skip to content

Sustainability

News Bit: The Importance of Embedding Sustainability in Secondary Education Curriculums


By Hunter Lovins, posted on TriplePundit.com, July 20, 2012

“The diverse crises that the planet faces will only be solved when companies and communities implement authentic and innovative sustainability practices. It is therefore encouraging that there are an increasing number of colleges and universities now including sustainability as part of their campus management programs and curriculum.

Are these programs effective enough to create the next generation of thought leaders our world needs? The answer is, ‘No. Not yet.’

A good start is underway, however. Pressure from companies, students, and ranking organizations is forcing colleges and universities to embrace sustainability.

The business community is demanding candidates with sustainability training. Accenture found that over 93 percent of CEO’s see sustainability as crucial to business success, with 88 percent stating it needs to be fully embedded into their strategy and operations.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting is increasing annually, creating job openings for graduates familiar with integrated reporting. Given that about 20 percent of CSR reports each year are submitted by companies reporting for the first time, recruiting candidates who are familiar with sustainability, or training existing employees is a top priority for these companies. Job candidates who hae a strong knowledge of sustainability are better positioned not only to fill current job openings, but help lead their companies into the future.

A 2010 study by McKinsey found, however, that many companies need education on how to go forward. Most executives surveyed considered sustainability important to the their future, agreeing that the management of environmental, social, and governance issues was ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important in a wide range of areas, including new product development, reputation building, and overall corporate strategy. However, only 30 percent said that their companies actively sought opportunities to invest in sustainability or embed it in their business practices. Respondents admitted to a pervasive lack of understanding of what sustainability is and how to implement it. This educational gap, they stated, was inhibiting action.”

To read more about current action steps being taken at colleges and universities across the country (including UW-Green Bay) and the three problems identified as to where efforts are falling short, READ the rest of the article HERE.  

Do you think UW-Green Bay is doing a good job of embedding sustainability into our campus culture?

UWGB a “Green College” According to The Princeton Review!

UW – Green Bay is proud to be included for the first time in  The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition. The publishers bill their product — created in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council — as focusing “solely on colleges that have demonstrated a notable commitment to sustainability.”  

Being in this guide is a testament to the hard work and commitment the University’s faculty, staff and students have shown over many years of maintaining a focus on sustainability and working to live up to the “Eco-U” name.

Other Wisconsin schools in the guide are Marquette University, Northland College and the UW campuses at Eau Claire, Madison, Milwaukee and Stevens Point. You can see a state-by-state list at http://www.princetonreview.com/green-schools-by-state.aspx.

Go Green: 11 Awesome Earth-Friendly Jobs

Do you care about making a difference as musch as you care about your career?

“Green” jobs – defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as jobs that produce goods or services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources, or jobs that use more environmentally friendly processes or fewer natural resources – have outpaced jobs in other categories by almost 250 percent over the last decade, and growth doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

The 12 in-demand jobs profiled in this article show how you can make some green – while going green.

To view the slideshow, go HERE.

Source: salary.com

News Bit: Why Trends in Sustainability Are Good For Business and Education

 

By John Viera, GreenBiz.com, March 30, 2012

“Pick up any newspaper these days and it won’t be long before you find an article that calls out some aspect of our coutnry’s education system in need of fixing. From the daunting numbers that are presented, this coverage, unfortunately, doesn’t seem overblown. .

The U.S. Department of Education’s most recent national assessment of high school seniors determined that 74% lacked proficiency in math, 62% lacked proficiency in reading, and 79% lacked proficiency in science.

In the last round of comparative international exams, American 15-year-olds ranked 25th in  math, 17th in reading and 22nd in science among participating countries. Chinese 15-year-olds ranked first in each subject.

News about higher education isn’t much different. In 1990, the U.S. boasted the highest percentage in the world of 25- to 34-year-olds with college degrees, but had fallen to 12th by 2010. Meanwhile, there’s never been a greater need for college graduates. By 2018, 63 percent of jobs are expected to require at least some colleged education. Again, the numbers don’t tell a positive story; but there may be a silver lining.

When I was in school, specific education around the environment was an afterthought to traditional disciplines. Limited to conservation, education rarely integrated sustainability values with the realities of everyday living. From what I observe of candidates entering the workforce today, and in younger hires across the board, this has changed.

Over the last decade, high school students enrolled in advanced placement environmental science courses has skyrocketed 426 percent nationally, more than four times the average increase of all advanced placement courses. The figures are similar in higher education. On average, the number of academic papers on sustainability has doubled ever 8.3 years since 1974, according to a recent study from Indiana University.”

To read more and see how your education at UWGB is a benefit….click here!

Test Your IQ in the Eco-Challenge – Win an iPad! NEW NEWS: The order is in for an iPad 3!

Go to http://www.NewEraOnline.org/Sustainability and take the Eco-Challenge quiz! You’ll automatically be entered to win an iPad when you complete the challenge! The challenge runs from March 5 – March 26 – good luck!

News Bit: Building a Sustainable Future Requires More than Science

“Contrary to popular belief, humans have failed to address the earth’s worsening emergencies of climate change, species’ extinction and resource overconsumption not because of a lack of information, but because of a lack of imagination, social scientists and artists say.

At a conference of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Vancouver, British Columbia, experts argues that the path to a truly sustainable future is through the muddy waters of emotions, values, ethics, and most importantly, imagination.

Humans’ perceptions of reality are filtered by personal experiences and values, said David Maggs, a concert pianist and PhD student at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

As a result, the education and communication paradigm of “if we only knew better, we’d do better” is not working. Maggs told attendees at the world’s largest general science meeting. ‘We don’t live in the real world, but live only in the world we imagine.’”

Want to learn more about reality or the lack thereof? Read more HERE.

Source:  TriplePundit.com

Sustainability: Lessons from Europe

Come to the Department of Natural & Applied Science Seminar, February 24th!

Learn from Dr. Patricia Terry’s experiences on the differences in approach and acceptance of sustainability in Europe.

Tea:  3 p.m., ES 317

Presentation:  3:30 – 4:30 p.m., ES 328

See you there!

News Bits: Climate in the Classroom

Climate in Classrooms
27 Jan 2012

Read the full post at Dot Earth.

There’s much to explore about the challenges in teaching about the evolving relationship between people and their climate.

This subject was once pretty straightforward. After all, it was a relationship that was largely a one-way phenomenon. Climate changed. People adapted or moved. (The extraordinary books of Brian Fagan are an ideal guide.)

As humanity’s growth spurt plays out, the accumulating greenhouse gases from fossil fuel combustion — along with the impacts on clouds or sunshine from other emissions and impacts from land surfaces — have made this a two-way relationship. And that makes teaching about this subject particularly challenging, given the durably wide range of perceptions not just of the science, but of how to respond to it.

Source: Environmental News Bits