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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Solutions For Florida's Energy Needs

Several projects underway

Florida's universities are working together to create solutions to Florida's energy needs. The Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC) is comprised of leaders in energy research and development from a variety of learning institutions who meet to exchange ideas and information as well as work towards solving the issues facing Floridians and America as whole today and in the future.

The FESC is pursuing several projects currently, such as solar thermal testing, design and construction, biomass energy production and wave power generation. The consortium works to raise awareness and educate the general public, sharing its resources for educational and research purposes. For more information about the project, visit

Monday, September 28, 2009

Gator Volleyball Hosts A Green Night

Opportunities to participate in eco-friendly activities

As part of the University Athletic Association’s efforts to go green, the UF Volleyball Team is hosting Green Game festivities for the UF vs. Kentucky match on Friday, October 2 at 7 PM at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Come out to the match and check out all the eco-friendly initiatives being provided by the University of Florida’s Office of Sustainability and Neutral Gator.

Neutral Gator will participate in the UAA's Green Game festivities at the UF vs. Kentucky Volleyball match. Fans can visit their table at Gate One to participate in activities geared toward developing a greater understanding of a carbon footprint and what each person can do to reduce it. They will have shirts, stickers, buttons, and wrist bands for fans who want to take a pledge to reduce their footprint.

The Office of Sustainability will have on site the Sustainability Hut, which has interactive games and opportunities to learn about how you can apply sustainability in your own life. Fans are also encouraged to take alternative transportation to the match, such as riding a bike, taking the bus, or car pooling. The first 100 fans that have chosen to ride their bike to the match will receive Gator Reusable shopping bags (bike racks will be provided outside and between Gates 1 and 4).

In addition to these activities, the UAA and the Alachua County Library District have teamed up to raise books for the United Way of North Central Florida Success by 6 Book Drive. Bring two like-new children’s books on October 2nd and receive free admission to the volleyball game.

Books collected before the game will go to benefit the Success by 6 local literacy programs. Books collected through this effort will be used to create home libraries, and will also be distributed to selected child care centers in the Gainesville area.

For more information on the Gator Volleyball match, visit's Volleyball page.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

UF's Carbon Action Plan

Announcing new initiative

UF President Machen was the first to sign the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2006. The Presidents Climate Commitment provides a framework and support for America’s colleges and universities to go climate neutral.

The Commitment recognizes the unique responsibility that institutions of higher education have as role models for their communities and in training the people who will develop the social, economic and technological solutions to reverse global warming. Signatories pledge to eliminate their campuses’ greenhouse gas emissions over time- UF has a 2025 carbon neutrality goal.

As part of the commitment, UF completed an emissions inventory, initiated several short term actions laid out in the ACUPCC, and set a target date and interim milestones for becoming climate neutral. We are proud to announce the completion of UF’s Carbon Action Plan (CAP), setting GHG emission reduction targets in line with the federal American Clean Energy and Security Act.

The plan outlines the University of Florida’s intent to: foster organizational leadership and create institutional culture change; initiate, implement, and monitor energy efficiency strategies; continue and expand GHGE reduction campaigns; and install a minimum of 100 kW of on-site renewable energy. Implementation of the plan will be a collaborative effort. The UF CAP will be reviewed for progress annually and revised/updated every three years based on experiences and lessons learned throughout implementation of each progressive phase.

You can access the highlights of the plan at ACUPCC's website. The complete plan is also available.

Gators Going Green

New Student Government agency on campus

UF Student Government has taken recent strides toward pursuing a more sustainable campus with the creation of the Gators Going Green Agency.

"The agency will act as the sustainability conscious for Student Government," said Bailey Kilbourne, the agency's newly appointed student director. "Gators Going Green will execute projects that will continue to lead students and our campus towards our goals of Carbon Neutrality and Zero Waste, as well as educate students throughout the entire campus on sustainability topics and issues."

Kilbourne brings not only her own valuable knowledge as an Environmental Science Major and Sustainability Studies Minor, but experience as an intern right here at the UF Office of Sustainability, where she helped spearhead the Sustainability Hut project as well as a variety of other successful campaigns.

The agency will oversee a host of upcoming projects, such as a campus wide lecture hall recycling pilot, green graduation pledge and green alumni network, as well as serving as a general resource for many student organizations across campus in the area of sustainability. The office is looking forward to seeing the agency effect positive change across student government and assist in the implementation of the university's sustainability-oriented goals.

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Staff Join the UF Sustainability Team

Office of Sustainability team

It is with great pleasure that I introduce the two newest members of the Office of Sustainability - Stephanie Sims and Jessica Song (pictured at left).

Stephanie Sims is taking on a new position as Implementation Coordinator. She will work with stakeholders across campus to support the Vision for a Sustainable UF Implementation Plans. Stephanie has a B.S. in Biological Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida.

Stephanie has worked with the Office of Sustainability on a number of previous projects, including the Inaugural Florida Campus and Community Sustainability Conference, the pilot phase AASHE Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) reporting, and various campus outreach events.

Jessica Jinah Song is the new Program Coordinator, and will take on outreach, education, and programming for the office, including coordinating the Green Teams. She recently obtained her Master of Arts in Public Relations from the University of Florida. She also holds a Bachelor's in Public Relations with a Minor in Business Administration.

Jessica has brought leadership to a number of student organizations including the Asian American Student Union, Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc., and Student Government’s Multicultural Cabinet. Her master's thesis focused on Corporate Social Responsibility.

We are all excited to continue supporting the great work people are doing for sustainability throughout UF, and are looking forward to growing and expanding the efforts of the office to keep UF at the forefront of the sustainability movement.

Thanks for joining me in welcoming Stephanie and Jessica to the team,

Anna Prizzia, Director