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Conference shines spotlight on ‘green' thinking

September 13, 2006

ASU will play host to the inaugural North American conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Oct. 4-6. The theme of the conference is “The Role of Higher Education in Creating a Sustainable World.”

The conference will bring together 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.

Speakers at the conference include:

• Ray Anderson, chairman and founder of Interface Inc., who will give an address on “New Thinking – A Better Way !” Anderson is author of “Mid-Course Correction: Toward a Sustainable Enterprise: The Interface Model,” and former co-chair of the President's Council on Sustainable Development under President Bill Clinton.

• Beverly Wright, a sociologist and leading scholar on environmental and economic justice, and founder of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice.

• Hunter Lovins, president and founder of Natural Capitalism Inc. Lovins will give an address on natural capitalism, path to sustainability in education.

• Bill McKibben, a scholar and author of “The End of Nature” and “Hope, Human and Wild.” McKibben will talk about global warming as the ultimate teaching moment.

Some of the topics to be covered during the conference include:

• Campus climate change.

• “Green” computing on campus.

• “Green” residence hall demonstrations.

• Sustainable food systems.

• Taking higher education's “green” pulse.

The conference will feature a roundtable on developing a standard assessment and rating system for campus sustainability.

There also will be an ASU Sustainability Expo, featuring ASU suppliers' showcase (with a sustainability theme), AASHE exhibitors, regional organizations, and student tables and activities.

For more information about the conference, including sponsorship, exhibitor and registration forms, visit the Web site (, send an e-mail to AASHE at ( or call (503) 222-7041.

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.

AASHE defines sustainability as encompassing human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods and a better world for all generations.

 Skip Derra, (480) 965-4823