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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Speakers to discuss business sustainability

UF will host two experts on environmentally friendly business strategies for The Business Case for Sustainability and UF Sustainability Showcase on Monday and Tuesday. L. Hunter Lovins and Bob Willard will address the ways in which businesses can benefit from eco-friendly practices. Doors will open for the first speech at 6 p.m., and speeches will begin at 7 p.m. in the Reitz Union Ballroom on Monday. As part of the showcase, nearly 30 student groups are registered to table at the Reitz Union before and after the presentation.

"Hunter and Bob are probably in the top 10 in the world on demonstrating the business case for sustainability," said Tim Center, director of the Council for Sustainable Florida. "The opportunity to have these folks available in a manner where they can answer questions from the audience will be instrumental in showing how businesses can implement sustainable practices."

Lovins is the president of Natural Capitalism Solutions, a nonprofit organization working to make global society more environmentally friendly. She is co-author of "Natural Capitalism," and has lectured extensively in over 15 countries and at numerous universities nationwide.

A leading expert on the business value of corporate sustainability strategies, Willard is the author of "The Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a Triple Bottom Line" and "The Next Sustainability Wave: Building Boardroom Buy-in." He has given presentations to corporations, governments, academics and national government organizations.

The Business Case for Sustainability is centered on the notion that businesses can profit in the long run from eco-friendly endeavors, said Ted Astleford, assistant director of Experiential Learning Programs in the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Warrington College of Business Administration.

Astleford said the showcase could give students knowledge of environmentally friendly techniques that will help them to be more marketable in the professional world.

"In the upcoming years, nothing is going to be more pressing and in-demand than people who are knowledgeable about turning companies green, about renewable energies and about defending the climate," he said.

The showcase, sponsored by UF's Office of Sustainability, the Warrington College of Business Administration, the Council for Sustainable Florida and Accent Speaker's Bureau, is free and open to the public.

An open-discussion forum for businesses in the private sector with at least one speaker will be held Tuesday at 8 a.m. The location is to be determined.

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