Welcome to the new school year! It's always an exciting time for students, parents and teachers. There is so much anticipation for the coming year.
Our second grader in the house will now get graded with As and Bs (hoping that she doesn't get anything lower). That means that she will be measured against what is important. And feedback is important.
The Florida Green School Network
has a dashboard
that measures school district performance. Using data from a variety of public sources, you can see how you stack up. Be sure to check it out.
We hope that you will join us in Palm Beach Gardens September 13th for the Best Practice Awards dinner
. Here you will meet, learn about and be inspired by those who are the best in seven divisions. Learn about some of the finalists below. You really should join us for great people, food, drink and Florida's future.
There are several events coming over the next couple months. We encourage you to check them out and learn more.
All the best,
Tim Center, Esq.
P.S. Be sure to join us on Facebook
to keep up to date on the latest sustainability news in Florida and beyond.
Join Us to Toast the Best!
The 2012 Sustainable Florida Best Practice Awards saw nearly 90 nominations reviewed and scored by a great panel of judges. (And we love our judges! Thank you!)
The competition was tough and we are proud to announce the finalists in the seven divisions.
- Okeechobee Organics Recycling Facility - the most advanced aerated composting technology to process food residuals in South Florida opened in November 2011 as a result of a forward-thinking, successful partnership between Waste Management, Publix, Florida Power & Light and Garick.
- Rosen Hotels & Resorts - The company sets an example with programs such as helping to launch Green Destination Orlando, recycling used cooking oil to power its golf maintenance carts, lauding and encouraging green practices among employees with an award for green efforts and encouraging their guests including meeting planners to easily incorporate green into their meetings.
- Saddle Creek Transportation, A subsidiary of Saddle Creek Corporation - for its multi-million dollar investment in specially designed trucks that run exclusively on compressed natural gas (CNG) and CNG fueling station at its headquarters in Lakeland.
- Bee Authentic - a fundraising company that offers products like - beeswax candles, and other products that are sustainable, have minimal environmental impact, support the American worker, and we are helping schools achieve record results over other fundraising companies.
- Bing Energy- a Tallahassee-based startup with plans to revolutionize the production of power by creating a new generation of hydrogen fuel cells that are less expensive, smaller, lighter and more durable than anything available today.
- First Green Bank - one of the first banks in the country to have an environmental and social mission.
- City of Boynton Beach and The Boynton Beach CRA - for its Climate Action Plan which incorporates the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), and the Community Redevelopment Agency using Tax Increment Financing partnered to provide incentives to enable a 456 residential unit development, Seabourn Cove, to overcome the costs associated with bringing the development up to a Gold Rating of the American National Standard Institute approved ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Standard.
- Orange County Convention Center - for a Sustainability-focused Best Management Practice coordinating post-event donations to local organizations, reducing its waste stream and giving back to the community by facilitating the donation of reusable goods.
- Water Wise Tallahassee - City of Tallahassee - forinclusive programs that address personal responsibility for the quality and quantity of surface water resources, as well as expansive programs that focus on the protection of water resources at every level and cross City departmental boundaries, including Electric (production), Engineering, Wastewater, Fleet and the City operated Golf Courses.
We'll learn more about the following finalists next week!
- Resource Depot
- The Venice Golf and Country Club
Presented by Willis A. Smith Construction, Inc.
- First Green Bank
- Josh Wynne Construction
- Schmid Construction
- Hillsborough County & Covanta Hillsborough
- Leon County Leon County-UF Extension
- Okeechobee Organics Recycling Facility
- Herbert Williams
- Jackie Pons
- Santa Fe College
|What's Happening Around the State|
Share Your Good Works
There is always something happening in Florida. Lots of organizations are hosting their annual conferences. Local governments are working to be more efficient and effective given limited resources. Here's just a sampling.
- Always a great business networking and highly productive event for women business owners is Go For the Greens in Orlando from September 13-15. Be sure to join them for the special sustainability panel Friday.
- Don't miss the USGBC South Florida celebration Gala Verde on September 15 in Ft. Lauderdale. A great evening honoring the best in green building.
- Be sure to get to the panhandle September 23-25 for the Gulf Power Economic Symposium to hear from some great presenters committed to the state's future.
- A special event in October will be the Sustainable & Authentic Florida Conference in Bradenton on Anna Maria Island. Great speakers and program planned.
|Energy Takes Center Stage|
Time for a policy?
There continues to be conversations around the country on energy policy and diversification. Here's a quick look at some recent developments.
- Florida Department of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam succeeded in getting modest legislation passed last session. The Department's annual Energy Summit wrapped up and Commissioner Putnam outlined his thoughts in a recent interview.
- Michigan voters will vote this November on an initiative that would require utilities to produce 25% of energy from renewable sources by 2025. A new study from Michigan State forecasts that nearly 75,000 new jobs would be created.
- Seems that President Obama and Governor Romney can't avoid the fray nor find common ground as they debate how best to provide for the country's secure energy future.
- California continues moving forward on energy efficiency adopting new requirements to the state's building code.
|Will Florida Forever Survive?|
When is Forever over?
Florida has the richest history in the nation in protecting critical lands and waters with its series of land preservation programs. Florida Forever is the most recent.
But state budgets have shrunk making it more difficult to find funds to purchase conservation lands - even when property values have been at their lowest price in years.
The Florida environmental community began a petition drive to seek a constitutional amendment to allocate a third of documentary tax stamp revenue on real estate transactions for Florida Forever.