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ASU shines spotlight on sustainability


October 03, 2006

ASU is shining the spotlight on sustainability with a variety of events and activities Oct. 4-6 on the Tempe campus.

The campus will serve as host to the ASU Sustainability Expo, at the Memorial Union. The event will bring attention to the numerous products and companies working to foster sustainability. In general terms, sustainability encompasses human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods and a better world for all generations.

The annual ASU suppliers’ showcase, which offers a closer look at the many services and products provided by ASU vendors, also will be a part of the Expo, with a sustainability theme. Only vendors from companies that offer sustainable products or have sustainable business practices will be included.

The Expo will serve as a key part of the inaugural North American conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The conference is bringing together more than 700 sustainability professionals from every sector of higher education in the United States and Canada, along with consultants, vendors, and government and community leaders to learn how colleges and universities can lead the way to a sustainable future.

AASHE is an association of colleges and universities working to advance sustainability in higher education in the United States and Canada. The association promotes sustainability in all sectors of higher education, from governance and operations to curriculum and outreach.

“At ASU, we believe that the advancement of society is compatible with environmental stewardship,” says Jim Buizer, executive director for Sustainability Initiatives and special advisor to the president. “Recognizing that reaching our true potential as an institution is directly linked to realizing the potential of society at large, we imagine the possibilities for positive societal change and are making real investments in that future now.”

At the conclusion of the conference ASU will host Hunter Lovins as part of the ongoing Wrigley Lecture on Sustainability. The lecture, planned for 6 p.m., Oct. 6, in the Arizona Room of Memorial Union, will address “Natural Capitalism, Path to Sustainability in Education – And a Lot Else.”

Lovins is president/founder of the nonprofit corporation, Natural Capitalism Solutions. Trained as a sociologist and lawyer, she co-founded the California Conservation Project, subsequently the Rocky Mountain Institute, which she led for 20 years. Lovins has co-written 9 books (including Natural Capitalism) and hundreds of papers, and was named “Hero of the Planet” in 2000 by Time magazine.

For more information about the conference, visit the Web site www.aashe.org/conference.