Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 63.30
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date March 19, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Virginia Tech
PAE-24: Sustainability Policy Advocacy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 John Randolph
Professor Emeritus
Urban Affairs and Planning
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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:

Local/Regional Level:

1. Town of Blacksburg - Mayor’s Task Force on Climate Protection and Sustainability:
Virginia Tech has faculty members serving on the Town of Blacksburg’s Mayor’s Task Force on Climate Protection and Sustainability. The Task Force was formed after the Blacksburg Town Council voted to join the Sierra Club’s Cool Cities Initiative by having Mayor Ron Rordam sign the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement. The Task Force provides feedback to Town Staff on community and governmental sustainability issues. To view additional information regarding the Mayor’s Task Force on Climate Protection and Sustainability, please see: http://www.blacksburg.gov/Index.aspx?page=412 To view additional information regarding the Town of Blacksburg’s Environmental Sustainability initiatives, many of which involve Virginia Tech, please see: http://www.blacksburg.gov/Index.aspx?page=125

2. Blacksburg Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory:
Virginia Tech Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) faculty and students developed the “Blacksburg Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory” in 2007. The document was presented to the Mayor’s Task Force on Climate Protection and Sustainability in March 2008. The Inventory called for the development of local policies to address Blacksburg’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions. To view the Blacksburg Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, please see: http://www.facilities.vt.edu/sustainability/emissions.asp

3. Town of Blacksburg Cool Cities Initiative:
UAP faculty and students, in conjunction with the Task Force, created the community Climate Action Plan, which supports the Sierra Club’s Cool Cities initiative. For more information about the Town of Blacksburg’s Cool Cities profile, please see: http://coolcities.us/cityProfiles.php?city=70&state=VA

4. Energy Efficiency Partnership of Greater Washington:
In 2007, Virginia Tech formed the Energy Efficiency Partnership of Greater Washington with energy efficiency financier, Hannon Armstrong and Pepco Energy to tackle the problem of global warming by retrofitting existing buildings with energy efficiency products designed to decrease energy use and significantly cut carbon emissions. A growing number of associate partners, including urban developers, local councils, and architects are also committing to the initiative. Virginia Tech has built this partnership as a platform to create hands-on learning tools for students, civic groups, and industry practitioners, as well as a way of identifying long-term cross-disciplinary research opportunities around the urgent theme of energy efficiency. For more information about the Energy Efficiency Partnership of Greater Washington, please see: http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2007/10/2007-605.html

State Level:

1. Green Government Challenge:
At the request of Town of Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam, Virginia Tech Professor John Randolph represented the Town with the creation of the Virginia Municipal League’s “Green Government Challenge.” The challenge was geared toward cities and towns in the state and challenged these governments to adopt sustainable practices. This very successful program led to former Governor Timothy M. Kaine’s “Green Commonwealth Challenge” which was a key component of his Executive Order 82 (2009) “Greening of State Government.” This challenge was geared toward the 150 state agencies and institutions. Virginia Tech accepted this challenge and finished in third place. Due to the outstanding success of this program the state issued a similar challenge to K-12 public education state institutions and is now pursuing a similar challenge with local communities.

National/International Level:

1. Transatlantic Urban Partnership for Energy Efficiency:
The Virginia Tech Energy Efficiency Partnership, in collaboration with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, launched the Transatlantic Urban Partnership for Energy Efficiency to advance proximity-based city-university partnerships for urban sustainability. In February, 2011 the Partnership convened an initial delegation at the Washington, D.C. offices of the APLU featuring city-university pairs from the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland who presented at a forum alongside U.S.-based partnerships, including Pennsylvania State University and Philadelphia, Portland State University and Portland, Ore., and Washington D.C. and the University of the District of Columbia, and its partner institution, Virginia Tech. Members of the Partnership participated in a congressional briefing entitled “City-University Partnerships for Urban Sustainability: European Success Stories,” sponsored by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute. A number of the participants from Europe and the United States also addressed U.S. energy experts from President Barack Obama's administration and relevant federal agencies at the White House Conference Center during a meeting organized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. For more information about the Transatlantic Urban Partnership for Energy Efficiency, please see: http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2011/02/021111-ncr-cityuniversitydcevent.html

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

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