Green wave | Arkansas Blog

Friday, September 7, 2007

Green wave

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2007 at 5:52 AM

A touch of ironic timing. The same day we discuss Northwest Arkansas' contribution to the pollution of drinking water resources comes a Washington Post story on how that part of the world, Fayetteville particularly, could become the Silicon Valley of sustainability. Companies developing green technologies are flocking there to serve Wal-Mart's stated desire to become more environmentally friendly in operation and goods.

A wave of start-ups developing the technology to help suppliers prove their green credentials has swept into this sleepy college town, half an hour from the company's headquarters in Bentonville. Sanker is looking at ways to improve fuel efficiency in shipping. Others are developing agricultural-based alternatives to petroleum or studying how electronics can function at higher temperatures, thereby cutting energy use. The University of Arkansas has established the Applied Sustainability Center at the campus here using a $1.5 million grant from Wal-Mart.

It may seem an unlikely place for a green revolution, far from such traditional environmental strongholds as Portland and Seattle, but local officials hope Fayetteville will become to sustainability what Detroit is to the automotive industry and the Silicon Valley is to technology. In fact, they've coined their own term for the vision: Green Valley.



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