Published: October 08, 2008
Most visitors to Busch Gardens know that Jungala is a hot new
attraction. But what they may not know is that the exhibit was made from
recycled parts of discontinued rides.
This is just one of
several sustainability initiatives to be recognized by The Earth Charter
U.S. at the Sustainable Business Awards of Tampa Bay. The Charter
worked with a group of University of Tampa graduate students who chose
Busch Gardens and 15 other local businesses to be the first recipients
of the award.
The awards will be presented at a luncheon
on Friday, Oct. 10 in UT’s Vaughn Center, marking the kickoff of the
Earth Charter Global Climate Change Community Summit – a global
environmental conference, taking place at UT on Saturday, Oct. 11.
businesses are doing great things and no one knows,” said Rakefet
Bachur-Cohen, a UT graduate student who helped develop the awards in
addition to coordinating the Earth Charter Summit. “And they’re not
doing it to gain a competitive advantage. They just do it because it’s
the right thing to do.” [view all winners].
UT graduate team developed the awards criteria and led the campaign to
market the awards to bay area businesses and evaluated the nominations
for Earth Charter. The team includes Elli Armstrong, Bachur-Cohen, Sejal
Dsouza, Emily Ghosh, Christine Goodwin, Sulman Hamid, Radmila
Marinkovic and Fayez Shafi. The team’s advisor is Dr. Daniel Verreault,
UT associate professor of accounting.
In addition to the
Sustainable Business Awards, the daylong summit the following day will
feature videoconferences, workshops and lectures with the goal of
developing locally based solutions to climate change. Representatives
from 25 cities throughout the world will participate in a “Global
Round-Robin,” giving two-minute presentations via a satellite hookup
about their cities’ efforts to combat climate change. Highlights
- Alexander Likhotal, president and CEO of Green Cross International
and advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev, will speak at UT at 11:05 a.m.
- Lunch and the “Webcast Global Round-Robin” will run from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m.
- From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. children can participate in Earth Scouts, a
scouting program for boys and girls ages 3-13. The festival features
children’s hands-on activities in human rights, respect for nature,
economic justice and a culture of peace. For more information, go to
- A post summit party, with live music, food and beverages, will be held at 4:15 p.m. for registered attendees.
“Being the first of its kind in Tampa Bay and essentially the
country, we hope that the upcoming summit will thrust the issue (of
sustainability) to the national spotlight and help us spread the message
to a much greater audience,” said UT graduate team member Hamid.
public is invited to the free day-long summit, which will be held in
Falk Theatre and the Vaughn Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration
begins at Falk Theatre at 10 a.m.
For a schedule of events for the Earth Charter Summit, go to
Earth Charter is a nonprofit organization that upholds an international
declaration of values and principles for building a just, sustainable
and peaceful global society.