Tag Archives: School of Sustainability

Website helps users make more sustainable decisions

The number of opportunities to make “clean, green and well” decisions continues to grow rapidly. In the last decade alone, more than 460 “eco-labeling” schemes have emerged, providing a vast amount of information on consumer products and services. But paying attention to detail reveals a web of complex, sometimes conflicting information that can be hard to decipher and even harder to put to everyday use.

Enter Andrew Krause, a recent graduate of ASU’s School of Sustainability (SoS) master’s program who has been working on simplifying, as well as customizing the concept of sustainability to suit everyone’s needs. Krause, along with his mentor and senior scientist at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability George Basile and two former classmates, has launched the action-oriented online social platform eEcosphere.

Krause, a native of Sonoma, Calif., joined SoS because its unique approach integrates the new field of sustainability science with behavior change – two vital elements when it comes to budging the needle on sustainability and key principles that ultimately inspired the creation of eEcosphere.

He says the social web platform is underpinned by years of scientific research, conducted by Basile and other scientists, which focuses on sustainability planning and tools that help individuals and businesses take action across the globe. He hopes the website will help people adopt a more eco-conscious lifestyle by making it fun, easy and effective.

“Everyday, the person makes a variety of decisions, driven by default, often outdated habits,” Krause says. “Take, for example, the way we choose to do laundry. There are a number of emerging opportunities to be smarter – like using less water and a non-toxic detergent during the process – but changing habits may be hard.”

According to Krause, who has led various sustainability-related ventures in the past, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to making the world a better place.

“A person may already be saving energy but might need help with water conservation; someone else might need help with both,” Krause elaborates. “eEcosphere helps people identify and adopt ideas that match their personal sustainability goals. It embeds a scientific approach in the decision-making process and encourages people to take action as a group using the social web.”

In 2011, ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative awarded Krause and his team $18,000 to develop the eEcosphere venture. The award enabled the start-up to incorporate as a legal business and reach key fundraising milestones. Krause assumed the leadership role and spent early days hiring software developers and copywriters, and networking with sustainability experts.

“The Edson grant helped our vision come to life faster,” Krause says. “We’ve built eEcosphere multiple times to make it more compelling to individuals and clients who’ll ultimately use our product.”

Krause and Basile are now putting the online platform through the ultimate user test: the ASU community. eEcosphere is playing a key role in ASU’s various sustainability campaigns, including the Zero-Waste Initiative. A preview of the website has been unveiled this week in hopes of collaborating with nearly 82,000 members of the Sun Devil family to help the university meet its goal of becoming a zero-waste campus by 2015.

“Modifying waste management habits at such a huge scale requires collective action on the part of students, faculty and staff,” says Krause. “eEcosphere will engage with the university community, collect and analyze detailed insight regarding user preferences, and provide new updates and incentives to help people stay motivated and informed.”

Krause says ASU is the perfect live laboratory for eEcosphere.

“This institution is leading sustainability efforts internationally,” Krause explains. “If we can facilitate good ideas at ASU, we can help other large-scale enterprises do the same with their customers as well.”

Basile adds to that thought.

“The ASU platform has been vital to the evolution of eEcosphere,” Basile says. “The institution has helped us incubate forward-thinking ideas, and permitted us to take risks and embark on adventures.”

Krause credits Basile, an internationally recognized sustainability veteran himself, for much of his drive and success as a student entrepreneur. Basile, in return, has nothing but high praise for his pupil.

“At 26, Andrew has already proven his ability to help innovative new ventures get off the ground,” Basile says with pride in his voice. “He has also passed along business finance, internship and job opportunities to fellow students. I’ve waited for a generation of students who’d align themselves with the concept of sustainability and find ways to take action. Andrew represents that generation. He is an informed, driven millenial.”

Krause says the time has come for a concept such as eEcosphere to be successful in the marketplace of ideas.

When asked what the future looks like to him, he asks:

“Is it cliché to say, ‘bright?’”

Join the live preview of eEcosphere by becoming an early user at www.eEcosphere.com.

Sustainable Energy in Arizona - AB Magazine November/December 2011

Boone named interim dean of School of Sustainability

Christopher Boone, professor at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability (SOS) and School of Human Evolution and Social Change, has been named the interim dean of the School of Sustainability, effective July 1, 2013. Boone has served as the associate dean for education of the school since July 2010.

“Chris Boone is an outstanding scientist and scholar whose extensive work in urban sustainability and world poverty exemplifies the very mission of the school,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “As associate dean he has helped lead the efforts to educate a new generation of students whose passion is to find solutions to some of the most pressing environmental, economic and social challenges of the world. With Chris as interim dean the school is well-positioned to further enhance its academic programs and help students create solutions that will reshape our quality of life.”

Boone succeeds Dean Sander van der Leeuw, who will continue to further the school’s research and academic interests. Van der Leeuw will return as a member of the board of directors for the Global Institute of Sustainability and continue to serve as co-director of the Complex Adaptive Systems Network, as well as chair of the Consortium for Biosocial Complex Systems. He also retains intellectual responsibility for the Global Institute of Sustainability Climate Impact and Adaptation Center.

“Chris Boone has been an important figure in the development of the School of Sustainability, the first such school in the country, and he will be an important leader of the next stage of development of this unique academic unit,” said Elizabeth D. Phillips, ASU executive vice president and provost.

Boone joined ASU in January 2006 as an associate professor and gained full professorship in April 2010. His research centers on urban sustainability, environmental justice and vulnerability, urban socio-ecological systems, global environmental change, human-environmental interaction, geographic information systems (GIS) and public health.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve the School of Sustainability,” Boone said. “I see this as a really important continuation of the work Professor Van der Leeuw did to strengthen the school. ASU serves as an international model for blending sustainability education and research with practice. I am confident we will continue to be a leader in sustainability.”

Gary Dirks, director of ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, said he is excited about working with Boone, having “enjoyed working with him previously on sustainability concepts. I consider him to be a scholar of the highest caliber and deeply committed to sustainability and sustainability education. He, Rob Melnick and I will make a great team to lead GIOS and SOS in the coming years.”

Boone is the recipient of grants from prestigious organizations, including the National Science Foundation and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. In addition to his academic pursuits, he is a member of the executive committees of SOS and GIOS.

In 2009, Boone headed a provost’s committee to develop a minor in sustainability. He also serves on the supervisory board for the Social Sciences and Health, and Global Health programs. He is a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Urbanization and Global Environment Change program, and the Steering Committee of the Workshop on Climate Change in U.S. Cities in Support of the National Climate Assessment.

Boone currently serves on the editorial boards of journals such as International Journal of Sustainable Urban Development and Environmental Justice. He is also the associate editor of the nature-society section of the journal Current Research on Cities and co-editor of a new book series called New Directions in Sustainability and Society.

Boone received his graduate and doctoral degrees in geography at the University of Toronto before pursuing a post-doctoral fellowship at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability is the first comprehensive degree-granting program of its kind in the United States with a focus on finding real-world solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges. Established in spring 2007, the School is part of the Global Institute of Sustainability, which is the hub of ASU’s sustainability initiatives. The institute advances research, education and business practices for an urbanizing world. The School of Sustainability offers undergraduate and graduate programs and minors, as well as doctoral and professional leadership programs. Visit http://www.schoolofsustainability.asu.edu.

ASU Parasol

ASU – A SUstainable School

Arizona State University’s campus ahead of the class for sustainable innovation

Sustainability has become a top priority for new architectural developments in Arizona. Architects understand the necessity of sustainably efficient buildings for these changing times.

Not only do these building save money and resources, but pave the future’s way with minimal environmental harm. In other words, sustainable buildings fulfill both short and long-term requirements for the most effective architecture.

Arizona State University’s campus prides itself in sustainable innovation. With accelerated actions and transformative approaches, ASU serves as a representative of what modern architecture should be.

The university runs all campus activities in an environmentally-conscious manner, and achievements are continually recognized as being top of the line.

Every newly constructed ASU building since 2005 has been certified LEED Silver or higher. Currently, the school has 36 LEED Silver or better certified buildings. The Biodesign Institute in Tempe is the first LEED Platinum certified building in Arizona.

“There’s a governor’s executive order that mandates that we install buildings that achieve at least LEED Silver,” says David Brixen, vice president of Facilities Development and Management at ASU. “But in addition to that, our president made the same commitment that it’s our goal for every building to achieve LEED Silver. In many cases, we’ve exceeded that.”

ASU GIOSThe Princeton Review recently named ASU one of the nation’s “greenest” universities, along with giving the highest number of Green Rating tallies. Just 16 other universities obtained this perfect score.

ASU is also ranked in the top 25 of SIERRA magazine’s “Coolest Schools” as one of the greenest campuses in the nation.

Additionally, the university was one of just 22 institutions out of 117 to receive a STARS® Gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

“The most effective and the most important sustainability project on our campus is solarization,” Brixen says.”

Solar panel systems have been installed at various locations on multiple campuses. More than 50 sites now have these solar systems. More than 13 megawatts of systems are currently established, with 16 soon to come as a result of construction on the Polytechnic Campus. The goal is to eventually reach 20 megawatts.

ASU also excels in recycling and waste reduction.

“We have lofty goals in our recycling program as well,” Brixen says. “We have a goal to be ‘zero solid waste’ by 2015. The students will play a major role in going forward and achieving that success.”

Accomplishments range from recycling plans so successful that recycling receptacles are emptied more frequently than trash, to a composting program that turns landscaping waste into useful mulch. ASU dining strives to be sustainable through tray-less meals and recyclable products.

Sustainability is not only a practice at ASU, but a lifestyle.

“We expect all staff members to be active participants in sustainability at work,” Brixen explains.

The Sustainability Literacy Education online program was launched last year. This interactive program is available to everyone in the ASU community. It provides examples of sustainable practices at ASU, the university’s sustainable goals, and how to engage in sustainable support at the school. This program also provides facts on sustainability to employees in order to help them fulfill their yearly work-performance evaluations. Completion certificates have been awarded to 243 employees to date.

ASU understands the importance of sustainable building for the future, and continues to influence other establishments in terms of solar energy innovation. The community benefits from the university’s environmentally-conscious practices.

“When they see it, they’re impressed with how far we’ve come with solar energy,” Brixen said. “We’ve played a significant leadership role in the solar movement in Arizona.”

Brixen hopes to see sustainable attitudes trickle down to the student body, since their influence is imperative to the university’s future. The university’s School of Sustainability is the first in the nation. Here, students earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and apply their knowledge to help global issues.

“Sustainability has been engrained into the university’s culture now,” Brixen says. “It’s important for the university to walk the talk.”

With national recognition for sustainable practices, a School of Sustainability and solar power innovation, ASU has achieved enormous success in keeping up with the environment’s needs. Its goal is to be “carbon neutral” by 2015 — meaning, no waste will be left behind.

Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate

ASU Offers Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate To Soldiers

Online certificate — the Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate — custom-designed to meet US Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve readiness objectives

The design and establishment of an online graduate certificate in sustainability leadership at Arizona State University for soldiers and civilians in the U.S. Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve was inaugurated Jan. 6 during a signing ceremony.

Participating in the event at the Army National Guard Bureau headquarters in Arlington, Va., were ASU President Michael M. Crow; Brig. Gen. Daniel J. Nelan, assistant to the director, Army National Guard; and Richard G. Kidd IV, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for energy and sustainability.

“This graduate-level certificate program introduces soldiers and civilians in the United States Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve to major principles in sustainability science,” said ASU’s Crow. “The men and women who participate in this program will learn to apply sustainability tools, techniques and concepts to meet standards for operational efficiencies, energy and water conservation, use of renewable energy sources, and waste minimization, all of which will enhance mission readiness and cost effectiveness.”

The Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate at ASU is a custom-developed program featuring contemporary examples of sustainability challenges and opportunities relevant to missions and operations of the Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve. It was specifically designed to assist soldiers and civilians in furthering their education while moving the Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve closer to their goals to be sustainable organizations.

The five-course online program is offered through ASU’s School of Sustainability, which is the first in the nation to offer comprehensive undergraduate and graduate degree programs in sustainability science. The courses in the program may also be applied toward a master’s degree in sustainability.

“The Army National Guard today faces unprecedented demands on its soldiers, communities, natural resources and various other assets. Our readiness relies on the actions we take now,” said Nelan. “We will meet these obligations by becoming a more sustainable organization, starting with ensuring our soldiers and civilians receive the highest quality training and education in sustainable practices and principals. This education program is a significant milestone for the Army Guard.”

The Army National Guard (ARNG) approached ASU with an idea to partner on the development of a sustainability program that will prepare soldiers to achieve future readiness requirements amid a changing military and increasingly limited resources. The ARNG provided a team of trainers, energy managers, logisticians and environmental specialists to work with ASU’s School of Sustainability faculty in developing the specialized, Army-centric curriculum.

“One of the courses – Sustainable Military Acquisition and Logistics – will provide practical approaches to applying sustainability principles to procurement and acquisition, transportation, and material,” said Rob Melnick, executive dean with ASU’s School of Sustainability.

Melnick, who oversees the program at ASU, noted that another course – Energy and the Built Environment – “will provide practical approaches to applying sustainability principles and practices to public works activities, housing, facilities operations and management, military construction, master planning, and energy management.”

“Sustainability is key to the Army’s future, and Net Zero strategies are the centerpiece of the Army sustainability initiative,” said Kidd. “As supply lines change due to operational vulnerabilities in Afghanistan, our fuel expenses increased significantly. Sustainability factors into everything we do, and that’s why this new education program is so important.”

This sustainability leadership program aligns with key sustainability initiatives set by the Obama Administration, including a 2009 executive order regarding federal leadership in environmental, energy and economic performance; the Army’s sustainability campaign plan of 2010; and the Army National Guard’s Readiness Center Sustainability Operations Order of 2011. This partnership exemplifies ASU’s unwavering commitment to help create a sustainable future at local, national and global levels through education, use-inspired research and outreach.

The Graduate Certificate in Sustainability Leadership builds on ASU’s established track record with the U.S. military, which encompasses a robust and long-standing ROTC program (founded in 1935) and innovative research collaborations including the establishment of the Flexible Display Center that brings together academia, industry and government to develop revolutionary flexible information portals. G.I. Jobs magazine recently cited ASU among the most “military friendly” universities in the United States for a third consecutive year.

For more information about the Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate at ASU visit sustainabilityonline.asu.edu/sustainable-army.

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010

BIG Green Awards: Commercial Green Building Award

Twelve categories, hundreds of nominations — but only one will take home the green. It’s the first annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards, where BIG teamed up with the USGBC to bring you the leanest sustainable leaders and projects in Arizona.

An in-depth glance of the winning real estate projects is listed below, followed by a list of the additional winners and finalists.

Commercial Green Building Award

Winner: Museum of Northern Arizona Easton Collection Center

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Owner: Museum of Northern Arizona
General Contractor: Kinney Construction Services
Architect: Roberts | Jones and Associates
Completed: June 2009

Recognized for being an exemplary public green building, the 17,282-square-foot sustainable repository houses thousands of objects comprising the anthropological, biological and fine art collections of the Flagstaff museum. Architects Jim Roberts of Roberts | Jones and Associates and Project Manager Mike Thomas of Kinney Construction Services (KCS) approached the project with LEED Platinum Certification in mind.

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Green strategies included appropriated solar orientation; exterior walls, key interior walls and floors constructed of high-thermal mass materials; extensive use of insulation; energy efficient heating and cooling systems; energy efficient window systems; extensive green living roof system; water conservation plumbing systems; sustainable landscaping; day-lighting and a 13 kW photovoltaic array roof installation. The Museum of Northern Arizona has a “green power contract,” under which 50 percent of all electricity purchased for the building will come from renewable sources.

The building was constructed of locally manufactured masonry, stone and concrete, produced from locally-extracted materials. Exterior wood siding is reclaimed lumber from a decommissioned railroad trestle in the Great Salt Lake area. Additionally, 78 percent of all construction waste was reused or recycled. All salvageable materials from the demolition of the four existing buildings were recycled or diverted for reuse. The calculated amount of CO2 reduction is approximately 49,970 pounds.

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Finalist: Queen Creek Branch Library

Owner: Town of Queen Creek
General Contractor: CORE Construction
Architect: Dick & Fritsche Design Group
Completed:Nov. 2008

The LEED Gold library is the first municipal building constructed under the Town of Queen Creek’s Green Building Policy. This library represents the successful implementation of the new policy by not only reaching the required minimum LEED Certification, but also by achieving a Gold rating on the same budget. The project achieved a 53 percent energy use reduction according to the ASHRAE 90.1 model. The amounts to a 446,987 kWh per year savings, or almost 10 kWh saved per square foot. That amounts to 321 metric tons of CO2 equivalent in energy savings alone. The project also includes solar reflective roofing, 33 percent water efficiency through low-water-use fixtures and an average of 22 percent recycled content using local materials. More than 80 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills.

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Finalist: Lee H. Brown Conservation Learning Center at Reid Park Zoo

Owner: City of Tucson
General Contractor: Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Architect: Swaim Associates Architects
Completed:May 2008

The 10,430-square-foot center in Tucson achieved LEED Platinum and serves as the Tucson Zoological Society’s center for education and community outreach. More than 50 percent of the original structure was recycled, including the site’s bamboo plants, which were integrated into the center’s perimeter fencing and gates, or to feed the zoo’s animals. The facility incorporates both passive and active rainwater harvesting systems, commercial grey water systems, low-water-use fixtures and other alternative and sustainable building materials. The building’s overall energy savings is 75 percent, including the solar water heating system that provides 100 percent of the building’s domestic hot water supply; and photovoltaic arrays that generate 48 percent of the facility’s energy needs. It is the first LEED Platinum project at any zoo or aquarium in the world.


Green Schools Excellence Award K-12

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Winner: Agua Fria Union High School District

Agua Fria UHSD is one of the first districts in the state to apply green concepts to its building program and the classroom. The high school district is recognized as an exemplary piece of efficient design and sustainable best practices.

Green Awards - July/August 2010Milestone celebrations for the district include two LEED-Certified High Schools — Desert Edge High School and Verrado High School, both constructed by Adolfson & Peterson Construction — which were certification firsts for Arizona. These schools’ efforts included infrastructure conservation, curbing heat island effects, night sky and protected ecosystems, and conservation of resources for the state and local community.

The LEED for School pilot program, which encompasses the district’s operations and maintenance, was tested on Agua Fria in order to troubleshoot the program and find areas of refinement by USGBC. Other sustainable practices by the district included ozone depletion, recycling programs, green cleaning and light pollution reduction.

Finalist: Washington Elementary School District

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Washington Elementary School District consists of 32 school campuses with three administrative locations covering 44 square miles. The District serves 24,000 elementary school students, and in spring 2008 the District agreed to benchmark its facilities for energy efficiency. The goal was to conserve 10 percent in electric, natural gas, water and solid waste consumption District-wide over the course of a year. Achieving this goal would save the District $610,000 or more in fiscal year 2009. “Energy Violation Tickets” were used in an effort to remind students and school staff to keep sustainability in mind during daily operations and maintenance. At the end of the year, the District conserved 6.6 million kWh of electricity with a savings of $743,000; natural gas savings of 8,661 therms for $18,340; and solid waste savings of $125,000.


Green Schools Excellence Award Higher Education

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Winner: Arizona State University

Arizona State University was the first higher education institution in the state — as well as the country — to open a School of Sustainability that focuses on educating students about alternative energy, waste reduction, water and land conservation. In 2004, ASU created the Global Institute of Sustainability to serve as a hub for all of the university’s sustainability initiatives in research, education, outreach and business practices.

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Since 2005, all new university-owned buildings are required to be certified LEED Silver or better. ASU currently has 21 LEED Silver or better certified buildings, including the first Platinum-certified building in Arizona. Additionally, the university’s solar initiative has installed 2.04 MW of photovoltaic power on the Tempe campus so far, with plans for 10 MW of solar power capacity by the end of 2010.

Finalist: Rio Salado College

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010The college has adopted several measures to “think green” and beyond. Rio Salado College’s view of sustainability includes the socio-cultural, environmental and economic dynamics essential to making sustainability bearable, equitable and viable.

During the 2007-2008 academic year, Rio Salado launched a major initiative in support of the global sustainability movement, which included becoming a chapter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). In October 2009, Rio Salado College was named a winner of America’s Greenest Campus contest. The winnings were used to develop a community garden for the Sustainable Food Systems Program and the new Cafe @ Rio.

AZRE Magazine July/August 2010