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Sustainability News

Sustainability alum named to Phoenix '40 Under 40'

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

June 26, 2012

Colin Tetreault is not one to sit around and wait for something to do. He’s the senior policy adviser for sustainability at the Phoenix Mayor’s office. He’s a faculty associate with ASU’s School of Sustainability. He’s the inaugural president of the school’s alumni chapter, having earned his master’s here in 2010. He is secretary of the board for the Greater Phoenix Green Chamber of Commerce and a director of the Valley Forward Association.

Perhaps more telling of his bustling nature, Tetreault managed in one weekend to squeeze in his wedding rehearsal, a presentation atTEDxPhoenix, his rehearsal dinner, his wedding, and an Ironman Triathlon.

It’s fitting that the dynamic Tetreault, dressed in suit and green tie, graced the cover of the Phoenix Business Journal’s special 40 Under 40 superhero section.

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Crow, faculty present ideas at American Innovation for Sustainability forum

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

May 2, 2012

Dan O'Neill, a lecturer and program chair at ASU's College of Technology and Innovation, moderated a panel on the nitty-gritty of sustainability during the recent American Innovation for Sustainability forum in Washington, D.C.

Research universities – and notably their students – were singled out by administrators from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Environmental Protection Agency during an American Innovation for Sustainability forum that took place recently in the nation’s capital. Among the speakers at the forum were faculty members from Arizona State University, including ASU President Michael M. Crow.

“Students can increase the ability of research universities to organize research, coursework and experiential learning around the great challenges of the 21st century,” said Tom Kalil, deputy director for policy for the White House OSTP.

“This is important because universities conduct $55 billion in research every year," Kalil said. "They have strong ties to government, industry and philanthropists. They have expertise that spans science, engineering, social and behavioral sciences, the humanities, business, policy and law. So if more of this intellectual horsepower can be focused on important problems at home and abroad, I think this would be a good thing.”

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ASU team to represent US in worldwide student technology competition

School of Sustainability News

April 25, 2012

Four ASU students have won a place in the premiere international student technology competition by taking first place, April 23, in the U.S. Finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup in Seattle.

Their team, named FlashFood, earned a trip to the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia in July. Team members include senior biomedical engineering major Eric Lehnhardt, senior materials science and engineering major Katelyn Keberle, senior computer science major Steven Hernandez and senior marketing and sustainability major Jake Ervin.

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The Sustainability Consortium’s tools used by product buyers

ASU Sustainability News Institute Press Releases School of Sustainability News

April 20, 2012

Walmart integrates TSC’s Knowledge Products to guide supply chain engagement

TSC_logo_cmykTEMPE, Ariz,- April 20, 2012 – During its annual Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting on April 18th, Walmart announced that it is integrating the knowledge products produced by The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) into the retailer’s Sustainability Index and Live Better Scorecard. Walmart will use these tools to help its merchants evaluate suppliers and their products and collaborate to make the products on Walmart shelves more sustainable.

Walmart representatives expressed that they are particularly excited about integrating TSC’s Category Sustainability Profiles (CSPs) and corresponding Key Performance Indicators into their Sustainability Index this year. Both Walmart and Sam’s Club will be using these tools as a basis for ranking suppliers in a particular category according to their sustainability progress and to inform buyers about actionable opportunities for improvement.

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Ostrom among 100 most influential people of 2012

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

April 18, 2012

Along with Barack Obama and Stephen Colbert, ASU's own Elinor Ostrom was named among TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people of 2012.

Ostrom, a research professor and distinguished sustainability scientist at ASU and the founding director of ASU's Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics for her analysis of economic governance.

"Ostrom's work sheds light on the direction society must follow to avoid misuse of shared resources, 'the tragedy of the commons,'" writes TIME writer Robert Johnson.

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See our interview with Ostrom »

ASU sustainability experts weigh in on 'Net Zero' energy concept

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

April 10, 2012

InBusiness magazine writer Sue Kern-Fleischer noted that the “Net Zero” energy concept is getting “a lot of buzz lately.” She spoke with Arizona State University’s Mick Dalrymple and Harvey Bryan for a story in the April issue of the magazine, which is a collaboration of business organizations and entities in the metropolitan Phoenix area.

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ASU researchers, Nobel laureate have stake in ‘Planet under Pressure’ forum

ASU Sustainability News Institute Press Releases School of Sustainability News

March 22, 2012

The future of the oceans, poverty alleviation, global trade, biodiversity and food security are among research areas that will be at the core of the “Planet under Pressure” (PUP) conference this month with more than 2,500 participants, including several scientists from Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability.

“The agenda for worldwide sustainability science will be set at this conference,” stressed Sander van der Leeuw, dean of ASU’s School of Sustainability and a PUP conference participant. “The whole of the research agenda for sustainability science for the next several years will be recast and the funding reorganized to take account of the discussions at this conference,” he said.

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What’s the Big Deal About “Resilience”?

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

March 19, 2012

sanderFrom Slate.com, this interview with Torie Bosch features Sustainability Scientist Sander van der Leeuw, dean of the School of Sustainability. Van der Leeuw will be a panelist at this weekend’s Future Tense event, Defining Resilience, where academics, policymakers, and other experts will discuss resilience in the environment, business, national security, even the Constitution. Bosch spoke to van der Leeuw about resilience in the Roman Empire, prehistoric Australia, modern ecology, and more.

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Fundamental steps needed now in global redesign of Earth system governance

ASU Sustainability News Institute Press Releases School of Sustainability News

March 16, 2012

32 leading experts from around the world argue for immediate ambitious reforms

TEMPE, Ariz. – Some 32 social scientists and researchers from around the world, including a Senior Sustainability Scholar at Arizona State University, have concluded that fundamental reforms of global environmental governance are needed to avoid dangerous changes in the Earth system. The scientists argued in the March 16 edition of the journal Science that the time is now for a “constitutional moment” in world politics.

Research now indicates that the world is nearing critical tipping points in the Earth system, including on climate and biodiversity, which if not addressed through a new framework of governance could lead to rapid and irreversible change.

“Science assessments indicate that human activities are moving several of Earth’s sub-systems outside the range of natural variability typical for the previous 500,000 years,” wrote the authors in the opening of “Navigating the Anthropocene: Improving Earth System Governance.”

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Reach for the Stars fellows excel in research, interdisciplinary environment

School of Sustainability News

March 14, 2012

Angela XiongSix Arizona State University masters students in diverse fields of study are participating in Diversity across the Curriculum (DAC), a class that equips them with the skills for transdisciplinary collaboration and effective communication of their research to the community. One of the students, Angela Xiong, is from the School of Sustainability.

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Higher ed presidents say teaching sustainability is good business

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

March 9, 2012

Achieving carbon neutrality on American college and university campuses is not a matter for science alone. It has to be taught. And, in dealing with budget reductions coupled with enrollment growth, college and university presidents have learned that sustainability is also a good business model.

“We’ve all faced one big dilemma in the past few years,” said David Schmidly, president of the University of New Mexico, noting that UNM experienced budget cuts of about 20-22 percent, while at the same time enrollment increases of 15 percent.

“What we found is sustainability can be useful for teaching not only a paradigm to be a better citizen; we have found that sustainability is good business. It’s a good way to contain cost and save money," he said, adding that UNM's energy conservation program saved more than $8 million over just a few years.

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Bonding out: Making companies pay up front for potential environmental disasters

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

February 15, 2012

Whether it’s building an oil pipeline, drilling for fuel in the ocean or “fracking” to flush natural gas out of the Earth, we’re often asked to believe the process is safe, when companies want to do something that could have big benefits. But that process also could be potentially disastrous for the environment.

Now, an economics professor at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business has a way for these companies to show the public that the risks will be managed – by requiring them to post the estimated costs of a spill or major environmental side effect ahead of time through the creation of refundable environmental bonds.

“If the risks are manageable, as proponents suggest, then raising the money for the bonds should not be a challenge,” explains V. Kerry Smith, an environmental economist, who is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. “In each case, the requirement for an environmental bond shifts the responsibility for who assumes the risk of any catastrophic event of large-scale development to those arguing the risks are small. When enough others agree, we should have a robust market for those willing to assume the resulting environmental risks.”

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Students apply coursework to ASU's food systems

School of Sustainability News

December 21, 2011

Students at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability get the opportunity to tackle real-life issues in their community as a part of their studies. For Dr. Hallie Eakin’s students in the Fall 2011 undergraduate course, “Sustainable Food and Farms,” this meant conducting research to analyze ASU’s food sourcing decisions and come up with suggestions for improvements.

Through the research for this class, the students concluded that ASU is moving in the right direction in identifying and supporting sustainable food supplies. The student researchers noted, however, that they had several concerns regarding aspects of waste management, ecological impact, education, and transparency in the food system, among other issues.

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Modernizing utility rates to aid energy efficiency plans

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

December 20, 2011

“You cannot run an economy, especially one poised for growth (like Arizona) without energy,” noted two Arizona State University energy experts in an op-ed that appeared in the Dec. 19 Arizona Republic.

“On the cusp of its 100th birthday, Arizona is facing an aging energy infrastructure that is unprepared for a sustainable future,” wrote ASU’s Gary Dirks and Matthew Croucher. Dirks is director of LightWorks, an ASU initiative that capitalizes on the university’s strengths in solar energy and other light-inspired research. He is also a distinguished sustainability scientist with ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainably. Croucher, an economist, is an associate research professor at the W.P. Carey School of Business and a senior sustainability scientist with ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability.

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“Retrofitting Suburbs” is featured on National Public Radio

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

December 15, 2011

A November 29 broadcast on National Public radio features a project co-directed by planning professor Aaron Golub and Milagros Zingoni of the ASU Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts. Students involved include Benjamin Stanley, of the School of Sustainability and Christian Solorio; Hector Navarro; and Whitney Warman of the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts.

In the project, called “Retrofitting Suburbs: Re-visioning the Cul-de-Sac,” Golub, Zingoni and their team are working with the city of Avondale to re-design one of its cul-de-sacs for the year 2030. The goal is for the re-designed cul-de-sac to fit the needs of future populations, in which there will be an increasing number of single- and two-person households. The re-designed cul-de-sac will use the existing structures to accommodate up to 3 times as many residents, in “manors” that blend small private units with shared space.

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City of Phoenix receives HUD grant, ASU a key partner

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

December 15, 2011

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded the City of Phoenix a three-year $2.9 million Sustainable Communities grant, with ASU as a key partner.

The grant’s objective is to promote transit-oriented development (TOD) along the light rail line – with a focus on development that will provide all residents with safe, convenient access to quality, affordable housing, well-paying jobs, education and training programs, fresh food and healthcare services.

The project, named Reinvent Phoenix: Cultivating Equity, Engagement, Economic Development and Design Excellence with TOD, will foster development near the light rail that serves to:

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ASU to aid governor's energy policy team to spur solar installs

ASU Sustainability News Institute Press Releases School of Sustainability News

December 15, 2011

Harvey Bryan, left, sustainability professor, takes his renewable energy systems students on a field trip to the rooftop of COOR Hall at ASU's Tempe campus.The Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS) at Arizona State University is one of the players on the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy team tabbed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative to identify and eliminate barriers to easy and affordable rooftop solar installation.

Gov. Jan Brewer announced this month that the Arizona team received a $710,000 grant from DOE, the first-year award in a three-year $2.8 million initiative, with the goal of developing processes to lower costs by identifying best practices in finance, permitting and zoning.

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'The Business of Sustainability' presents 'green' blueprint

ASU Sustainability News Institute Press Releases School of Sustainability News

December 15, 2011

What does the future of business look like in a sustainability-minded world, and how do we get there are two among many questions addressed in the three-volume set, "The Business of Sustainability: Trends, Policies, Practices, and Stories of Success."

A dozen chapter contributors from ASU essentially helped to develop the first integrated presentation of the business of sustainability. The books were published in November 2011 and bring together more than 70 experts who specialize in several industries. The volumes’ editors include Scott G. McNall, who joined forces with fellow editors who hail from ASU: George Basile, a professor in the School of Sustainability, and James C. Hershauer, an emeritus professor of management.

According to Hershauer, the editors teamed up to produce the books because they collectively saw fragmentations in the approaches businesspeople were making when engaging in sustainability discussions.

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Tesco and the Sustainable Consumption Institute Join The Sustainability Consortium

ASU Sustainability News Institute Press Releases School of Sustainability News

December 12, 2011

ASU has announced that Tesco is joining The Sustainability Consortium, an independent group of global businesses, academics, governments and non-governmental organizations that work collaboratively to drive innovation in consumer product sustainability. The Tesco-funded Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI) at The University of Manchester will also become an academic member of the Consortium. Tesco joins 16 other European members that provide The Sustainability Consortium a strong foothold in the region.

Joining The Consortium is a further boost to Tesco’s work on sustainability and comes after its commendation as the top green UK retailer by the internationally recognized Carbon Disclosure Project. By focusing on environmental and social sustainability in the supply chain, The Consortium’s collaboration between Tesco and other global businesses will drive sustainable production and consumption in the consumer goods market. This partnership builds on The Consortium’s recent opening of a European branch at Wageningen University & Research Centre in The Netherlands.

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Near-death experience puts grad on activist path

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

December 8, 2011

bamartinA near-fatal illness when she was 16 led Beth Anne Martin to dream big dreams. She decided she wanted to make the world a better place.

Now 21, the ASU senior from Chandler has hiked through rainforests to study ecology in Costa Rica and has planted hundreds of trees as a farm intern in New Zealand. She has founded a student organization to fight slavery and trafficking, and has led volunteer efforts for a Tempe homeless program and an environmental action team.

Next year the young activist will head for Chile to study food security and community-based agriculture, having just won a $26,000 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship.

She is one of more than 400 university students from 40 countries selected by Rotary International to study abroad. They will participate in community service projects and speak to civic groups, acting as “goodwill ambassadors” for their home countries.

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