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Portland, OR–February 4, 2009–The Australasian College of Health Sciences (ACHS) is now an approved member of Green America’s Green Business Network, America’s oldest network of socially and environmentally responsible businesses. To earn approval, the College passed Green America’s stringent screening process, including examination of the College’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions, increasing sustainable energy, and sourcing the most eco-responsible botanicals and essential oils available. Green America’s Green Business Network recognizes the College’s 30-year-commitment to advancing their green approach to distance-learning education.
Green America’s Green Business Network is a network of progressive business leaders, who are working to solve today’s social and environmental problems by growing the green economy: adopting principles, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for their customers, their employees, communities, and the environment. For ACHS, the only accredited, fully online holistic health college, the work of greening has some unique challenges and many rewards.
“The sustainability movement is no longer a niche thing at most colleges,” Peggy F. Barlett once told the New York Times. As she predicted: “There’s going to be a real cultural transformation in the coming years in this area.” At ACHS, this “cultural transformation” not only involves growing the green economy through an emphasis on eco-friendly coursework and course materials; the College is greening their approach to education in total.
In 2005, ACHS put their course lectures online, rather than printing and mailing them, which, over the past three years, has resulted in a 70 percent reduction in printing. This is one example of the College’s commitment to reducing their carbon emissions where and whenever possible. When in-house materials are required, the College has partnered with Xerox (their complete sustainability policy is available on the Xerox website), and for outside print jobs, like catalogs, ACHS uses only soy-based ink.
In addition, to further reduce carbon emissions, in 2009 ACHS launched their Sustainability Committee, which recently launched a tree planting initiative: the College will plant 10 trees through the American Forests organization for every participant in their 2010 study-abroad Summer School in Greece program.
The cumulative result of these decisions reduces environmental impact and waste, and equally important, supports the ethics and practices of green business. To that end, ACHS employs equally stringent standards when selecting botanicals for use in their coursework (which are also available for use by the community through the ACHS Apothecary Shoppe College Store). ACHS only sources their botanicals and essential oils through manufacturers that adhere to strict environmental standards, including the ban on child labor, forced labor, and unfair wages. College President Dorene Petersen and Vice President Erika Yigzaw visit the majority of essential oil and herb suppliers in person to verify that they are meeting environmental and labor standards, including every distiller the College has purchased from in the last two years: distillers in the U.S., Turkey, India, New Zealand, and France.
Green business is more than an idea. It is “a practical and powerful way to help create a more just and environmentally sustainable economy.” Green American’s Green Business Network provides resources for “socially and environmentally responsible businesses to emerge and thrive in communities across the U.S.,” and as a responsible business, ACHS models, as well as educates about and promotes, healthful living.
For more information about the Australasian College’s commitment to greening the economy, go to www.achs.edu and select “About.” To see the College’s listing on the Green America website, or to read more about the Green America screening process, go to: www.coopamerica.org.