Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.02
Liaison Nathan King
Submission Date Oct. 15, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Virginia Tech
PAE-24: Sustainability Policy Advocacy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Dennis Cochrane
Director, Office of Sustainability
Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure and Facilities
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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:

The University has assisted the surrounding community (Town of Blacksburg) and region (New River Valley) with an array of local/regional public policy initiatives including: dedicated faculty research assistance for a recently-completed Regional Energy Plan , Regional Housing Plan, and Regional Livability Plan, all part of a Partnership for Sustainable Communities process called the NRV Livability Initiative. In addition, key faculty and student-led research has been utilized by the Town of Blacksburg to complete a community-wide inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, which was updated with university support during the 2013-2014 academic year. Furthermore, university staff and faculty have served as critical stakeholders in a number of community sustainability planning efforts and initiatives, including development of the Blacksburg Bike Master Plan, the Blacksburg Climate Action Plan, the Georgetown University Energy Prize stakeholder group, and the Solarize Blacksburg leadership team. Specifically – the persons involved in these various efforts include:

Local/Regional Public Policy Process/Initiative & Key University Stakeholders/Contributors:

Climate Action Plan Working Group: Dr. John Randolph, Dept. of Urban & Regional Planning; Emily Schosid, Office of Energy & Sustainability

Bike Master Plan: Kathryn Zeringue, Bicycle and Alternative Transportation Coordinator

Regional Energy Plan: Dr. John Randolph, Dept. of Urban & Regional Planning; Courtney Grohs, Institute for Policy & Governance; Andy Alden, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute; Dr. Sean McGinnis, Virginia Tech Green Engineering; Dr. David Roper, Professor Emeritus, Physics

Regional Housing Plan: Dr. Ted Koebel, Virginia Tech Center for Housing Research; Dr. Marilyn Cavell, Virginia Tech Center for Housing Research, Dr. John Randolph, Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning; Courtney Grohs, Institute for Policy & Governance; Dr. Andrew McCoy, Virginia Tech Center for Housing Research

Solarize Blacksburg Initiative Dr. John Randolph, Professor Emeritus – Urban & Regional Planning; Dr. Peter Sforza, Director, Center for Geospatial Information Technology; Dr. Kimberly Carlson, Dept. of Business Management

Department of Energy/Georgetown University Energy Prize (DOE/GUEP) Stakeholder Group : Fran DeBellis, Associate Director, Virginia Tech Electric Service; Kelsey Pence, President – Students for Clean Energy at Virginia Tech; Emily Schosid, Sustainability Planner, Office of Energy & Sustainability; Dennis Grove, Program Manager, Virginia Tech Institute for Critical Technology & Applied Science (ICTAS); Dr. Andrew McCoy, Director, Virginia Center for Housing Research; Dr. John Randolph, Professor Emeritus of Urban Affairs & Planning

Input provided by Carol Davis, Sustainability Manager, Town of Blacksburg.

URLs for documents in the above Local/Regional section include:

Regional Energy Plan: http://www.nrvpdc.org/Livability/Energy_Report/energy.html

Regional Housing Plan: http://www.nrvpdc.org/Livability/Home_Report/home.html

Regional Livability Plan: http://www.nrvpdc.org/Livability/Livability_Report/livability.html

NRV Livability Initiative: http://nrvlivability.org/

Blacksburg Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan: http://www.nrvliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Town-of-Blacksburg-Bicycle-Pedestrian-Master-Plan.pdf

Blacksburg Climate Action Plan Working Group: http://blacksburg.gov/Index.aspx?page=412

Georgetown University Energy Prize Quarterfinalists: http://www.guep.org/competitors

Solarize Blacksburg Initiative: http://www.solarizeblacksburg.org/

State Level: The University participates in a number of Commonwealth of Virginia governmental sustainability initiatives. Examples include:

“Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission.” Governor Terrence R. McAuliffe signed Executive Order 19 (2014) on July 1 convening a bipartisan Commission made up of leaders from around the state including local elected officials, members of the General Assembly, business leaders, environmental advocates, faith leaders and industry representatives. Virginia Tech is represented by Michael Karmis, PhD. https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=5342

“Distributed Solar Generation & Net Metering Stakeholder’s Group (Solar Stakeholder Group).” The Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has jointly convened a stakeholder group to study the costs and benefits of distributed solar generation and net metering. The group consists of representatives from state government, municipal government, utilities, academia, trade associations, industry, NGO/conservation groups, and private citizens. Virginia Tech is represented by Professor Emeritus John Randolph, PhD.

http://dmme.virginia.gov/DE/SolarStakeholderGroup.shtml http://dmme.virginia.gov/DE/LinkDocuments/SolarStudyGroup/05-28_Meeting/SSG_List_of_Members.pdf

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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