A Message From the Leadership Directorate
Sustainability is often confused with the environmental movement, but at Arizona State University the concept is much broader than that. Sustainability is a fundamental principle that underlies ASU’s learning, research, partnering, and business operations. We have set an ambitious agenda to become a world leader among universities in finding and sharing sustainable solutions for a rapidly urbanizing planet.
Why ASU? The quality of society, the health of the environment, and the strength of the global economy depend on finding solutions to multiple challenges of sustainability. Research universities can create these solutions. Universities possess the assets and have the mission to advance discovery, spawn innovation, transfer knowledge, and transform behaviors. ASU, with its youth, dynamic energy, entrepreneurial spirit, scale, and commitment to sustainability is uniquely positioned to respond swiftly and lead the way.
ASU established the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability as a means of achieving the university’s vision for sustainability. ASU President Michael Crow – who was deeply committed to sustainability long before the concept became ubiquitous – worked with a group of world-renowned advisors to design a structure for the Institute that makes it the hub and agent for ASU’s comprehensive sustainability effort. With a generous grant from Julie Ann Wrigley, the Institute opened in 2004. During its first years, many ASU faculty played critically important roles in the design and establishment of the Institute, particularly Jim Buizer, Charles Redman, and Jon Fink.
In 2007, supported by another generous grant from Julie Ann Wrigley, ASU launched the first-ever, comprehensive degree granting School of Sustainability. The School, a central component of the Institute, offers unique, transdisciplinary bachelors, master’s, and doctoral degrees in sustainability and educates leadership for the future.
ASU’s sustainability mission, however, includes much more. The ASU Wrigley Institute spans and supports all colleges and units at ASU to infuse sustainability across the university’s curriculum, research, and campus operations. Going beyond the campus, we also extend our knowledge and practices to local, national, and global partnerships connecting scientists and engineers with policymakers and business leaders.
From introducing incoming freshmen to the principles of sustainability to installing the largest solar generating capacity of any university in the nation, advancing the frontiers of renewable energy research, and working with cities to implement sustainable practices and make better decisions, the ASU Wrigley Institute articulates and exemplifies ASU’s university-wide commitment to sustainability. Join us in leading the transformation to a more sustainable world.
Vice President and Vice Provost, Global Futures Laboratory, Arizona State University
Dean and Professor, School of Sustainability
Deputy Director, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability