University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Northstar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise

Since our inaugural meeting in 2009, NiSE at the Institute on the Environment has continued to grow and refine its focus. NiSE has emerged as a leader in collaborative sustainability research by hosting and participating in ongoing relevant collaboration events and meetings. Here is a snapshot of some of the collaborative events NiSE has hosted and/or participated in.

October 22-24 | Supply Chain Coordination and Energy Efficiency Symposium

This symposium, sponsored by the Johnson Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, and NiSE, brought together key leaders and innovators across the supply chain to discuss how to accelerate industrial energy efficiency initiatives in small and medium enterprises.

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Participants shared lessons learned about obstacles encountered, success achieved and new innovations in the works to unlock the full potential of supply chain efficiency. Participants also discussed how these lessons contribute to improved supplier coordination, the business opportunities they present and the unique role aggregation plays in achieving scale. Outcomes of this symposium serve to advance the work of the Global Initiative on Financing Sustainability.

Event Materials

October 19, 2012 | Leading Edge Consortium Virtual Forum

NiSE hosted a Virtual Forum for the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology’s Leading Edge Consortium conference. The Virtual Forum allowed attendees to view the conference, which took place in New Orleans, LA, from the comfort of the Institute on the Environment. The 2012 LEC focused on “Environmental Sustainability at Work: Advancing Research, Enhancing Practice.”

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This conference brought together an interdisciplinary team of experts and keynote speakers from industry, psychological research, the environmental sciences, and consulting. Sessions addressed both interdisciplinary aspects and how science and practice can contribute, the business case for environmental sustainability, and how sustainability can become a competitive advantage, as well as specific issues relevant to implementation in organizations. Organizations at the cutting edge of environmental sustainability practices reported on their experiences with interventions to make their operations more sustainable through human resources.

May 7-8, 2012 | Recycling Symposium 2012

The Recycling Symposium 2012, focusing on Extended Producer Responsibility, convened on May 7th and 8th, 2012, at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota campus.

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This national symposium convened representatives and experts in the recycling community from more than 100 different organizations. NiSE hosted this two-day meeting organized by Keep America Beautiful as one in a series of meetings on recycling. KAB has organized meetings focused on recycling and climate change, “on the go” recycling strategies, and the psychology of recycling behavior. This year’s symposium focused on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) specifically as it relates to packaging and printed materials. The event was sponsored by Nestle Waters North America (lead sponsor) and Waste Management (supporting sponsor).
Event Materials

Agenda (PDF)

Event Website (with presentations available to download)

March 2, 2012 | Public Forum on National Security and Our Energy Future

NiSE co-sponsored a public forum on “National Security and Our Energy Future” with Jeremy Kalin, President and owner of Eutectics Consulting and British Consulate-General Chicago.

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The forum featured Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, Climate and Energy Security Envoy of the UK Ministry of Defense and Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti CB joined the Royal Navy in 1976. after attending the Higher Command and Staff Course, in 2004 Morisetti took command of the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible. In November 2005, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and appointed Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces, also serving as NATO High Readiness Force Maritime Commander. In July 2007, he was appointed Commandant of the Joint Services Command and Staff College. He became the United Kingdom’s Climate and Energy Security Envoy in November 2009.
Event Materials

February 23-24, 2012 | Life Cycle Assessment Seminar

NiSE hosted Julie Sinistore, PhD Candidate in Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center for a two-day seminar on Life Cycle Assessment modeling tool techniques.

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On February 23, 2012, Julie gave a talk titled “Beyond Political Boundaries: exploration of biomass production LCA for biofuels from an ecological-systems perspective,” where she discussed her work at the University of Wisconsin. By using 20 years of daily weather data, national soil survey, and land classification data, the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate model has provided her group with simulated data on biomass yield, emissions from soils, and nitrogen and phosphorus movement at a watershed-level for areas in Wisconsin and Michigan. Her group has integrated these data into a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) model which incorporates the upstream production and transport of major inputs to the agricultural system. On the second day of her visit, Julie led an LCA workshop, wherein she utilized her 5 years of experience with biofuel LCA modeling to teach practical LCA modeling tool techniques that are useful in bio-based product research.
Event Materials

January 20, 2012 | Visit with Cary Krosinsky, SVP of Trucost

Cary Krosinsky, SVP of Trucost and NiSE founding partner, paid a visit to the Institute on the Environment to present new findings concerning commodity pricing risk to supply chains and why resource efficiency has become a key way forward.

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These findings stem from Trucost’s collaboration with Puma. Trucost helps companies, investors, governments, academics and thought leaders understand the economic consequences of natural capital dependency. Using their world leading data and insight, they enable clients to identify natural capital dependency across companies, products, supply chains and investments; manage risk from volatile commodity prices and increasing environmental costs; and ultimately build more sustainable business models and brands.

October 20, 2011 | Minnesota Department of Commerce Site Visit

NiSE at the Institute on the Environment proudly hosted a site visit at the University of Minnesota with Commissioner of Commerce Michael Rothman and Deputy Commissioner of Energy and Telecommunications for the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

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The visit included key meetings with University President Eric Kaler, Vice President Tim Mulcahy, College of Design Director John Carmody, as well as other faculty. The visit highlighted solar energy research at the University of Minnesota, including a tour of Mechanical Engineering Professor Jane Davidson‘s solar energy lab and discussions with Chemical Engineering Professor Alon McCormick and Electrical Engineering Professor Steve Campbell on their respective research foci related to solar energy. The visit centered around renewable energy and sustainability research at the University of Minnesota.
Event Materials

Agenda (PDF)

Past Meetings

Each year, NiSE convenes its partners to discuss key sustainability challenges and best case solutions to these issues. These discussions drive our research and shape the next phase of our work. Originally called NorthStar Consortium Meetings, NiSE expanded the scope of this annual meeting in 2012 and held the inaugural Solutions Summit. Direct stakeholder engagement helped shape this expanded format. To learn more about our past meetings, click on the links below.

2011 Spring Meeting – June 28-29, 2011

2010 Fall Meeting – November 3-5, 2010

2010 Spring Meeting – May 20-21, 2010

2009 Inaugural Meeting – December 4, 2009

To learn more about the history of NiSE, click here.

NiSE is a program of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment.

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