Dr. Alexander J.B. Zehnder "Opporitunities and Challenges on the Way to Sustainabilty"

Wednesday, March 02, 2011, 6:30pm - 8:00pm

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Dr. Alexander J.B. Zehnder, Scientific Director of the Alberta Water Research Institute (AWRI), is recognized as one of the world's leading experts on water and water management. He is the founder and director of Triple Z Consulting, and is Professor emeritus of ETH Zurich. Dr. Zehnder is the co-founder and a member of the board of directors of SPG (Sustainable Performance Group), Europe's largest investment company focusing on sustainable production and manufacturing, former director of the Swiss Water Research Institute, EAWAG, member of the industrial advisory board of Zouk Ventures in London, and of the Council STS (Science and Technology in Society) forum Kyoto.

With the ever growing pressure to decrease our dependence on natural resources, The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design recognizes the immediate need to challenge the status quo and provide a platform for engaging environmental speakers such as international expert Dr. Alexander J.B. Zehnder, who will speak on Wednesday, March 2 at 6:30pm in The Great Hall of The Cooper Union. Zehnder, scientific director of the Alberta Water Research Institute, is renowned for his cutting edge successes in both sustainability research and in turning sustainability from an academic hope into a business reality.  He played a key role in designing the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, marking the first global indexes dedicated to tracking the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. The goal of the initiative is to help guide investors in the long term implications of their investment decisions.

As founder and director of the Sustainable Performance Group, the largest sustainable investment fund in Europe, Zehnder is a co-creator of the 2000 Watt Society, a vision where each person in the developed world would cut their over-all rate of energy use to an average of no more than 2,000 watts by the year 2050. This approach has been adopted by Zurich as the long term guide to its energy management.

The Jack & Lewis Rudin Charles E. Schaffner distinguished lecture series was established by Jack and Lewis Rudin, two of New York’s illustrious business and civic leaders, in honor of Cooper Union alumnus Charles E. Schaffner, a civil engineering graduate of 1941. Topics in the speakers address the larger interdisciplinary impact of technology and science both nationally and internationally.

Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.