Conference & Expo -- November 9-11th -- Raleigh, NC
Friend of AASHE
Ashley McGraw Architects
Chevron Energy Solutions
Clark Patterson Lee
The Louis Berger Group
Duke University - President Richard H. Brodhead
Dear Conference Participant,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to AASHE 2008 - Working Together for Sustainability: On Campus and Beyond. This important event brings together sustainability professionals, faculty, students, and community members to focus on one of the most important questions facing our society – how will we meet our needs without compromising the future for generations to come? As leaders in institutions of higher education, we have the opportunity and responsibility to face this challenge head on. We are educating the leaders of tomorrow and we need to equip them with the tools necessary to view their own future choices through the lenses of environment, economy and society.
As a host institution for the conference this year, Duke University has the opportunity not only to support this important gathering but also to highlight our own efforts towards a sustainable future. As I read through the goals of this conference –to advance sustainability in higher education through partnership, social responsibility, collaboration and education – I was proud that we are addressing these same issues here at home.
We speak often at Duke about our desire to apply knowledge in service to society and to engage social challenges that lie beyond our campus. Our efforts towards a sustainable Duke are inextricably linked to these goals. We are constructing high performance buildings on campus, while we work with our architects and contractors to ensure we protect our “campus in the forest” and our surrounding community. Campus sustainability staff are collaborating with student environmental groups to conduct waste, water and energy reduction competitions between dorms, educating the campus community about the impact of individual choices. Duke Engage, a program providing opportunities for community service here in Durham and beyond, is empowering our student body to reach out to the world beyond Duke. I have also signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, charging a Campus Sustainability Committee of students, faculty and staff to delve into the issue of climate change and seek solutions that could assist the world in reaching a climate neutral future.
Our vision of a sustainable campus can be simplified to a desire to “Do, Learn, and Share.” Duke seeks to have a significant and measurable positive impact on the human and natural environment through the actions it takes, the way it educates, and the knowledge it creates. This vision shapes and guides our future efforts towards a truly sustainable Institution.
I challenge you to adopt a similar vision and utilize your time here in North Carolina to learn how you can take action to make this vision reality. To solve the pressing environmental and social issues facing our world, it will take the participation and inspiration of our entire society, and the world is looking towards institutions of higher education for leadership and innovation. I am confident we can work together not only to tackle current environmental issues but also to educate the next generation that will build a sustainable future.