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World Experts Show How To Achieve Sustainability

2 December 2008
News release

World Experts In Auckland Show How To Achieve Sustainability – And Talk Toilets Too

World experts will gather in Auckland next week to demonstrate how sustainable development can be achieved around the globe, including what the toilet of the future might look like.

The third international conference on Sustainability, Engineering and Science will be held at the University of Auckland from Tuesday, 9 December to Friday, 12 December.

“We were talking sustainability before it became the buzzword it is today,” says Dr Carol Boyle, the chair of the NZ Society for Sustainability Engineering and Science (NZSSES), which is hosting the event.

“Our first conference in 2004 helped define the concept of sustainability and our second in 2007 focused on the reality of what was happening to promote it. This year, we’re saying sustainability is now essential and our experts will be offering proven methods and models for achieving sustainable outcomes.
“For example, what will the toilet of the future be like when we have double the population and half the water? Will we need all those pipes? How will we dispose of waste? It’s not just a bit of tinkering that’s required, it’s a radical rethink.”
For the first time, the NZSSES conference has prestigious Cambridge University in England as its co-principal sponsor, along with The International Centre of Sustainability, Engineering and Research (ICSER).

“This influential gathering provides a rare opportunity for world-class engineers, scientists, business leaders and government agencies to nut out what really must be done to ensure we develop sustainable development and infrastructure,” says Dr Boyle.

“Infrastructure provides the basic needs for society and it has to be sustainable to ensure our survival, health and well-being.
Topics to be covered at the conference also include the global response to climate change, managing your carbon footprint and frontier design.

The key speakers are:
- Dr Paul Anastas, Professor in the Practice of Green Chemistry at Yale University. Known as "The Father of Green Chemistry" (he coined the term in 1991), a focus of his research is the design of safer, less toxic chemicals.
- Professor Peter Guthrie from Cambridge University’s Centre for Sustainable Development. His projects include the London Olympics, a renewable energy scheme across a tidal estuary in northern England, development of 10,000 new homes near London and, previously, the Channel Tunnel.
- Dr Jean Venables, from Crane Environmental, world leaders in water treatment and purification. She chairs the Thames Estuary 2100 Project and is president of the Institution of Civil Engineers in the UK.
- Professor Terry Collins, a New Zealander who is the Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States. Prof Collins is another early pioneer of Green Chemistry.
- Dr Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at The CUSP Institute at Curtin University, Perth, and a board member of Infrastructure Australia. He helped save and extend Perth’s rail system and has warned against “automobile dependence” for 30 years.
- Dr James Mihelcic, a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida. He has travelled extensively in the developing world working on water supply and treatment projects, sanitation, solid waste management and community health.
- Professor Roger Venables, a Chartered Civil Engineer, Chartered Environmentalist and Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, he is also Vice-Chairman of the Global Network for Environmental Science and Technology.

- ends -

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