022 and is looking at ways they could keep that zero-fare program going including state programs or partnerships with local businesses, such as one GRTC already has with VCU.

This partnership allowed and continues to allow GRTC to expand their services and reduce the ridership costs, benefitting the entire region. The VCU-GRTC partnership seeks to spur further efficiency and technological improvements for GRTC that will benefit our whole region going forward. The Mayor of Richmond, Levar M. Stoney, stated in a press release, "The continued investment and partnership between GRTC and VCU is a win for the City of Richmond that will improve social and economic mobility for residents, students and visitors alike.”

URL: http://ridegrtc.com/news-initiatives/press-releases/vcu-grtc-reach-multiyear-agreement-to-provide-transit-access-to-vcu-and-vcu


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 2019, VCU's President signed a letter with other college presidents in support of DACA. This letter was sent to our congressional representatives asking them to stand with us to safeguard this path to higher education by maintaining these protections. Additionally, The Division of Student Affairs has resources for these students and has posted a statement which reads, "The Division of Student Affairs unequivocally supports students covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. We recognize these students as integral contributing members of our university community. We will continue to advocate for DACA students and their access to higher education while providing resources to support success."

URL: https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/Institutional-DACA-Letter-to-Congress.pdf
Division of Student Affairs URL: https://students.vcu.edu/dsa/daca/


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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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.