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Sustainability News

DOE 2013 Solar Decathlon competitors to meet media on Friday, January 11

View Source | January 7, 2013

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. – Jan. 7, 2013 – Members of the media will have an opportunity to meet representatives from all 20 collegiate teams competing in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 as well as interview Richard King, Director and founder of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

This will be the student teams' first visit to the Orange County Great Park as they arrive for a weekend workshop to prepare for the Solar Decathlon 2013 competition. The Great Park will host the award-winning competition October 3-13, 2013, the first time the event has ever been held outside of Washington D.C.

The Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

The Solar Decathlon 2013 will be the centerpiece of the XPO, a world's fair of clean, renewable, and efficient energy.

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Helping you ID which common brands are most sustainable: ASU professor helps with groundbreaking research

December 18, 2012

Kevin DooleyTEMPE, Ariz. - Dec. 18, 2012 - As you do your shopping this holiday season, would it help to know exactly which toys, electronics, food and other items are better for the environment? A prominent researcher at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is helping to develop a system that will tell retailers, manufacturers, and eventually consumers, about the sustainability of many of the products we buy every day.

Professor Kevin Dooley is research director of The Sustainability Consortium, an impressive group administered by Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas, featuring big-name-members, such as Unilever, BASF, MillerCoors, Mars and Walmart, with combined revenue of more than $1.5 trillion. The consortium is developing criteria that will allow you to easily identify which products are the most sustainable in their categories, based on factors like emissions, labor practices, water usage and waste creation. The consortium’s efforts were recently named among 10 “world-changing ideas” that are “radical enough to alter our lives” by Scientific American, and this year, the consortium’s work really vaulted forward.

“We have now established the critical issues and best areas in which to improve more than 100 types of the most common products -- everything from electronics and toys, to food, drinks and personal care items,” says Dooley, also a sustainability scientist in ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability. “We’re helping businesses focus on the most important sustainability issues and giving them a way to measure and share their progress in making products better. This year, we were able to make rapid progress, thanks to the intense efforts of our staff and the stakeholders involved.”

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The Consumer Goods Forum and The Sustainability Consortium announce global partnership to harmonize sustainability measurement

December 11, 2012

The Sustainability Consortium logoARIZONA, USA, – December 11, 2012 – As the consumer goods industry continues to drive sustainability throughout the supply chain, there is an increasing need for a globally harmonized science-based approach to measure and communicate product life cycles. Today, a partnership between two leading global organizations was announced that will create tremendous progress in achieving this goal. The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), an independent organization of global participants developing science and integrated tools to support informed decision making for product sustainability across the consumer goods industry and The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global industry network with over 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders are announcing a strategic alliance.

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The Sustainability Consortium continues global expansion plan: Operations begin in China

View Source | November 1, 2012

The Consortium in ChinaARIZONA, USA, October 25, 2012 – The Sustainability Consortium is pleased to announce our expansion into China.  The Consortium is an independent global organization that creates science-based knowledge about the sustainability of consumer products.

The Consortium has been awarded a $2 million grant from The Walmart Foundation to launch this effort. The expansion will see The Consortium collaborate with existing members, Chinese stakeholders, civil society organizations and local research partners to improve the systems and tools for product sustainability assessment. This work will support product sustainability improvements in China and beyond.

The Consortium’s product sustainability profiles already provide consumer goods companies with a consistent way to measure and track their products’ social and environmental progress. China has a large manufacturing base and is an important part of many global value chains. The Consortium sees opportunities to apply its work in product and supply chain design, supplier development, infrastructure investments and operational design.

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SCN awarded President's Award for Sustainability

May 1, 2012

Sustainability is a balance of environmental, social and economic concerns. ASU staff and faculty are advancing sustainability by demonstrating exemplary practices, leading by example, and sharing solutions to catalyze change.

This award recognizes ASU teams that have demonstrated excellence in fostering the successful development, implementation, and promotion of sustainability principles, solutions, programs, and services in the teaching, learning, research and business missions of the University.

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The Sustainability Consortium’s tools used by product buyers

April 20, 2012

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

The Sustainabilities ConsortiumTEMPE, 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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Sabo to direct research development for GIOS

March 27, 2012

John SaboJohn Sabo, an expert in ecohydrology and water resource management, has been named director of research development for the Global Institute of Sustainability, a transdisciplinary unit in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. OKED is responsible for advancing research, entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development at Arizona State University.

Sabo is also a senior sustainability scientist in GIOS and an associate professor in the School of Life SciencesCollege of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“Dr. Sabo has a collaborative and entrepreneurial approach. I’m confident his leadership will greatly benefit sustainability-related research and researchers across ASU,” said Rob Melnick, executive dean with GIOS and the School of Sustainability.

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

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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Fundamental steps needed now in global redesign of Earth system governance

March 16, 2012

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

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

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

December 15, 2011

George BasileWhat 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

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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Sustainable Production and Consumption Starts to Get Real in the Marketplace

November 1, 2011

TEMPE, Ariz., – The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) took a major step forward today when they announced the completion of 10 Category Sustainability Profiles as part of research on 50 product categories, with a commitment to develop 50 additional product categories by the end of 2011. The profiles provide accessible and actionable information for a wide range of companies on supply chain impacts. This knowledge allows institutions to take actions that reduce production costs, use fewer resources, and communicate benefitsto consumers.

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Accelerated actions, transformative approaches, and laser focus make Arizona State University excel as a sustainable campus

October 14, 2011

At Arizona State, the bar is sky-high when it comes to how the university runs its daily sustainable campus operations. It continues to be recognized as a model for sustainability; Arizona State University was recently named on The Princeton Review’s 2012 Honor Roll of the nation’s “greenest” universities. For the fourth consecutive year, The Princeton Review has recognized ASU for obtaining the highest possible score (99) in its Green Rating tallies. ASU was one of only 16 universities to achieve a perfect score.

ASU was also in the top 25 on Sierra magazine’s Coolest Schools list – a survey that ranks the greenest college campuses across the nation. A publication of The Sierra Club, Sierra magazine’s "Coolest Schools" ranking is an index that provides comparative information about the most important elements of campus sustainability.

In addition, ASU earned a STARS Gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). ASU was one of only 22 institutions out of 117 to receive a gold rating. STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, is a transparent, self-assessment framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward sustainability.

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Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability Expands Through Partnership with Tecnológico de Monterrey

October 5, 2011

In an effort to further advance the transition to a sustainable economy in Mexico, Arizona State University (ASU) and Tecnológico de Monterrey have jointly launched the Latin America Office of the Global Institute of Sustainability. This extension of ASU’s Global Institute at Tecnológico de Monterrey will conduct applied transdisciplinary research, offer an innovative curriculum, and develop business solutions that accelerate the adoption of a sustainable culture.

The Latin America Office of ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability will offer academic programs to educate future leaders in the transition to a green economy. It will conduct applied research to address Latin American issues, particularly the adoption of sustainable development. It will also leverage linkages with the Technology Park at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico City Campus, to promote clean technologies and entrepreneurial projects that will create green jobs and businesses, and promote public policies that preserve natural capital through active participation of all sectors of society.

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Regional Tree and Shade Summit receives Award of Merit at Valley Forward’s Environmental Excellence Awards

September 26, 2011

TEMPE, Ariz. Shade - we all crave it during sun-scorched days, and the shade that trees provide creates an escape from the heat. So where are all the trees?

The Sustainable Cities Network at Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability is aware of this need for more trees in our urban world. Partnering with the cities of Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix, the Network hosted the Valley’s first Regional Tree and Shade Summit on March 9, 2011, in Phoenix. The Summit brought together public officials, municipal staff, nonprofit organizations, and professional associations to identify strategies for increasing tree and shade and green infrastructure, and creating a healthier, more livable and prosperous Arizona.

On Sept. 17, the Regional Tree and Shade Summit received an Award of Merit at Valley Forward’s annual Environmental Excellence Awards program in the Environmental Education/Communication: Public Sector category. The awards recognize outstanding environmental achievement and projects that promote environmental initiatives. 

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Arizona State University’s Sustainability Achievements Rated GOLD by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

August 25, 2011

Sustainability PlanTEMPE, Ariz. – In recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Arizona State University (ASU) has earned a STARS Gold rating. STARS®, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, is a transparent, self-assessment framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward sustainability. Institutions report their achievements in three overall areas: Education and Research; Operations; and Planning, Administration and Engagement. ASU earned its highest points in Planning, Administration and Engagement.

ASU received STARS® credits for a number of innovative programs such as its Campus Metabolism website and its Minor in Sustainability that is available to undergraduate students who are majoring in any discipline. ASU also received credits for the completion of its Carbon Neutrality Action Plan and its Sustainability Plan. Both plans are being utilized to conduct day-to-day operations in ways that help maximize the university’s positive impacts and provide optimal living, working, and learning environments.

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The Sustainability Consortium Opens European Office, Appoints Three New Board Members Including Two NGOs

August 16, 2011

Actions underscore consortium’s strategic plan to deliver a sustainability measurement and reporting system and become a global organization

TEMPE, Ariz., – Aug. 16, 2011 - The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) today announced the opening of its European office and theexpansion of its board of directors to include Non-Government Organization (NGO) members. Both moves strongly align with TSC’s focus of growth, incorporating global partners, and delivering on its mission to design and implement science-based measurement and reporting systems that are accessible to manufacturers and consumers.

TSC’s European office will operate in partnership with Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Wageningen UR (WUR) is the leading agricultural university in Europe with a strong commitment to sustainability. WUR has strong relationships with agricultural producers, food processors, and retailers in Europe, includingmany TSC members. In addition, Aalt Dijkhuizen, president and CEO at Wageningen UR, is the third Academic Director appointed to TSC's board.

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High School Students Win Big and Gain Real World Experience through ASU Research Program

June 24, 2011

ASU’s Southwest Center for Education and the Natural Environment Expands with New Partnership

TEMPE, Ariz., -- Since 1998, nearly 200 high school students from across the Phoenix metro area have done cutting-edge scientific research in labs at Arizona State University (ASU). This opportunity for advanced study has been made possible by the Southwest Center for Education and the Natural Environment (SCENE), a nonprofit organization that partners with the ASU Global Institute of Sustainability to offer a program called Research Experiences for High School Students. SCENE is headed by Executive Administrator, Kathryn Kyle.

Now, to strengthen and expand the program, SCENE and the Global Institute of Sustainability are forming a new partnership with the LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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Marketplace & The Gary Comer Global Agenda Present: Moving By Degrees The Future Energy Abyss, An Intimate Conversation with John Hofmeister

June 15, 2011

Retired Shell Oil President Shares Thoughts; ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability Hosts Event

(ST. PAUL, Minn.) June 15, 2011– American Public Media’s Marketplace™ and The Gary Comer Global Agenda, in partnership with Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability, will present Moving By Degrees – The Future Energy Abyss, Thursday, June 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, First Amendment Forum Room, Downtown Campus.

The program will be an intimate conversation between David Brancaccio, senior correspondent, Marketplace’s Economy 4.0 and retired Shell Oil President John Hofmeister, one of the world’s foremost experts on energy and climate. They will discuss everything from climate change and energy independence to global energy leadership and the unrest currently remaking the Middle East.

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