USF St. Pete Adopts Climate Action Plan
The climate action plan will provide a road map to help the university reach its goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.
ST. PETERSBURG – The University of South Florida St. Petersburg has adopted a climate action plan created by staff and students.
The announcement was made Friday (Dec. 9) by USFSP Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska during a press conference with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Sierra Club “Ready for 100” director Kassie Rohrbach. Kriseman was announcing the city’s next steps in transitioning to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.
“Sustainability, a respect for our environment, is among the core values stated in USFSP’s Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan,” Wisniewska said. “We take seriously our commitment to become carbon neutral.”
USFSP is home to two LEED Gold certified buildings. The new Lynn Pippenger Hall, which will house the Kate Tiedemann College of Business, will be completed in January and will become the university’s third building to achieve that recognition.
Wisniewska announced a $125,000 investment from the Student Green Energy Fund in a new solar carport project that will be constructed close to the new College of Business building. The university’s new Biology and Chemistry labs, adjacent to the business building, also are expected to qualify for LEED Gold certification.
“We hope that the power provided will meet all of the energy needs of these new labs,” Wisniewska said.
USFSP’s climate action plan will serve as a guide to help the university reach its sustainability goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. The plan, a set of goals and strategies that were developed by USFSP staff and students to reduce carbon emissions, reflects an extensive analysis of the campus’s 2014 greenhouse gas inventory and daily use forecast.
On Earth Day 2013, USFSP became a signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in recognition of the challenges that will be faced by waterfront communities as a result of global climate change. Meeting ACUPCC expectations and ranking in the Princeton Review Green Colleges guide are among the key performance indicators outlined in the university’s Vision 20/20 Strategic Plan, which the CAP aims to help satisfy.
“The creation and implementation of this plan is a huge step—not only for USFSP, but for the entire St. Petersburg community,” said Brian Pullen, sustainability coordinator at USFSP. “What is so special about the CAP is that it has taken a lot of hard work over the course of two years from several students, staff, researchers, and specialists within their respected fields. Together, we developed a feasible, yet aggressive, plan for guidance on how the university will foster innovative solutions to mitigate and adapt to 21st century global and environmental issues.”
For information about USFSP, go to usfsp.edu.
Photo courtesy of USFSP.
University of South Florida St. Petersburg | USFSP | Climate Action Plan | Environment | TB Reporter
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