Blumenauer Bill to Establish College Sustainability Curriculums Passes House

July 31, 2008
Press Release
Washington, DC – Today the House passed Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s (D-Ore) Higher Education Sustainability Act of 2007, which establishes a competitive grant program for universities and places of higher education to develop and implement sustainability curriculums, practices and academic programs. The bill, which Blumenauer introduced in September, passed as part of the Higher Education Act, HR 4137. 

“Today Congress passed legislation that will help train the next generation of scientists, engineers, planners and business professionals by advancing sustainability curriculums at our colleges and universities,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “As the price of energy soars, we need a workforce that is trained to be as sustainable and efficient as possible. It is no surprise that colleges, universities, and respected companies, including Nike and Intel, endorsed this bill. It will not only help them protect the planet, but it will ensure America remains competitive in a world with fewer and more costly resources.”

90 percent of surveyed Fortune 500 CEOs stated that they want sustainable development to become part of their mission.

“A key component of Nike’s ongoing sustainability strategy is to find new partners, both within our supply chain and the public sector that can help advance our work,” said Brad Figel, Director of Government Affairs for Nike. “This legislation will go a long way in creating and implementing integrated environmental, economic, and social sustainability programs in higher education institutions across the country, which then will help us and other companies meet our sustainable business development goals.”

“Higher education has a critical role in supporting the development of a workforce skilled in clean tech and green collar job opportunities,” said Jonathan Williams, Government Affairs Manager for Intel. “These careers include a combination of disciplines including science, technology, engineering and math, all of which are critical to the continued success of Intel, the high tech community and the emerging renewable energy sector.  The Higher Education Sustainability Act promotes the development of these disciplines within the education community and supports the economic development of these industries.”

The Higher Education Sustainability Act promotes multidisciplinary education, research, and outreach programs that address environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability. It ensures that programs and practices developed under the name of sustainability are high caliber and directly address national needs.