Skip to Content

Sustainability News

Change needed in the electric utility industry to curb emissions

ASU Wrigley Institute News LightWorks News

May 23, 2018

Three smoke stacks at a power plant with billowing smoke in northern ArizonaGreenhouse gas emissions are a growing problem, but Arizona State University sustainability scientist Elisabeth Graffy believes that the electric utility industry can be a force for change. Graffy recently co-wrote an article, “Corporate Finance and Sustainability: The Case of the Electric Utility Industry,” about this topic in the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance.

The electric utility sector “accounts for about half of all climate emissions and is the foundation of all sustainable energy futures that generally get discussed,” said Graffy, who leads several initiatives at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, including the LightWorks program’s Energy and Society group. In the article, Graffy and three analysts discuss how the industry can transform to meet sustainability goals — no small feat.

Continue Reading

Global urbanization issues addressed in new book

Uncategorized ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 26, 2018

Two staff members at Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability are editors of a new book, “Urban Planet: Knowledge Towards Sustainable Cities,” released by Cambridge University Press.

Corrie Griffith, Program Manager for the Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes, and Mark Watkins, Program Manager for the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Project, were on a team of 10 editors who crafted the book. The authors argue that global urbanization challenges can be alleviated by weaving inclusiveness and sustainability into the fabric of society.

“Urban Planet” brings together the expertise of more than 100 scholars across many different fields to develop interdisciplinary approaches to global urbanization issues.

Source

Project Cities research asks East Valley residents to help create cultural map of the land

ASU Wrigley Institute News Project Cities SCN News

April 19, 2018

Landscape photo of Superstition Wilderness with saguaro

Think of a local spot you love to visit in your city. Is it a city park? A trailhead? A brewery or theater? If you live in the East Valley of the Phoenix area - or visit the East Valley or the Superstition Wilderness Area frequently - digital history students in an ASU Project Cities course project want to hear your answers.

The students are conducting a survey designed to identify the most important cultural landmarks of the East Valley – specifically, the Apache Junction area. The survey will inform the students’ suggestions for the City of Apache Junction to help improve geographical and cultural awareness and pride in the city.

This course project is one part of the Project Cities program’s year-long partnership with the City of Apache Junction. The partnership empowers ASU students to address the city’s environmental and social challenges through various course projects across multiple disciplines.

Continue Reading

Locust initiative launches

Board Letter School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News Global Locust Initiative

April 13, 2018

Representatives from 12 countries gathered at Arizona State University in April for the inaugural meeting of the Global Locust Initiative, a new research and action program designed to help scientists, governments, agribusiness workers and farmers cope with locust plagues.

The initiative, a unit of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, combines lab science, fieldwork and data modeling to help reduce locust outbreaks and the effects of plagues, with the goal to improve the well-being of farm communities and global sustainability.

The initiative is led by Senior Sustainability Scientist Arianne Cease, who describes her work in a six-minute KED Talk video, produced by ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development.

Source

Fmr. UN Ambassador joins ASU

Board Letter ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 2, 2018

ASU is pleased to announce the appointment of Amanda Ellis as executive director, Hawaii & Asia-Pacific; director of strategic partnerships; and Senior Special Advisor for International Diplomacy, Sustainable Development and Inclusion for the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. In this role, Ellis will create and cultivate international strategic partnerships and program initiatives that will include international sustainability, diplomacy and development, global gender issues, diversity and inclusion.

With her network of high level contacts from her time as Ambassador to the United Nations and at the World Bank Group, as well as demonstrated abilities to engage in advocacy, outreach, partnership and coalition building at the highest levels, Ellis will also support the full suite of sustainability experts across the Wrigley Institute to advance their research impact globally and to create relevant partnerships.

Until March 2016, Ellis served as New Zealand’s Head of Mission and Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva. Ellis has also served as Deputy Secretary International Development and was the first woman to head the New Zealand Aid Programme.

Thunderbird names new dean

Board Letter ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 2, 2018

Arizona State University has appointed Sanjeev Khagram, a world-renowned expert in global leadership, the international political economy, sustainable development and the data revolution, as the next director-general and dean of Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Khagram will join the board of directors of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, and he will play a leadership role in the future of Thunderbird’s executive education programs.

Khagram has identified three areas in which he believes the Thunderbird School can take the lead in educating students from around the world: the global and transnational nature of the world, the cross-sectoral nature of the world, and the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation to comprehensive economic advancement.

Source

ASU lanches the Global Drylands Center

ASU Wrigley Institute News Global Drylands News

March 29, 2018

The Global Drylands Center (GDC) celebrated its first six months with its official launch last Thursday. The amicable gathering hosted at the University Club brought together affiliates and faculty from diverse disciplines. A welcoming talk by GDC Director Dr. Osvaldo Sala highlighted early accomplishments, acknowledged the help and participation of affiliates and staff, and thanked the support of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and ASU Wrigley Institute.

Following, ASU Wrigley Institute Director Gary Dirks highlighted the intersecting grounds of GDC and the ASU charter. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Natural Sciences Dean Ferrán García-Pichel also gave some words, offering a historic perspective of the center as an interesting analogy between the importance of history for science and the inception of GDC.

Continue Reading

Bringing stable power to the most remote communities

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News LightWorks News

February 22, 2018

As many as 1.3 billion people lack access to electrical power, according to Senior Sustainability Scientist Nathan Johnson. That's why the ASU engineer – who directs the Laboratory for Energy And Power Solutions – is advancing technologies for electrical-grid modernization and off-grid electrification.

One of these solutions is the microgrid, which provides independent power generation and storage. Johnson and the LEAPS team are developing microgrids that are more technically and economically viable – easier to design, scale and transport. On top of providing the world's poorest and most remote communities with stable power, this technology can improve scenarios like disaster relief and medical care.

Johnson’s approach to military microgrids won a TechConnect Defense Innovation Award at the Defense Innovation Technology Acceleration Challenges Summit.

Source

ASU, Major League Baseball partner for sustainability

Board Letter School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

February 21, 2018

Major League Baseball has announced it will partner with ASU's School of Sustainability on a zero waste initiative during parts of the 2018 Cactus League schedule. ASU sustainability students will engage with baseball fans and help Salt River Fields – spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies – to minimize and manage their waste.

"We want do our part to ensure that future generations of D-backs fans can appreciate the beautiful Arizona landscape and will continue to focus on improving sustainability efforts throughout Spring Training and all season long at Chase Field," says Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall.

According to Christopher Boone, dean of the School of Sustainability, the partnership is a perfect fit for the school. "We are thrilled to be able to let our faculty and students apply their classroom knowledge in a real-world setting and help the Cactus League aim for the ambitious goal of zero waste," Boone said.

Source

Slum residents make themselves count

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

February 20, 2018

If cities in developing nations don’t address their burgeoning slums, poverty will increase, political instability will heighten and human misery will continue.

That's according to Senior Sustainability Scientist José Lobo, one of the authors of a 2018 report presented at the World Urban Forum. The report detailed the efforts of Know Your City, an initiative that organized slum residents in 103 cities to profile, enumerate and map their communities.

“The central premise of community data collection is that the data collected becomes an instrument to foster a dialogue among the many different parties (communities, public agencies, governments, NGOs, international funding agencies) about the design and implementation of effective solutions,” Lobo said.

Source

Largest community of ecologists names ASU scientist its 2019 president

ASU Wrigley Institute News Global Drylands News

February 7, 2018

Osvaldo-Sala-Blue-Shirt The members of the Ecological Society of America have elected Osvaldo Sala – founding director of Arizona State University's Global Drylands Center – to a three-year term on the ESA governing board. Sala will assume the role of president elect in August 2018, president in 2019 and past president in 2020.

Sala is a professor in the School of Life Sciences and the Julie A. Wrigley Chair in Life Sciences and Sustainability in the School of Sustainability. He founded the Global Drylands Center in 2017 to engage key stakeholders in dryland stewardship and develop solutions for arid ecosystems around the world. Of over 100 previous ESA presidents, Sala will be the first Hispanic person to hold the position.

Founded in 1915, the ESA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit community of more than 9,000 scientists, researchers, decision makers, policy managers and educators who are dedicated to understanding life on Earth. It is the largest community of ecologists in the world.

ASU hosts Environmental Humanities workshop

ASU Wrigley Institute News Environmental Humanities

February 7, 2018

In January 2018, over 40 participants from universities around the world gathered at ASU for a workshop co-sponsored by the Environmental Humanities Initiative and the PLuS Alliance.

The workshop focused on the ways that humanities methodologies are contributing to interdisciplinary collaboration and participatory engagement on climate change and energy transition. Participants also explored how better assessment of impact might be piloted through modes of inquiry that include narrative, story, metaphor, imagery and representations that convey the cultural knowledge behind decision making.

Mike Hulme, Professor of Human Geography at the University of Cambridge, kicked off the workshop with a 2018 EHI lecture titled “The Cultural Functions of Climate.” Workshop sessions were keynoted by leading international cultural geographers, humanists and philosophers, including Giovanna Di Chiro of Swarthmore College and Kyle Powys Whyte of Michigan State University.

We followed up with Joni Adamson – English and Environmental Humanities Professor, Senior Sustainability Scholar & Director of the Environmental Humanities Initiative – to tell us more about the workshop and EHI:

Continue Reading

Habitat for Humanity CEO talks to KJZZ about affordable housing

ASU Wrigley Institute News Stardust News

February 1, 2018

Jonathan Reckford in the KJZZ studioWhile Habitat for Humanity CEO Jonathan Reckford was in Phoenix as a speaker for the Wrigley Lecture Series, he stopped by the public radio station KJZZ to talk about the importance of affordable housing.

"Housing is complicated and expensive. It's hard to tackle," Reckford said in the segment. "The only real solutions are to get the public sector, the private sector and the nonprofit community working together on community transformation."

“What we’ve seen — and the data is very strong — is that mixed-income, mixed-use communities are the healthiest approach for everybody involved,” Reckford told the show's host Mark Brodie. Reckford went into more detail about affordable housing in his lecture, "Housing for Inclusive and Equitable Cities," sponsored by the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University.

Source

Retailers rise with the tide of responsible products

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

February 1, 2018

$200 billion worth of consumer products are now managed using tools created by The Sustainability Consortium – an organization run by ASU and the University of Arkansas – according to the consortium's 2017 impact report.

TSC helps companies define, develop and deliver more sustainable products by providing them with science-based tools. Its members – which exceed 100 and include brands like Walmart, Amazon and Walgreens – have access to research insights in almost 130 product categories. To date, 85 percent of consumer goods are covered.

“We are now seeing the tide changing in the number of companies committing to creating sustainable products for a more sustainable planet,” said TSC Chief Executive Euan Murray.

Source

Housing is critical to equitable and inclusive cities

Thought Leader Series ASU Wrigley Institute News Stardust News

January 30, 2018

A Thought Leader Series Piece

by Jonathan Reckford

Note: Habitat for Humanity CEO Jonathan Reckford gave a Wrigley Lecture titled "Housing for Inclusive and Equitable Cities" in January 2018.

With 60 percent of people worldwide projected to be concentrated in urban areas by 2030, developing sustainable communities that are inclusive and equitable for all will require creating affordable housing located near job opportunities. Some of the most promising ideas emerging in both developed and developing economies involve combining mixed-income housing with transit-oriented developments.

Continue Reading

Survival strategies for the 21st century city

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

January 29, 2018

When Senior Sustainability Scientist Shade Shutters approached communities and economic developers in Arizona with tools to create green economies, they initially dismissed him. The mindset was, "put food on the table first, then you can think about the long term," and they wanted to prioritize jobs.

Shutters was eventually able to garner interest by rebranding 'green decision tools' as 'innovation and creative economy tools,' insight he shared at a Jan. 23 Future Tense event co-hosted by ASU and COMEXI – Mexico’s influential foreign affairs think tank.

Titled “Will our Cities Survive the 21st Century?," the event convened reporters, experts and resilience officers from around the world. Participants agreed that the successful future of cities relies on involving all communities when communicating threats, setting priorities and making decisions about mitigation and adaptation.

Source

Professor says crisis should serve as 'wakeup call'

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News DCDC News

January 29, 2018

As Cape Town, South Africa nears “Day Zero” when authorities turn off the taps — expected in the first half of April 2018 — Senior Sustainability Scientist Dave White expresses the pressing need to adapt urban water systems to stresses like climate change.

White, who directs ASU's Decision Center for a Desert City, says that the causes of Cape Town's water crisis are familiar to water managers in water-scarce cities around the world – like Phoenix. These include limited supplies, dramatic population growth, aging and inefficient infrastructure, persistent drought, inadequate reservoir storage and climate change impacts.

Luckily, White provides a number of ways to improve water resilience. Among them are greater public engagement in water management planning and decision making, public and private investment in technology and infrastructure, rainwater harvesting, enhanced recycling and reuse of wastewater, cross-sector conservation and demand management, and development of new renewable supplies where feasible.

Source

EMSL graduate hired as executive director

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

January 27, 2018

Jessica Morrison, a School of Sustainability graduate who earned an Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership degree, has been chosen as Resource Conservation Partners's new executive director. 

Resource Conservation Partners is a nonprofit organization that works to protect and restore natural habitats through cross-sector collaboration in Ventura County. In her new position, Morrison hopes to increase stakeholder and community engagement through local restoration and conservation projects.

Source

Pioneering planetary management

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

January 23, 2018

With the goal of harnessing the innovative capacity of academia and developing options for the sound management of our planet, ASU President Michael Crow announced the launch of the Global Futures Initiative in January 2018.

Global Futures will take the pieces ASU already has and fuse them together more tightly while breaking intellectual ground. It will build new and bigger collaborations; find untapped opportunities that lie between disciplines, schools and existing projects; and amplify ASU’s global impact.

That's according to Peter Schlosser, Vice President and Vice Provost of Global Futures, who was recruited from Columbia University to lead the effort.

“Global Futures is a platform from which to take a broad look at the trajectory of our planet and the role of global society in shaping it," said Schlosser, "to gather and synthesize knowledge from many frameworks and to fundamentally alter how we manage the planet in ways that achieve sustained habitability.”

Source

Glendale Becomes First in Arizona to Replace Streetlights with LED Bulbs

ASU Wrigley Institute News SCN News

January 18, 2018

It isn’t every day a city council gets a treat like the one Glendale enjoyed Tuesday night.

The city was honored for its work to change out all of their old energy draining high-pressure sodium arc lights with efficient LED replacements.

The project was achieved with help from Arizona State University’s Sustainable Cities Network. As a founding member of the network, Glendale has worked with the university and other member cities to reduce energy use, carbon footprint, recycling and other efforts.

According to the network’s director Anne Reichman, Glendale and Phoenix worked closely as Phoenix started to negotiate to replace its 92,000 streetlights.

“As part of this LED purchase, Glendale was able to piggyback the city of Phoenix originated for their LED streetlight replacement,” she said.

Continue Reading