Loyola Marymount University (LMU) participated as a cooperating organization in the Los Angeles Business Council’s (LABC) first Sustainability Summit Wednesday, July 18th, to help make Los Angeles a greener city.

The summit, titled “Capitalizing on Green Business: Incentives, Opportunities and Solutions,” was held at UCLA.

Featured speakers at the Sustainability Summit included Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles City Council president; industry leaders and financial experts in the area of sustainability.

“The 2007 Sustainability Summit is being convened at a critical time, when key private and civic stakeholders are setting out to make Los Angeles ‘the greenest city in the nation’,” said Mary Leslie, president of the Los Angeles Business Council.

LMU is committed to green-friendly practices, officials say. The university recycles treated waste water in its irrigation system, uses low-water consuming toilets and washers and developed the first university-wide recycling program in 1990, officials say.

All of the university’s green waste is recycled, and LMU was the first college campus to recycle 50 percent of all its generated solid waste, officials say.

The university has the largest solar roof system of any university in the world and more than 70 percent of LMU’s sprinklers are controlled by a central irrigation system that responds automatically to local weather conditions, officials say.

Most recently, LMU president Robert B. Lawton, S.J. created an Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Committee that will lay the foundation for the university’s campus-wide green-friendly efforts.

LMU has received awards and recognition for its environmental innovations, including a Green Power Purchasing Award for Onsite Generation.

“The entire LMU community is committed to creating a culture of sustainability through education, measurement and action,” said Lynne B. Scarboro, LMU’s senior vice president for administration and chair of the Environmental Committee.

Officials say that not only has going green been consistent with LMU’s mission, but it has also proved to be a sound business practice.

For example, by using on-site solar generation, LMU has been able to effectively integrate solar electricity into its energy mix, thereby lowering operating costs and reducing purchases of expensive peak electricity.

In addition to generating electricity, the solar roof system provides thermal insulation and protects the roof from weather and UV radiation, resulting in decreased heating and cooling energy costs and extended roof life. The solar roof system saves the university more than $150,000 a year, officials say.

The summit was established to provide businesses with practical and profitable ways to go green and addressed the incentives for and challenges of making those changes.