A groundbreaking $5 million gift from the Alberici Foundation – the single largest contribution the organization has given – established the Center for Sustainability at Saint Louis University in 2010.
A year later, a second notable gift, $2 million from the Asian energy company Banpu, created an endowed chair in sustainability and broke a record as the largest international gift in SLU’s history.
Both grants place priority on educating future green leaders in the business community and encouraging emerging ideas in sustainability. “The center will cross traditional boundaries, uniting a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, professors and students in a singular mission: making the world a better, more sustainable place,” says University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J.
Between the two gifts, $1.5 million has been earmarked for the Alberici Fund for Innovation in Sustainability. Public education, such as the “Sustainability Matters” series and other workshops have also become a focus.
The companies behind both gifts have personally embraced sustainability. Banpu’s founders, Chanin Vongkusolkit and Metee Auapinyakul, both SLU alumni, have focused on balanced growth that takes community and environmental development into consideration.
John Alberici, the namesake behind one of the St. Louis region’s largest privately held companies, established the Alberici Foundation to support, among other interests, his belief in environmental responsibility. Alberici’s St. Louis headquarters, a model of green building, was given the highest level of certification awarded by the U.S Green Business Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.