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ASU, Phoenix announced as sustainability partners

First city-university partnership in Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Circular Economy Network

ASU and Phoenix leaders join with Dame Ellen MacArthur to announce their membership in the CE100.

ASU and Phoenix leaders join with Dame Ellen MacArthur to announce their membership in the CE100. From left: Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, ASU School of Sustainability Dean Christopher Boone, Dame Ellen MacArthur, ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives executive director Patricia Reiter, Phoenix councilman Michael Nowakowski, Phoenix Vice Mayor Daniel Valenzuela, ASU Wrigley Global Institute director Gary Dirks and Phoenix councilwoman Laura Pastor. Photo courtesy of ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives

February 26, 2016

Dame Ellen MacArthur, a global leader in promoting economic change and the namesake of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, announced Arizona State University as a Pioneer University of the foundation’s prestigious international Circular Economy 100 (CE100) network. ASU joins with the City of Phoenix to be the first city-university partners representing a major metropolitan area with a focus on advancing solutions that drive the circular economy.

Membership to the CE100 is by invitation only, and ASU becomes the sixth higher-education institution to become a member, joining a group of premier institutions from across Europe and the U.S. to research and develop innovations and solutions that encourage a more circular economy. The City of Phoenix is the first major U.S. city to be a part of the CE100’s Governments and Cities Programme.

“Arizona State University is proud to join with Phoenix as the first higher-education and city partner members of the CE100, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to our design aspiration as a New American University and continued evolution as a global center for research, discovery and development,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and CE100 is an ideal platform for ASU and Phoenix to engage globally and work with other world leaders around the concept of the circular economy.”

As part of her visit to Phoenix, MacArthur met with city leaders and ASU Sustainability Scientists and Scholars to discuss Phoenix’s movement toward a circular economy with a special focus on the region’s resource streams and education.

“Joining London as the only two cities in the Circular Economy 100 Group shows that our innovative sustainability efforts are working," said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Phoenix strives to be the ultimate example of a city that embraces a circular economy. Teaming with the visionaries at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation will inspire and challenge us to do even more."

The City of Phoenix and Arizona State University, long-standing partners driving innovation in Arizona, recently demonstrated their commitment to and leadership in sustainability and economic development through the creation of the Resource Innovation and Solutions Network (RISN), a global collaborative platform for governments, organizations and enterprises to share and develop principles and practices around the circular economy. Additionally, under the Reimagine Phoenix initiative, Phoenix is developing a Resource Innovation Campus (RIC), a 50-acre area where public and private partners can collaborate, research, educate, manufacture products from the waste stream and use new technologies to transition Phoenix to a circular economy. ASU, through its Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, will advise in the design of the campus facility and manage RISN headquarters on site.

While in Phoenix, MacArthur and her staff toured the city’s 27th Avenue Transfer Station facility, PHX Renews community gardens and the mattress recycling facility at Goodwill of Central Arizona. ASU also hosted a series of informational and goal-setting meetings with MacArthur, CE 100 staff and city officials to identify research focus areas to accelerate solutions that drive a transition to a circular economy.

Dame MacArthur established the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2009. She is best known for making yachting history in 2005 by breaking a world record and becoming the fastest solo sailor to circumnavigate the globe. In recognition of her achievement, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005.

By joining the Foundation’s CE100, the city of Phoenix and ASU join companies such as Cisco, Coca-Cola, Dell, eBay, Google, Phillips, H&M, Unilever, Veolia and the Closed Loop Fund, among others. The Closed Loop Fund is investing $100 million to support recycling infrastructure around the world, and offers zero-interest loans to cities and below-market loans to companies to improve recycling infrastructure.

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