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Sustainability is a Global Enterprise

Jul 08, 2010

Between June 30 and July 2, the Board of Trustees for Sustainability at Arizona State University (ASU), USA met with international experts from industry, the sciences and the political scene for a conference and exchange of views, knowledge and experience. The topics discussed ranged from the role of multinational companies and political programs to sustainability science in higher education.

“We are delighted to welcome so many international experts from business, industry and economics, as well as the sciences and politics here today,” said Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted in his opening address to the assembled participants. These had convened under the auspices of the Global Institute of Sustainability for a three-day conference under the heading “Sustainability is a Global Enterprise". Taking his lead from the conference’s title, Rorsted continued: “The world population is growing, the average standard of living is rising and so is consumption associated with it. We have to promote sustainable consumption worldwide. Consequently, we are very pleased to have this unique opportunity for discussing and exchanging examples of best practice from the various disciplines and regions represented here today."

Among the guests were the President of Arizona State University, Michael Crow, major US business figures and members of the Board of Trustees for Sustainability at ASU Julie Ann Wrigley, Wrigley Investments LLC, and S. Robson Walton, Chairman of the Board of Wal-Mart, plus Karl Falkenberg, Director-General of Environment of the European Commission, and Professor Masaru Yarime, expert in sustainability issues at the University of Tokyo. The agenda included discussion of the role and duties of multinational corporations in the sustainability domain, the presentation of political programs formulated by the European Union, and reports on sustainability science in higher education.

All the sustainability initiatives of Arizona State University are pooled under the umbrella of the Global Institute of Sustainability, which was founded in 2004. ASU is the first university in the USA to offer interdisciplinary bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in sustainability as an academic subject. The curriculum is comprised of modules from the fields of ecology, economics and the social sciences.

As a company with decades of experience in the sustainability domain, Henkel has been in close professional contact with scientists and academics of Arizona State University for several years now. At the focus of this collaborative partnership is the preparation of so-called life cycle assessments. These determine the environmental impacts of products over their entire life cycle. And Brad Casper, President and CEO Henkel Consumer Goods Inc. in North America, has, since its establishment, supported the work of the Global Institute of Sustainability as a founder member of its Sustainability Consortium project.

Henkel provides extensive information on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, plus all the relevant rankings and ratings, on its website http://www.henkel/com/sustainability.

Further material is available at

Henkel has been committed to making people's lives easier, better and more beautiful for more than 130 years. A Fortune Global 500 company, Henkel offers strong brands and technologies in three areas of competence: Home Care, Personal Care and Adhesive Technologies. Each day, about 50,000 employees worldwide are dedicated to fulfilling Henkel's claim "A Brand like a Friend”. In fiscal 2009, Henkel generated sales of 13,573 million euros and adjusted operating profit of 1,364 million euros.

The Global Institute of Sustainability is the hub of ASU’s sustainability initiatives. The Institute advances research, education and business practices for an urbanizing world. Its School of Sustainability, the first of its kind in the U.S., offers transdisciplinary degree programs that advance practical solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges. For more information visit the Global Institute of Sustainability at

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