News & Events

Tuesday November 27, 2018 Sustainability Lab @ T-Rex Agenda

Open networking will take place from 3:30 to 7:00 in the T-Rex common area on the 5th floor.

To help us prepare for the Lab, please fill out this Google form and let us know which sessions you plan on attending.


3:30-3:45 Check-In

3:45-5:00 Session A: Update on the St. Louis Resiliency Assessment and Strategy

100 Resilient Cities, Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC supports the adoption and incorporation of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks—earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.—but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day-to-day or cyclical basis. The City of St. Louis was selected to join the 100 Resilient Cities Network because of its commitment to develop a resilience strategy that is tailored to individualized needs and capacity.

St. Louis is working to develop a comprehensive resilience strategy and assessing what resilience means for the City and all St. Louisans.  The Resilience Strategy allows the city to describe the future St. Louis we hope to become, and establish actionable goals in order to achieve that future. In addition to helping the city organize more effectively around innovation and a vision for the future, the resilience Strategy will also help city leaders prepare for, adapt to, and rebound as quickly as possible from the potentially disruptive shocks and stresses of today, as well as those that we will inevitably encounter tomorrow and beyond.

Presented by: Patrick Brown, City Resiliency Officer

3:45-5:00 Session B: Stormwater Management and Pollution

The purpose of the  St. Louis County Stormwater Management Plan is to improve area water quality by preventing harmful pollutants from being carried by stormwater runoff into local water bodies.   Several St. Louis area creeks and streams are damaged due to pollution from stormwater runoff.     

  • Pet Waste - Pet waste left on the ground pollutes stormwater when it rains or snows.  Pollutants associated with pet waste include bacteria, ammonia, oxygen demand, and nutrients (nitrogen).
  • Yard Management - Yard waste such as leaves, grass clippings, weeds, brush, and small twigs that are disposed of along a creek or in a storm drain can impact water quality.  Yard waste decaying in creeks decomposes and creates low dissolved oxygen, releases nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and elevates suspended solids. Stormwater containing fertilizers and pesticides from incorrect application and/or improper storage can also cause environmental problems.
  • Individual Sewage Disposal Systems - Commonly known as septic systems, these systems are designed to hold, treat, and dispose of household wastewater. Systems that are not properly installed and regularly serviced allow bacteria, viruses, nutrients, and ammonia to enter groundwater and streams.
  • Winter Deicing and Storage Activities - Significant levels of salt (e.g., sodium chloride and calcium chloride) in waters can occur when salt is applied on roads, parking lots and driveways during deicing activities. Chloride is highly soluble and very mobile in water.  High levels of chloride are toxic to aquatic life.
  • Household Hazardous Waste - Many products around the home are hazardous because they contain chemicals that are toxic, corrosive, flammable, or reactive.  Though usually safe if used according to the directions, when these products are no longer usable or wanted, they become household hazardous waste.  If dumped onto the ground or poured into the storm sewer.
  • Land Disturbance - Land disturbance is dredging, clearing, grading, excavating, transporting or filling from construction activities including but not limited to subdivisions, shopping centers, and road projects.  Sediment is the primary pollutant from land disturbance activities.
  • Fats, Oils, and Grease - Fats, oil, and grease (FOG) are found in common foods and food ingredients such as meat, fish, butter, cooking oil, gravy, sauces, mayonnaise, and food scraps.  There are also “hidden oils,” such as salad dressing, syrup, batter and cheese.   When FOG is poured down the drain, it can form blockages that restrict wastewater flow, eventually causing a blockage.  Blockages can cause sewer overflows that pollute streams.
  • Swimming Pools - Discharges (drains, overflows, and filter backwash water) of chlorinated pool water and saltwater to a storm sewer or stream contain pollutants such as elevated suspended solids, chlorides, and abnormal pH. These pollutants impact many species of aquatic life.
  • Industrial Activities - Stormwater runoff from industrial facilities can easily become polluted by metals, chemicals, sediment, fertilizers, and trash.  When exposed to the atmosphere, many industrial activities contribute to stormwater pollution (such as metal grinding and polishing, vehicle/equipment maintenance, improper disposal of hazardous waste, and more).  Wastes, residues, and byproducts from these activities can enter storm drains and streams harming aquatic life and impacting water quality. 

Presented by: Roland Biehl, St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District                    

5:30-6:45 Session A: Update on the regional greenhouse gas inventory

Students in the Washington University Sustainability Exchange built upon the previous semester's research into conducting a regional greenhouse gas inventory.  They will present their findings and conclusions from this semester's research.

5:30-6:45 Session B: ISSP Sustainability Drivers - The Words We Use. How to translate sustainability into something motivational.

How do we talk about the myriad of topics within sustainability associated with our Businesses, our Community, our Nation, and our Planet? What language fosters relevancy, urgency, and understanding without being perceived as dismissible or too radical? Join Kyle Crawford from the Greater St. Louis Chapter of the ISSP to explore what words we could use to help drive the sustainability conversation.


Experienced sustainability and planning professionals will be available on-site for one-on-one discussions to share their knowledge and experience.  If you would like to talk to one of the volunteer mentors, please fill in the Lab google form.  There will be a sign-in sheet at the Lab registration table to pick a time to speak with the mentors.

David Webb - available 3:45-5:00

David Webb is Director of the Emerson Leadership Institute, a center of distinction in the Chaifetz School of Business at Saint Louis University that develops executive education programs in ethical business leadership. David is also a lecturer in environmental studies at Washington University in St. Louis where he teaches undergraduate courses in sustainable business. He holds a Master of Science in Sustainability from Saint Louis University and a Certified Sustainability Professional designation from the International Society of Sustainability Professionals.