The commitment by the Walmart chairman and his wife will enable GIOS to develop and deploy promising solutions to sustainability challenges — including energy, water, environment, climate, urbanization, social transformation, and local, national, and global decision-making — and educate future leaders about sustainability. Over the next five years, the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Fund will support strategies designed to deliver sustainability solutions through a consulting service, training, and youth programming; provide seed funding for the most promising high-impact ideas in sustainability research; build an international sustainability network through a new global sustainability studies program and solutions centers on three continents; and train the next generation of sustainability scholars and practitioners through a fellowship program.
The Waltons are longtime supporters of sustainability and conservation programs in Arizona. Rob Walton also is co-chair of the board for sustainability at ASU and director of Conservation International, while Melani is an active supporter of the Nature Conservancy of Arizona as well as Conservation International.
"Rob and Melani Walton have been integral in helping ASU realize its sustainability vision with Rob as a board member of GIOS, facilitating the creation of the nation's first School of Sustainability, and now with this investment," said ASU president Michael M. Crow. "Their commitment will significantly advance our work to find local solutions to global problems that will help us create a sustainable way of life."