for Environmental Studies hosted a workshop Oct. 8 titled "Roadmap
to the Future: Tomorrow by Design." The workshop was open to
students, faculty and the public, and featured keynote speakers
Orr, professor and chair of the environmental studies program
at Oberlin College, and Stuart
Hart, the Samuel C. Johnson Professor of Sustainable Global
Enterprise at Cornell University.
spoke about sustainability
and the tie it has to business agendas, growth and profit for companies.
In his introduction, Hart quoted a U.S. CEO who said sustainability
is as foreign a concept to managers in a capitalist society as profits
were to managers in the former Soviet Union. He explained that sustainability
is an ambiguous term.
Hart used a
two-by-two matrix to instruct his audience about the ways in which
captalism can work to make a more sustainable world. In the lower-left
quadrant, internal, short-term issues relevant to a company were
categorized under the heading of "pollution prevention."
The list of prevention ideas included: greening, waste reduction,
environmental management and resource productivity. To explain,
Hart used the example of a factory. "We can build in quality
instead of inspecting it after we've created defective products,"
he said, adding that the same idea applies to environmental-waste
In Hart's lower-right
quadrant, external, short-term issues were categorized under the
heading "product stewardship." The issues associated with
stewardship included: take-back, green design, full cost accounting,
corporate governance, stakeholder management and life-cycle management.
Hart explained the importance of product stewardship by asking,
"If you knew you had to take a product back after its lifespan,
wouldn't you probably make it differently?"
In Hart's upper-left
quadrant explained internal issues pertaining to future events.
He said the headings "clean technology," "new competencies"
and "disruptive innovation" are key in seeing how to make
companies work in an external manner when addressing the future.
In this area, important issues include clean technology, eco-effectiveness,
biomimicry, leapfrog technology, sustainable technology and closed
loops in the descriptive list.
final quadrant, the upper-right, represented externalized issues
relevant to companies' future concerns. These concerns are included
under "sustainability," "visions for the future"
and "growth plans." Items in this area of environmental
concern include, B24B, radical transactiveness, civic entrepreneurship
and community capitalism.
Hart said companies
need to reach out to the world's poor - at the "base of the
people live on $3.50 a day or less," Hart said. "There
is nothing that says capitalism is exclusive. It's not just for
rich people." He said these members of the human family should
not be bypassed or abused by capitalism, as they often are today,
adding that companies have a responsibility to everyone. He also
pointed out that poverty-stricken individuals make up a large sector
of society, and service to that segment offers huge potential for
capitalism and growth.
In his closing
statements, Hart reflected again on each quadrant of his matrix,
then he summarized the significance of each section, and asked the
audience for questions. In side conversations, members of the audience
took the question-and-answer session as a time to reflect on their
understandings and opinions of Hart's speech. "I stayed with
the core-model format of today and tomorrow," said Katrina
Taylor, a film editor from Elon. "It was a good presentation,
but I felt there was a little too much structure to understand the
activists take part in forum
groups were represented at the Elon forum; many of them had information
tables set up in the hallway outside the meeting room. The Coalition
for Environmental Responsibility & Education through Synergy
(CERES) was there to encourage audience members to join the organization.
Posters outlined the purpose and concerns of the Alamance County-based
organization. Duane Bryant, a CERES representative, said the group
focuses on community and group advocacy, educating citizens and
providing information on environmental issues. "Making information
common allows individuals to make good decisions," he said.
Some of the
many issues CERES members are concerned with include: solid/liquid
waste disposal, air quality, urban sprawl, runoff from developed-paved
areas, and clear cutting of wooded areas.
groups in the CERES coalition are Citizens for Alamance County Healthy
Environment (CACHE), the Sierra Club, the Haw River Assembly (HRA)
and the Woodland Community Alliance. Bryant said CERES members hope
to recruit more group involvement, maintain an environmental Web
site and continue to remain active in county and state government
Carolina Conservation Network also had a forum booth, with representatives
encouraging people to sign up for educational briefs on upcoming
election issues. They also offered environmentalists the opportunity
to demonstrate their dedication with earth-friendly bumper stickers.
GreenPower, a nonprofit organization focusing on maximizing
the use of renewable energy sources, provided pamphlets and newsletters
focusing on education and environmental accomplishments achieved
by NC GreenPower.
local, organic fare
the keynote speakers and environmental booth demonstrations, audience
members were directed to Harden Dining Hall for an environmentally
friendly lunch. The produce was supplied through Carolina Farm Stewardship
Association., and the food was prepared primarily by Aramark catering
chief James Getkin.
Getkin, creating an environmentally friendly meal was no more difficult
than any other catering event. He spent approximately five hours
prepping the ingredients. This included washing and slicing vegetables,
cutting and seasoning steaks and chicken and washing and stemming
that the products were "all organic with no fertilizer or insecticides."
He explained the difference between natural and chemically cultured
vegetables; non all-organic vegetables have a waxy sheen on the
surface. Organic vegetables surfaces have more dirt, bruises and
rough surfaces because they are propagated and processed by natural
musical entertainment was provided by the local band Larry Vellani
and Friends. The instrumentals created a relaxing and thoughtful
atmosphere for individuals to eat or reflect on environmental issues.
from Davidson College and UNC-Wilmington gathered in a corner over
baked apples and ice cream to discuss environmental issues. Matt
Collogan, a UNC-Wilmington student, said the reason he is interested
in environmental issues is because it is "not some passing
fad. It applies to every school and helps to save money and make
changes." Davidson student Greg Harris agreed with Collogan.
He confided that he and many school friends were involved in the
NC Conservation at Work organization. Currently, his organization
is focusing on getting reusable cups for dining halls. These cups
will be bought wholesale through an eco-friendly company. Collogan
said he hopes that the change will not only be beneficial to the
environment but also financially beneficial to his college community.
the environmental forum continued with a demonstration featuring
alternative-energy vehicles. The cars on display used fuels ranging
from biodiesel to an electric/gasoline hybrid format. An environmental
film festival was also available in the afternoon. Afternoon breakout
sessions covered the topics a"Academia by Design," "Food
by Design" and "Communities and Business by Design."
of organic foods luncheon at Harden Dining Hall by Laura Somerville.)