School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Receives $1.2 Million Luce Foundation Grant for Industrial Ecology Program in Asia

The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies has received a $1.2 million grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to establish a program of collaborative industrial ecology in Asia.

“We are grateful for this vote of confidence in the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies’ efforts to guide global environmental policies through its research, education and training,” Yale President Richard C. Levin said.

The grant was announced by Henry Luce III, chairman and CEO of the Luce Foundation, as part of its program in Public Policy and the Environment, a new five-year initiative.

“We are particularly pleased that Yale’s proposal to us was one of the best in a strong group of candidates and that it symbolizes and reinforces Yale’s current endeavors toward globalization and environmentalism,” said H. Christopher Luce, the Program Director.

The Luce grant will enable the school to establish faculty and student exchanges between Yale and Asian universities, provide fellowships for graduate research at Yale, prepare teaching materials and texts targeted for Asian audiences, and add a new dimension to executive training in environmental management in Asia.

“The School of Forestry and Environmental Studies is vigorously pursuing an effort to ‘go global,’” Dean of Forestry and Environmental Studies James Gustave Speth said. “We are working to increase the international composition of the student body and the faculty, and we are directing equal energy to expanding cooperative relationships with institutions like ours around the world. This is a key component of our strategy to increase attention to the global change agenda and educate the environmental leadership who will tackle the challenges of developing societies.”

Industrial Ecology: A New Framework for Environmental Decision-making
The School of Forestry and Environmental Studies has embraced industrial ecology, a growing field of thought that examines the environmental consequences of production and consumption, as a critical tool for environmental management, science and policy. The school is home to the Center for Industrial Ecology and the Journal of Industrial Ecology, the leading peer-reviewed publication in the field.

The center is led by Thomas Graedel, one of the founders of this field, who joined Yale in 1997 from AT&T Bell Labs. The Luce grant will expand the program, allowing Yale to focus on the environmental challenges presented by the unprecedented expansion of Asian industrial activity that is anticipated in the next two decades.

“In China, fully 80 percent of the industrial stock of plant and equipment that will be in place in 2020 has not yet been built,” said Reid Lifset, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Industrial Ecology and Yale University research scholar. “Precisely because much of the infrastructure in Asia has yet to be designed or built, this growth presents a powerful and unprecedented opportunity to shape development in ways unavailable to the developed world, where existing infrastructure is still being adapted to reduce pollution.”

Fostering International Education and Exchange
The Luce grant also will foster a collaborative program in international education and exchange, supporting curriculum development, student support, faculty exchanges, executive training and expanded coverage of Asia in the Journal of Industrial Ecology.

The school’s Industrial Environmental Management Program will recruit and support master’s degree students from Asian countries during the three years of the grant. In addition, the Luce grant will fund each year a sabbatical for one Asian professor at Yale and a reciprocal sabbatical by a Yale professor at an institution in Asia for purposes of teaching and program development. It also will facilitate summer internships for students with Asian companies by making funds available to help locate and cultivate potential employers.

In the area of executive training, Asian professionals will participate in the Corporate Environmental Leadership Seminar, a two-week intensive course in environmental management and policy, led by Marian Chertow, director of the Industrial and Environmental Management Program.

“This international exchange, focused on developing the capacity of Asian institutions and a cohort of environmental leaders and professionals within the field of industrial ecology, will have a sustained and wide-reaching impact on Asia’s environment and the institutions and businesses faced with meeting the dual goals of environmental protection and economic growth there,” Dean Speth said.

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Dave DeFusco: david.defusco@yale.edu, 203-436-4842