Why are so many organizations "going green"? What does that mean and how can you pursue it? Recognizing natural resources are limited and fresh water, clean air, and healthy ecosystems are valued by everyone; how can we build a new global economic model that ensures prosperity for all people while protecting the only planet that we all must share?
Thinking in Systems
Improving environmental sustainability requires an understanding of both natural and human systems. Understanding how various parts of a system interact to drive future outcomes provides a vital foundation for identifying key points of intervention that can be used to reduce environmental impacts and change system behavior.
An Economic Approach to Environmental Issues
Rational consumers and producers weigh the costs and benefits for their choices. Consumers choose those products that give them the most value for the buck, and firms seek to meet consumer demands at the lowest possible cost. Why then are some rational private decisions bad for the environment and unsustainable?
It has been said that, "Water is the oil of the 21st century." While oil reserves continue to shrink, water can be a renewable resource. Nonetheless, water is scarce in many parts of the world, and in others has become degraded and unusable. Understanding how to make the human/water relationship sustainable will be vital for life in the 21st century.
Air Quality Control
This session will discuss common air quality issues and control opportunities for organizations. It will address outdoor and indoor air quality issues, their effect on public health and the environment, and best practices for improving air quality in your organization and community.
Energy for Organizations
This session examines energy management opportunities for the business environment. Broadly applicable principles in energy use will be combined with industry-specific examples that improve the bottom line for business, employees and customers.
Energy and Transportation
Art Boyt and Doug Neidigh
This session explores energy use and costs resulting from transportation decisions. Movement of both people and materials will be discussed in light of new technologies and policies that are available to the business community.
Green Products and Purchasing
With green labels, logos, and claims appearing everywhere, how can organizations make sound environmental decisions when purchasing products? How can your own organization make your products or services more environmentally-friendly? Understanding the terminology, classification systems, and marketing behind green products can produce both a strategic and economic benefit for your organization.
Waste Management and Control
All businesses and organizations create large volumes of solid, and potentially hazardous, waste. Regulations establish requirements for how these wastes must be disposed of to reduce environmental impacts. This session will introduce proven pollution prevention practices for reducing waste volumes and toxicity that will further reduce or eliminate adverse environmental impacts and save money.
Want to learn how to make your facility greener? From new construction to existing conditions, this session examines ways to move your organization's buildings toward more sustainable operations.
This session will explore the resources for an environmental ethic by looking at the role of science, moral philosophy, religion, historical images of nature, and aesthetics. It will provide a brief sketch of environmental ethical models and will give special attention to ethics in the business setting.
Creating Change for Sustainable Actions
Amy Strickland and Valerie Eastman
Understanding the common challenges to change in the workplace and employing specific strategies to overcome those barriers is essential to the success of any sustainability initiative. Whether working at the organizational level or with individuals in your immediate environment, understanding how to influence the change process will be a powerful tool for moving your organization forward.
Communicating Your Message: Effective Marketing and Public Relations
Organizations adopting a strong environmental focus can face numerous challenges when communicating with key stakeholders. This session will identify those challenges and review best practices for marketing your organization's sustainability initiatives.
The core sessions of the CES will be supplemented with time for developing student projects, exploring case studies, touring sustainable buildings, and connecting with area leaders in organizational sustainability.