AVON — The 12th annual High Country Speaker Series, a partnership between the Eagle Valley Library District and Walking Mountains Science Center, begins Tuesday evening with a renowned global voice in sustainable environmental practices, Hunter Lovins. This winter’s theme is “Sustainability: Adapting today to preserve tomorrow.” A worldwide recognized leader in helping companies and communities profit from more sustainable practices, Lovins is the ideal person to kick off the series. She will speak Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon.
Lovins will explore the business case for pursuing sustainability. Lovins has worked with scores of industries and governments worldwide on sustainable development, energy and resource policy, climate change, and land management. She has consulted for governments and the private sector, briefing senior management at such groups as Interface, Mitsubishi, Bank of America, Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and numerous utility companies. Trained as a sociologist and lawyer, Lovins is the president and founder of Natural Capital Solutions and also a professor of sustainable business management at Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Bard College, and at Denver University. She is the author of many influential books on sustainability, such as “Natural Capitalism” (1999), “The Way Out: Kick starting Capitalism to Save our Economic Ass” (2011) and hundreds of papers and articles. Recipient of such honors as the Right Livelihood Award, Lindbergh Award and Leadership in Business, she was named Time Magazine 2000 Hero of the Planet and in 2009 Newsweek dubbed her a “Green Business Icon.”
This evening, Lovins will explore the business case for sustainability from several perspectives:
• How businesses are innovating through sustainability practices and changing the economic landscape.
• How green businesses are more profitable and marketable.
• How local communities and governments can be more sustainable and resilient to grow the local economy.
She believes that “business as usual” is no longer an option — change is imminent. Current ecosystems cannot support unsustainable practice and enhanced human and natural capital is more profitable in the long run for business.
Lovins’ message highlights the importance of the Actively Green 2015 sustainable business training, a local initiative of the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships organized by the Vail Valley Foundation. More information about this important initiative will also be provided Tuesday evening.
This program is underwritten by Kathy Borgen, Walking Mountains Science Center board member and passionate conservationist who thinks highly of Lovins approach.
“Hunter Lovins presents a model of sustainable change for the business world,” Borgen said. “It’s not doom and gloom ...and to boot (she wears them), she presents it in a reasonable, convincing and humorous manner.”
Future speakers include Wendy Pabich, environmental scientist and author of “Taking On Water”; poet Rosemerry Wathola Trommer; and conservation photographer, Boyd Norton.
For more information about the series contact Walking Mountains Science Center at 970-827-9725 or the Avon Public Library at 949-6797. All speaker events in the series are free to the public.