UOG to launch ‘circular’ economy initiative

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The University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability and Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu developed a partnership and grant proposal at the Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes annual meeting in Germany, which resulted in a $10,000 grant to stimulate island circular economy industries. (From left) Jennifer Carter, executive director, GCSO; Kā`eo Duarte, vice president of community engagement, Kamehameha Schools; Austin Shelton, executive director, UOG Center for Island Sustainability; Talia Ruth, strategy consultant; and Shawn Kanaiaupuni, director of policy analysis and system evaluation, both with Kamehameha Schools. Photo courtesy of the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability.

 

The University of Guam is launching the Guam Green Growth (G3) Initiative to contribute to a new green economy for the island.

According to the UOG Center for Island Sustainability, the standard economic model is linear, meaning resources are extracted, turned into products, and then disposed of after use. A circular economy, on the other hand, minimizes waste and pollution, keeps materials in use, and regenerates natural systems.

Austin Shelton, executive director of the UOG Center for Island Sustainability, said accelerating a circular economy is a sustainable solution to Guam’s heavy reliance on imports and massive production of waste.

The G3 Initiative will start this month by offering the first-ever Island Circular Economy Industry Workshop for small-business owners, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs. The full-day workshop will be led by two sustainable development experts from Arizona State University: Rajesh Buch, director of sustainability practice and international development, and Amanda Jordan, program coordinator for the Resource Innovation & Solutions Network Incubator.

UOG is also working with the Guam Economic Development Authority and the Guam Unique Merchandise & Art Business Incubator to stimulate new island circular economy industries.

A $10,000 grant awarded to the Center for Island Sustainability will start familiarizing the community with the benefits of transitioning to a circular economy.

The grant was made possible through a partnership among UOG, ASU, and Kamehameha Schools, all members of the Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes. The consortium is an international network of universities and research institutes advancing solutions to sustainability that the University of Guam was invited to join in July last year.

The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13, in Room 235 of the Jesus and Eugenia Leon Guerrero School of Business and Public Administration on the University of Guam campus.

Registration is $25 per person and includes lunch. Those interested can register at www.uogcis.regfox.com/circular. Seating is limited. For more information, contact Myracle Mugol at 482-0254 or mugolm@triton.uog.edu. A circular economy workshop will also be held in Hawaii.

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