Life cycle and social impact assessment expert to speak at WMU

Contact: Anne Copeland
Headshot, Dr. Gregory Norris


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Developing methods to account for the positive effects of individual and corporate sustainability efforts—and not just the harms being caused—is the topic of a free lecture at Western Michigan University Thursday, March 15.

Update March 9, 2018: Dr. Gregory Norris’ visit, originally scheduled for Thursday, March 15, has been canceled.

Dr. Gregory Norris, of Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, will speak on "NetPositive Enterprise: A New Form of Accounting for Achieving Well-Being Societies, Sustainable Economic Development, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals," from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in 1910 Sangren Hall. Free parking will be available in Parking Lot 41, behind Sangren Hall.


An internationally acclaimed expert on life cycle and social impact assessment, Norris co-directs the Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise, or SHINE, at Harvard's School of Public Health. He goes beyond traditional assessment to also consider social impacts, both positive and negative. He is also chief scientist with the International Living Future Institute, with programs including the Living Building Challenge, the Living Product Challenge and the Living Community Challenge. These programs point the way to restorative futures in which buildings, products, organizations and people give more than they take.

He is the founder of New Earth, a nonprofit institute that develops technologies to help citizens across the globe drive sustainable development from the bottom up. Its projects include the Social Hot Spots Database, a transparent data source on supply-chain impacts and opportunities for improving human rights, working conditions, community and other social impacts, and Handprinter, which helps people take actions that compensate for their environmental and social footprints at home and the workplace. Norris' mantra is, "Don't let the good that you do be constrained by the harm you're now causing."

Norris' visit is sponsored by WMU's Office for Sustainability in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Business Practices and the Haworth College of Business.

For more information, visit or contact the Office for Sustainability at (269) 387-0943.

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