NIST Conference on Standards: Enabler of Sustainability

05/17/2017 - 05/18/2017


Sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Michigan State University, NSF International, and Northwestern University

This industry-academic workshop will explore the nature and potential of technical standards that support sustainable solutions to the challenges industry is facing and will examine various strategies and methods to stimulate attention to standards-in-teaching.

Sustainability is a significant and growing concern for US industry confronting increased materials and energy costs and heightened expectations from their customers, investors, and communities to address environmental and societal needs. Responding to a McKinsey survey, industry executives reported that “sustainability is becoming a more strategic and integral part of their businesses.”  In response, companies are seeking ways to measure, verify, benchmark, communicate and guide usage and impact across full product lifecycles, including complex production and distribution systems and supply chains.

Sustainability is being addressed in higher education through a variety of comprehensive and interdisciplinary programs and courses ranging from product and service design to environmental management, engineering and science. However, the fundamental and enabling role of technical standards is often absent.

This workshop has two interrelated components:

*        Day 1 centers on presentations by industry stakeholders, teaching and research faculty, and standards experts on the most pressing sustainability challenges.  Breakout sessions will engage participant discussion on topics such as sustainable manufacturing, environmental management, sustainable agriculture and domestic and international sustainable development.

*        Day 2 (half-day) targets workforce education and training, including curricula development, and suggested class approaches.  Using a life-like standards negotiation role-play exercise participants will understand first-hand the process and politics of a multi-stakeholder standards development environment and grapple with the challenges, tensions, and trade-offs inherent in standards negotiation.

Thanks to the support of the workshop sponsors, there is no fee to attend this event. Lunch, breaks, and parking are provided.

Dates and Times
Wednesday, May 17, 8:30am-5:00pm
Thursday, May 18, 8:00am-12 Noon

Workshop Location
Henry Center for Executive Development (link is external)
3535 Forest Road, Lansing, MI 48910
Phone: (517) 353-4350
Fax: (517) 353-0796

Intended Audience

*        Teaching faculty and academic researchers focused on various aspects of Sustainability:  policy, strategic planning, economics, operations, marketing, engineering design, manufacturing, agriculture. 

*        Students working with participating faculty

*        Business leaders, managers, standards developers, and government policy makers at the operational and strategic levels


To reserve your place, please register on the Workshop Registration (link is external) site by Monday, May 8.

All participants must pre-register.  No walk-ins can be accommodated. Thanks to the support of the workshop sponsors there is no fee to attend this event. Lunch, breaks, and parking are provided.

Workshop Organizing Committee
Harold Chase, Legislative Director, NSF International
Jacob Courville, Director of Federal Affairs, Michigan State University
Jessica Evans, Director, Standards Development, NSF international
Doug Gage, Assistant Vice President, Michigan State University Office of Interdisciplinary Research (link is external)
Patricia Harris, International Standards Specialist, Standards Coordination Office, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Erik Puskar, Senior International Standards Specialist, Standards Coordination Office, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Jessica Slomka, Manager, National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF International
Jeffrey Strauss, Associate Director, Center for Technology and Innovation Management (CTIM), Buffet Center for International and Comparative Studies, Northwestern University