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Science Wednesday: Green Biz

2011 February 9

Each week we write about the science behind environmental protection. Previous Science Wednesdays.
By Becky Fried

On February 3, EPA Assistant Administrator Paul Anastas, participated in the State of Green Business Forum in San Francisco, California. The forum brought together the world’s foremost innovators, thought-leaders, and executives to discuss sustainability challenges and opportunities. Joel Makower, Chairman of the GreenBiz Group, interviewed Anastas on stage in front of hundreds of business leaders from companies such as Adobe, Disney, Clorox, Microsoft, and more. Their discussion focused on sustainability, innovation, environmental protection, and economic growth.

In discussing EPA’s scientific and research goals with Makower, Anastas quoted Albert Einstein, “problems can’t be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” He went on to explain that the complexity and subtlety of today’s environmental challenges coupled with our ever-evolving level of scientific awareness is a call for a new kind of thinking. It’s about “asking ourselves different questions through a different lens,” he said.

That lens, according to Anastas, is sustainability.

As reflected in many of the exciting activities taking place here at EPA, Anastas explained how sustainability and innovation are the keys to achieving the Agency’s mission in a way that meets the needs of the current generation while preserving the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

So, how do businesses, industry, and other sectors fit into this sustainable future? Sustainability is about achieving synergies, he said. It’s about protecting human health and the environment in a way that enhances economic growth and societal benefits. And, he continued, collaboration and partnerships across all sectors will be vital to achieving these synergies. Anastas invited members of audience to learn more about EPA’s efforts and explore opportunities for discussion and collaboration toward mutually-beneficial goals.

In response to Makower’s question about whether working toward sustainability is “hard,” Anastas explained that often, our most important goals are those that are most difficult to measure. Just as our pursuit of matters like justice, health, and freedom are not easily measured with metrics and numbers, our pursuit of sustainability is extremely difficult to quantify.

Paul Anastas will be interviewed again in an upcoming GreenBiz event here in Washington, DC on February 16th. For details and information on how to participate, click here.

About the Author: Becky Fried is a writer in EPA’s Office of Research and Development, where Paul Ansastas is the Assistant Administrator.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

6 Responses leave one →
  1. melissaEPA permalink
    February 9, 2011

    Here’s a short video clip of the Keynote Interview with Dr. Anastas, in conversation with: Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group at the State of Green Business Forum 2011.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtRZ81N14wE&feature=youtu.be&a

  2. Alexandr permalink
    February 9, 2011

    Soon we with you shall start to think how to lay the foundation of political idea, to give dynamic growth of economy by means of deep processing secondary raw material….

  3. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    February 13, 2011

    We need interagency collaboration and public-private partnerships now more than ever. These will be critical if EPA’s most important missions are going to continue to be carried out and moved forward. Its time to blow up the silos that have kept agencies from working together, sharing information, corrdinating and collaborating together, and sharing resoucres. We need to improve communications up-down-across organizational lines in agencies as well as between agaencies and between government and industry. Doing these things will let us do a lot more at alot less cost. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  4. SAW permalink
    February 20, 2011

    It seems as though innovation in green technology could help the U.S. economy improve. This would happen because industry would not be imposing external costs on others and because green technology could be big buisness.

  5. gerald permalink
    June 6, 2011

    In constructing a solid building, all organization should bare in mind that every little matters must be dealt with extraordinary cautions because it might effect the entire building in long term.

  6. shoenya permalink
    June 6, 2011

    Turbo is necessary for boosting up the speed and gain momentum in driving experience.

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