The Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 30, 2000
October 30, 2000
VOL. 30, NO. 9


A First Look at Greening of University

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette
Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

In 1999, the National Research Council's Board on Sustainable Development reported that the human species had two generations to, in essence, "get it right" with regard to reversing the environmental degradation of the planet and saving the biosphere.

Sensing this urgency, President William R. Brody on Earth Day 2000 launched the Greening of Johns Hopkins University Initiative, an effort to bring a "green" ethic to the university's operations and substantially reduce the school's footprint on the environment.

As part of this initiative, the Homewood campus will host an all-day conference called "The Greening of Johns Hopkins: Present and Future," to be held on Monday, Nov. 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Shriver Hall. The event is intended to provide an opportunity to learn about the university's current green practices and to involve faculty, staff and students with charting the course for future environmentally conscious endeavors.

Robert S. Lawrence, acting director of The Johns Hopkins Greening Initiative, said the university and its affiliates need to take a leadership role in promoting environmental sustainability.

"Since we are in the process of educating the first of these two generations, it is critically important for the universities of the world to provide the knowledge and skills so individuals can go forth to preserve the environment and sustain life as we know it on Earth," said Lawrence, Edyth Schoenrich Professor of Preventive Medicine at the School of Public Health. "I also feel that JHU, as a leader in research, has a special responsibility to raise the visibility of these environmental issues as an appropriate field of research and to promote related career opportunities for students."

President William R. Brody will open the event, and David Orr, chairman of the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College, will give the keynote address. Lawrence will moderate the event.

Also on the agenda are breakout sessions concerning six areas of significant environmental impact: energy, transportation, green purchasing, recycling, greening the curriculum and individual responsibility. Each session features a university-affiliated moderator and discussants from state agencies and other academic institutions. Information gathered will be used to chart the initiative's next steps.

Lawrence said while he hopes people will be able attend the entire conference, he welcomes all to "pop in" when they can. Brody and Orr will speak between 9 and 10:30 a.m. They will be followed from 10:40 a.m. to noon by progress reports from administration, faculty and students on the university's current practices. The breakout sessions will begin at 1:30 p.m.

The conference is free, but pre-registration is required for lunch. Lunch is free for JHU students with I.D, $5 for others. The event is presented by the JHU Greening Initiative and the Center for a Livable Future. For information contact [email protected], 410-502-7578 or visit