ASU will host conference on sustainability in higher education

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State University will host the inaugural conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Oct. 4 6, 2006. Theme of this North American conference is "The Role of Higher Education in Creating a Sustainable World."

The conference will bring together sustainability practitioners from every sector of higher education in the U.S. 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.

Keynote speakers 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 (Clinton) Council on Sustainable Development.

Also speaking is 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., will give an address on natural capitalism, and the path to sustainability in education; and Bill McKibben, a scholar and author of The End of Nature and Hope, Human and Wild, will talk about global warming as the ultimate teaching moment.

Some of the topics to be covered during the conference are renewable energy purchases, campus responses to climate change, green residence hall demonstrations, environmental attitudes and behaviors, sustainability in campus master plans, economics of a sustainable institution, sustainable food systems, academic research and programs in sustainability, institutionalizing sustainability (forming committees and offices), and innovative programs in recycling and waste reduction. There will be an open roundtable on developing a standard assessment and rating system for campus sustainability.

On Thursday, Oct. 5, (10 a.m. to noon) there will be a presidents meeting on global warming. Presidents from more than 65 colleges and universities that have shown a commitment to addressing climate change have been invited to this foundational meeting to shape a commitment that would lead toward climate neutral campuses. The goal is to have 100 to 200 presidents jointly sign the "pledge" during a summit in spring or summer 2007.

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

For more information about the conference, including sponsorship, exhibitor and registration forms, visit www.aashe.org/conference; email AASHE at conference@aashe.org; or call (503) 222-7041. Registration deadline is Sept. 18, 2006.

Source:
Judy Walton, (AASHE), 503-222-7041; judy@aashe.org
Michele Roy, ASU; 480-727-8596; Michele.Roy@asu.edu

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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.


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