Cornell and the University of Southern California will use seed grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to launch the new National Center for Eco-Industrial Development. Aiming to facilitate job growth and sustainable industrial expansion uneconomically distressed communities, the new center will promote industrial ecology, establish Eco-industrial parks, and expand the use of environmentally benign manufacturing processes and techniques that will maximize communities’ development potential while preserving the environment.“Just a few years ago,the promise of sustainable growth without trashing the environment was fringe idea,” said Ed Cohen-Rosenthal, director of Cf’s Work and Environment Initiative (WEI)and co-director of the National Center for Eco-Industrial Development.“Now, Eco-industry is moving into the main stream of economic development, bringing with it a focus on new partnerships in business and new, rewarding jobs in healthful workplaces.”
Leonard Mitchell, co-director of the new national center and director of the USC Center for Economic Development, added,“The center will be particularly active in promoting large-scale Eco-industrial development projects in conjunction with business entities in the United States and globally who demonstrate an interest in and a commitment to pursuing business strategic advantage through policies embracing business ecology, benign manufacturing and nonindustrial practices, driving sustainable business expansion and job creation.”The EDS-NOAAgrant will allow the new center’s researchers to develop a national training program, initiate a consortium of university researchers working one co-industrial development, provide technical assistance, and prepare web-based resource’s WEI has been providing assistance to proposed Eco-industrialparks since 1993. “The Phillips Eco-Enterprise Center of Minneapolis Institute,” recounts Cohen-Rosenthal, “is using the geothermal capabilities of their site as an alternative source of energy, and they’re finding new ways to re-use build ING materials. This is all happening in one of the poorest neighborhoods of the city. This is what sustainable development is all about.”
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