2011 President’s Sustainability Symposium Explores How to Build Sustainability Into Higher Education

Thursday, March 3 2011


MOSCOW, Idaho – As the training ground for tomorrow’s leaders, colleges and universities should be models of socially, economically and environmentally sustainable practices. This is the thinking behind many of the sessions offered at the 4th annual President’s Sustainability Symposium slated for March 30 - April 1 at the University of Idaho.

Two all-day tracks will focus specifically on integrating sustainability with higher education – “Making Change Happen on Campus” and “Campus Sustainability Leadership.”

“Making Change Happen on Campus” will feature the Northwest Institute for Community Enrichment, an organization that supports the development of community organizing techniques and implementation of community-based solutions in the Pacific Northwest. NICE will lead three hands-on workshops designed to empower participants with the skills to affect lasting change on their campus:

Using the Power of Story to Motivate and Recruit People
Thursday, March 31, 10:40 a.m.
Idaho Commons, Aurora Room
875 Line St. in Moscow
This session is about using transformative communication to motivate people to get involved in sustainability initiatives within their communities.

• Building Effective Leadership Teams
Thursday, March 31, 1:30 p.m.
Idaho Commons, Aurora Room
875 Line St. in Moscow
This session will teach participants how to create a space for individuals to understand their role as sustainability leaders and address limiting beliefs about leadership.

• Creating Powerful Change Initiatives
Thursday, March 31, 2:50 p.m.
Idaho Commons, Aurora Room
875 Line St. in Moscow
This session will unpack the idea of a “campaign” and help participants understand importance of planning tools to turn visions for sustainability into realities.

A second track entitled “Campus Sustainability Leadership” will present theories and strategies for driving sustainability-oriented change at both institutional and project scales, with sessions facilitated by University of Idaho faculty and staff from the College of Business and Economics and the Sustainability Center.

• Creating New Value through the Strategic Integration of Sustainability Initiatives
Thursday, March 31, 10:40 a.m.
Idaho Commons, Crest Room
875 Line St. in Moscow
This presentation will begin by looking at how businesses create and capture value and achieve competitive advantage through their sustainability initiatives and the integration of these initiatives into organizational strategy. The presentation will then explore how a university can apply these same concepts to derive additional value and advantage from the strategic integration of its sustainability initiatives.

• Building the Business Case for Change: Show me the Money!
Thursday, March 31, 1:30 p.m.
Idaho Commons, Crest Room
875 Line St. in Moscow
Having a good idea or passion about environmental sustainability is not enough to get that idea implemented. Implementation requires evidence of both short- and long-term economic value – the financial sustainability of that idea. This session will explore how to get an idea implemented from a financial perspective. As part of the session, attendees will learn how to develop a cost/benefit analysis in a hands-on exercise.

• Sustainability at Colleges and Universities in the Inland Northwest
Thursday, March 31, 2:50 p.m.
Idaho Commons, Crest Room
875 Line St. in Moscow
Representatives from colleges and universities in the Inland Northwest will present 10-minute overviews of sustainability progress, obstacles and priorities at their schools.

• Regional Sustainability Organizers Meeting

Thursday, March 31, 3:30 p.m.
Idaho Commons, Crest Room
875 Line St. in Moscow
This session will explore potential collaborations among institutions to advance sustainability goals in higher education in the region.

For more information and a complete 2011 President’s Sustainability Symposium schedule, visit www.uidaho.edu/sustainabilitysymposium.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required at the link above. For additional information, contact Alecia Hoene in the Environmental Science Program at (208) 885-6113 or hoene@uidaho.edu, or Joe Nickels at the Sustainability Center at (208) 885-0125 or jnickels@uidaho.edu.

As increasing environmental awareness drives interest in sustainable practices, the University of Idaho continues to seek carbon reduction initiatives to meet the current and future needs of society and to contribute to the quality of life and the natural resources in Idaho, the nation and the world. The University of Idaho emitted 38,981 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in 2007, which equals 3.59 tons per student. The university has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2030 and has begun the work to reduce carbon emissions across operations. For more information about the university’s sustainability efforts, contact the University of Idaho Sustainability Center at uisc@uidaho.edu or visit www.uidaho.edu/sustainability.
# # #

About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s land-grant institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year. The University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to be classified by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation as high research activity. The student population of 12,000 includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars, who select from more than 130 degree options in the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Art and Architecture; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Law; Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; Natural Resources; and Science. The university also is charged with the statewide mission for medical education through the WWAMI program. The university combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities and focuses on helping students to succeed and become leaders. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. For more information, visit www.uidaho.edu.

About NICE
The NICE works with communities to provide a solutions-oriented venue to forward efforts to create local sustainable communities, acting as a catalyst for real change towards a future that is sustainable, just, and prosperous for all.

The NICE supports a variety of projects including energy efficiency, local renewable energy, sustainable transportation, localized foods, and ethical waste projects to help communities become models of sustainability. Each Local Team works to innovate ongoing, scalable, and replicable programs. The NICE Regional Team coordinates a regional learning community which is continually applying and adapting our programs and practices. In this way we can work to simultaneously innovate and expand upon the solutions that are needed, and to create tangible changes that improve the life of communities across the Pacific Northwest.