The Army Reserve Mission Resilience and Sustainability (ARMRS) training attendees were asked to “do a deep dive” into sustainability during an inaugural training conference hosted by Arizona State University.
The ARMRS training hosts an abundance of experts in areas such as energy security, water security, solid waste diversion and environmental quality from across the Army Reserve. The goal of the conferences is to stimulate conversation and collaboration around sustainability topics.
“It’s everything from the way which we design buildings to the way which we process our waste water,” said Addison D. “Tad” Davis, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and the environment, and a key speaker at the ARMRS conference.
Sustainability experts, ASU faculty and program managers gathered at the ASU-hosted conference, and they were urged by Davis to take full advantage of where they were.
“When you think about sustainability as a whole, you’re there. ASU is the center of the sustainability universe in this country,” Davis said.
Over ten years ago, ASU became the first university to establish a school dedicated to sustainability, including undergraduate and graduate online programs. Since then, ASU has led the way in pursuing sustainable resources and creating a better environment.
“We want to make sure that we’re not only the first in terms of chronology but also first in terms of quality, and I know from speaking with colleagues around the country that’s certainly the case. We are perceived as the number one university when it comes to sustainability,” said Christopher Boone, dean of ASU’s School of Sustainability.
ASU’s School of Sustainability has developed graduate level courses that are meant to raise understanding and bring awareness to senior civilian leaders and military officers. Raising this awareness is important because young people have the ability to impact the Army’s retention rates if their sustainability practices are lacking.
The Army Reserve has already made huge steps to reduce its energy use and reduce water use. In 2016, energy use was down 17.9 percent, and since 2007, they have reduced their water use by 51 percent.
The ARMRS conference ultimately aims to change the culture around sustainability. For ASU’s School of Sustainability, there’s no better outcome.