Contact Us  |  Search:  
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Science and Technology for Sustainability Program
Science and Technology for Sustainability Program
Policy and Global Affairs
Home About Us STS Roundtable Sustainability Across The Academies
Quick Links


Download a description of our program

Upcoming Events

View a list of Sustainability-related meetings at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Recent Events

Strengthening Sustainability Program at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels: A Workshop
February 13, 2019, Washington, DC

Food Loss and Waste Workshop

October 17, 2018, Washington, DC

Report Release: Housing, Health and Homelessness
July 11, 2018 11am-12pm, Washington, DC

Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability

January 30-21, 2018, Washington, DC

Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability 

Keck Center of The National Academies
500 Fifth Street NW, Room 100
Washington, DC
May 5-6, 2011

Meeting Summary                                                                                                                                               

The Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability met on May 5-6, 2011 in Washington, DC. This meeting was the fourth in a series of discussions exploring linkages between topics critical to long-term sustainability. The premise is that sustainability is a systems problem that cannot be achieved by separately optimizing its piece. The meeting began with a discussion of the sustainability of non-renewable materials with a focus on the materials-sustainability nexus, material stockpiles, and the recycling potential of non-renewables. Roundtable members were asked to consider the topic of non-renewable linkages and provide input on how this topic might be addressed in the proposed NRC study on Sustainability Linkages.

Roundtable members were provided with updates on current STS Program activities: Incorporating Sustainability in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; A Sustainability Challenge: Food Security for All (First workshop held February 16-17, 2011, and second workshop held May 2-4, 2011); Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Lessons from the Houston Metropolitan Region; Energy Sustainability: A Meeting Series; and the Network for Emerging Leaders in Sustainability (NELS). Roundtable members also participated in breakout group discussions focusing on the path for moving forward with various Roundtable activities including connecting sustainability silos and the impact of federal budgets on sustainability research. 

Roundtable members discussed a potential future area of focus entitled "Global Sustainability Initiative--The Influence of Business on Prospects for the Sustainability Transition", which would examine the progress global corporations have made in transitioning toward sustainability over the last 20 years. A panel of representatives from industry presented on their sustainability initiatives and were followed by a panel of "outsiders" who commented on their impressions of sustainability in the private sector. Roundtable members then engaged in a discussion with these panels.

Agenda and Presentations                                                                                                                               

Final Agenda [PDF, 49KB]

May 5 (Keck 100)

8:30 – 9:00         Breakfast available

9:00 – 9:30         Welcome, Introductions and Meeting Goals (Tom Graedel / Ann Bartuska, STS Roundtable Co-Chairs)

The Sustainability of Non-Renewable Materials (Tom Graedel / Ann Bartuska, STS Roundtable Co-Chairs)

9:30 – 9:45        Review of Sustainability Linkages Approach (Tom Graedel, Yale University)

9:45 – 10:00      Introduction to Panel (MIke Kavanaugh, Geosyntec Consultants)

10:00 – 10:30    Sustainability of the Energy Materials (Diana Bauer, U.S. Department of Energy)

10:30 – 11:00    The Materials-Sustainability Nexus (Martin Green, National Insitute of Standards and Technology)

11:00 – 11:15    Break

11:15 – 11:45    Material Stockpiles, Past and Future (Stephen Surface, Defense Logistics Agency)

11:45 – 12:15    The Recycling Potential of Non-Renewable Materials (Tom Graedel, Yale University)

12:15 – 12:45    Open Discussion

12:45 – 1:40       LUNCH

Current Activities
(Ann Bartuska, STS Roundtable Co-Chair)

1:40 – 2:00         Incorporating Sustainability in the US Environmental Protection Agency (Bernard Goldstein, University of Pittsburgh)

2:00 – 2:20         A Sustainability Challenge: Food Security for All: First Workshop held February 16-17, 2011,  
                             and Second Workshop May 2-4, 2011 (Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Cornell University)

2:20 – 2:35         Parthways to Urban Sustainability: Houston Metropolitan Region: Workshop planned Summer 2011 
                             (Glen Daigger, CH2M HILL)

2:35 – 2:45         Network for Emerging Leaders in Sustainability (NELS) 
                             Energy Sustainability: A Meetings Series: Project in Development
(Marina Moses, The National Academies)

2:45 – 3:00         Break
Breakout Discussions

3:00 – 4:00         Breakout Discussions

  • Connecting Sustainability Silos (Dennis Treacy, Smithfield Foods) (Keck 100)
  • Federal Budgets and Sustainability Research  (Bruce Hamilton, National Science Foundation) (Keck 105)
4:00 – 4:30         Report Back and Discussion of Breakouts
4:30 – 5:00         Open Discussion

6:00 – 6:30         ReceptionPotomac Room, The Melrose Hotel

6:30 – 8:30         Working Dinner Potomac Room, The Melrose Hotel 
(Steven Koonin, U.S. Department of Energy)

May 6 (Keck 100)

Global Sustainability Initiative – The Influence of Business on Prospects for the Sustainability Transition
9:10 – 9:20         Introduction to Panel (Bob Stephens, Multi-State Working Group on Environmental Performance)
9:20 – 9:50         The Context – Overview of Global Progress since Rio: what is driving sustainability efforts and 20 years of progress?
(Terry Yosie, President and CEO, World Environment Center)         
9:50 – 10:35       Overview of Leading Corporate Sustainability Activities
                              o        Glen Daigger (CH2MHill)
                              o        Theresa Kotanchek (The Dow Chemical Company)
                              o        Ephi Banaynal dela Cruz (SAP Corp)
10:35 – 10:50     Break
10:50 – 11:20     The View from Outside (Panel Discussion 1)
                              o        James Griffiths (World Business Council on Sustainable Development)
                              o        Cary Coglianese (University of Pennsylvania)
                              o        Matt Arnold (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
11:20 – 11:50     Dialogue between Insiders and Outsiders (Panel Discussion 2)
11:50 – 12:10     General DiscussionPotential next steps
12:10 – 12:30     Strategic Planning for Future Roundtable Activities 
                              (Tom Graedel and Ann Bartuska)
12:30 pm            Wrap up (Tom Graedel / Ann Bartuska)
12:45 pm            Adjourn


Disclaimer: This website contains unedited verbatim presentations made by workshop participants and is not an official report of the National Academies. Opinions and statements included in this material are solely those of the individual authors. They have not been verified as accurate, nor do they necessarily represent the views of other workshop participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.