2010 Awards

Interview: Winners — Best Practice Award for Leadership

“Clearly, there is a tide turning in our society. More companies, governmental agencies and organizations are moving to a new economic model that understandsand takes into account the environmentaland social concerns of our state.”— Sustainable Florida – Collins Center Exec. Dir. Tim Center, on 2010 awards finalists

The 2010 Best Practice Awards Luncheon, in which Sustainable Florida – Collins Center recognized businesses, organizations and individuals for their dynamic work in helping to create a sustainable Florida, was conducted June 4 at the St. Petersburg Bayfront Hilton Hotel. Click here to read about the winners. Hit “Play” above to view an interview with Sustainable Florida – Collins Center Board of Directors Chair Joe Kilsheimer. And coming soon: other video interviews with the awards winners!

Seven winners of best practices unveiled
ST. PETERSBURG, FL. – June 4, 2010
A broad array of environmentally sound business practices was honored Friday (June 4) as seven winners were announced at Sustainable Florida’s annual Best Practice Awards ceremony.
From a paper company that never cuts a tree, to a non-profit that gathers surplus materials for use in public schools, to a city that rewards recyclers by saving them money at the mall, the winners of the 2010 Best Practice Awards are finding innovative ways to preserve Florida’s natural environment.
This marks the 12th year the non-profit Sustainable Florida, a program run by the Collins Center for Public Policy, handed out Best Practice Awards. The 2010 winners.
The award honors businesses, organizations and individuals whose work demonstrates that a healthy environment and a healthy economy are mutually supportive.
A record 109 entries were received this year. A panel of leaders in government, business, academic institutions, and civic and environmental organizations evaluated the nominees based on outcomes achieved, the ability to duplicate the effort, and overall success of the initiative. The winners were culled from among 21 finalists in seven categories.
“It was extremely competitive,” said Joe Kilsheimer, board chairman of Sustainable Florida – Collins Center. “Each year it builds on itself. Being stewards of the environment and making a profit – there is no conflict between the two.”
The nominees were recognized at a banquet at the Hilton in downtown St. Petersburg attended by more than 100 people. This year also marked the first paperless nomination and judging process as all applications were received online. The winners will be honored by the Governor and Cabinet later this summer.
The seven categories and winners are:
  • Large Business: Atlas Paper Mills In 2009, the Miami-based company became the only Green Seal-certified manufacturer of tissue and paper products in the state. All products are made from 100-percent recycled waste paper and are 100-percent chlorine free.
    Atlas has never cut down a tree to create its paper, saving an estimated 18 million trees over its 28-year history. By using only recycled wastepaper, Atlas saves 19,000 gallons of oil and 150,000 cubic yards of landfill space each year. It reduces 100 million pounds of paper from the waste stream annually by recycling the paper in its mill and saves 230 million gallons of water each year by recycling the water in its manufacturing operations. In 2010, through its partnership with the Friends of Florida State Forests, Atlas donated 25,000 trees to help rebuild the forests.
    “This is really a great honor,” Atlas Marketing Manager Jennifer Perillo said. “We hope our products can help others achieve their environmental needs.”
  • Green Building: St. Johns Housing Partnership, Inc. While pursuing its mission for safe, decent, and affordable housing, St. Johns Partnership added value to its efforts by introducing energy and water conservation measures.
    The company’s success in developing The Hancock Place into a sustainable community illustrates how workforce housing can be affordable and green-certified. The low-maintenance construction, energy efficiency and water conservation measures benefit the environment and keep maintenance and operating costs low for homeowners.
    Among the amenities each home has are double-pane, insulated windows, with those facing west containing a higher solar coefficient; attics insulated to create semi-conditioned space to reduce the heat load on HVAC ducts; bathrooms with 2.5 gpm low-flow showerheads and dual-flush commodes; and environmentally friendly landscaping.
    “This was a team effort,” said Robert Marshall, a partner in The Hancock Place project.
  • Leadership: Stacy Ranieri Stacy Ranieri spent the past decade focused on projects and initiatives that promote sustainable communities and a more sustainable Florida.
    Her firm, The Firefly Group, provides public relations, marketing, strategic planning and community outreach services to a diverse client base that includes large landowners

    and Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses and non-profit organizations.
    She began focusing on sustainable community education in 2000 when Martin County was designated a Sustainable Community through a pilot project initiated by the Florida Department of Community Affairs. She spent five years pulling together a diverse representation of all of the sectors of Martin County – the natural environment, the built environment, economic and social interests, and the 501(c)(3) organization Sustainable Martin Alliance, which she helped create. In 2004, she served as a governor-appointed member of the Committee for a Sustainable Treasure Coast, uniting the business, community, environmental and political leadership to focus on a shared vision of how that region could become more sustainable.
    “If one part of the community is not healthy, that affects other parts of the community,” Ranieri said. “I am very honored and very humbled.”

  • Government: Hollywood, Fla. Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober spearheaded an effort by the city to partner with RecycleBank®, a rewards program that motivates households to recycle and make greener choices.
    As part of the program, Hollywood homeowners are provided a 96-gallon, wheeled recycling cart. An ID tag matches the cart to the address and through an account number the recycling activity is weighed with each pickup.

    Residents earn points based on the amount of garbage they recycle. Homeowners save money by redeeming recycling points at participating retailers, groceries, pharmacies and other shops.
    The city saves $98 with every ton of refuse diverted from the landfill. Mayor Bober views the unique public/private partnership as a way to protect the environment, help the local economy, keep the community clean and provide savings to Hollywood households that recycle.
    “To say this is a shock would be an understatement,” said Fred Hannon, vice president and Southeast general manager for RecycleBank. “We are pleased to see the results that Hollywood has gotten.”

  • Non-Profit: A Gift For Teaching A Gift For Teaching (AGFT) helps the environment and helps students in need. AGFT recycles surplus goods from local businesses and puts them into “free stores” they operate in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. Teachers shop at free stores and take the goods back to their classrooms, where students in need are able to utilize resources they need to succeed.
    The Orlando non-profit has three free stores where teachers shop for essential school supplies like books, backpacks, paper, crayons and glue. But the stores also serve as a clearinghouse for surplus items and merchandise that businesses would otherwise discard.
    Rather than clogging local landfills, the items are used by resourceful teachers as educational tools. The simple solution bridges the gap between the great need for school supplies and the excess resources available in the community. Since the first AGFT store opened to teachers in 30 public schools in 1998, it has grown to 324 schools.
    “This does so much for our community,” said AGFT volunteer Josh Truitt. “Materials that would have ended up in the landfill are now ending up in a classroom.”
  • Small Business: Florida Home Partnership, Inc. During the past 17 years, the non-profit Florida Home Partnership, Inc. (FHP) has built affordable, sustainable homes for more than 450 low- to moderate-income families and individuals under the USDA Mutual Self-Help Housing Program model.
    In early 2006, an FHP staff member began exploring criteria for incorporating green building principles and energy and water conservation into construction practices. The motivation was

    twofold: to make the homes more sustainable for low- to moderate-income homeowners by reducing monthly utility bills; and to help preserve Florida’s natural resources.
    In 2007, FHP was awarded a grant to begin incorporating green building techniques into housing construction. A portion of these funds was designated for staff and homeowner education. The lasting impact will come from the lessons learned by the children raised in these environmentally friendly homes.
    The knowledge they put into practice today will conserve natural resources for tomorrow.
    “This is the climax for us in our journey to build homes for low- to moderate-income families,” said Earl Pfeiffer, executive director of Florida Home Partnership, Inc. “We truly believe it’s the right thing to do.”

  • Business Partnership: Gulf Power Co. & Emerald Coast Utilities Authority The synergy between Gulf Power Co. and the Emerald Coast Utility Authority will help improve and preserve the Escambia Bay area’s air and water quality. Gulf Power installed a scrubber system at Plant Crist to remove sulfur dioxide and other air emissions, and

    partnered with Emerald Coast to recycle millions of gallons of treated water from an advanced wastewater treatment facility due online later this year.
    Gulf Power wanted to secure a reliable, high quality and low-chloride water source to produce market-quality gypsum, eliminate long-term storage of products generated on site and to meet current water-discharge limits and future water-permit limits.
    The partnership will allow Gulf Power to produce marketable gypsum and meet its permitting requirements, while turning the new Emerald Coast treatment facility into a zero-discharge plant.
    The project benefits Gulf Power, Emerald Coast, its customers and the community.
    “I am so proud of what we’ve done,” said Gulf Power President & CEO Susan Story.

Other finalists make a difference through a variety of initiatives, including educational programs serving small- to mid-size farmers; green building efforts utilizing features such as soy insulation, solar hot water, motion-sensor lighting, and rainwater harvesting; and special events that educate seventh- and eighth- grade students on how to identify, research, and participate in developing practical solutions to important community and environmental issues.

Since 1990, Sustainable Florida has worked to improve Florida’s environment and economy. The annual awards program identifies best management practices for sustainability in Florida and encourages their widespread replication.

As an integral part of the Collins Center, Sustainable Florida serves as an independent, non-profit and non-partisan alliance that serves as the primary statewide collaborator on sustainability issues. Its mission is to advance the vision of sustainability by identifying, supporting and communicating best management practices – those which protect and preserve Florida’s environment while building markets for Florida’s businesses by enhancing their competitive advantages.


RECORD YEAR FOR ENTRIES …
Finalists for Sustainable Florida Best Practice Awards Announced

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 1, 2010

Sustainable Florida – Collins Center is pleased to announce the finalists of the 2010 Best Practice Awards program.

This statewide program recognizes and honors businesses, organizations and individuals whose work demonstrates that a healthy environment and a healthy economy are mutually supportive. A record 109 entries were received this year.

“We were very excited to see such a large number of nominees,” said Tim Center, executive director of Sustainable Florida. “Clearly, there is a tide turning in our society. More companies, governmental agencies and organizations are moving to a new economic model that understands and takes into account the environmental and social concerns of our state.” (Click here for a complete list of 2010 Best Practice Nominees)

2010 Award Finalists

– Listed by Best Practice Category

(Click on the Category name to view descriptions of the finalists)

Business Partnership

  • Gulf Power Co. and Emerald Coast Utilities Authority, Pensacola
  • The University of Florida (UF) and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension Focus Team, Gainesville/Tallahassee
  • Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc., Florida

Government

  • Broward County Public Schools, Ft. Lauderdale
  • Hollywood FL and RecycleBank, Hollywood
  • Orange County Convention Center, Orlando

Green Building

  • City of North Port Fire Rescue, North Port
  • St. Johns Housing Partnership, Inc., St. Augustine
  • Stanley Russell, Tampa

Large Business

  • Atlas Paper Mills, Miami
  • CEMEX East Aggregates Division, Davenport
  • Florida Power & Light Company, Juno Beach

Leadership

  • Hollywood FL and RecycleBank, Hollywood
  • Michael R. Carlson, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, BD+C, Sarasota
  • Stacy Ranieri, Palm City

Non-Profit

  • A Gift For Teaching, Orlando
  • Florida Home Partnership, Inc., Ruskin
  • Learning Gate Community School, Lutz

Small Business

  • Brevard’s GREEN Team.org, Cocoa Beach
  • Debbie Smith of Green Building University, Sarasota
  • Florida Home Partnership, Inc., Ruskin

The finalists for the Best Practices Awards program are making a difference through a variety of initiatives, including educational programs serving small to mid-size farmers; green building efforts utilizing features such as soy insulation, solar hot water, motion sensor lighting, and rainwater harvesting; community outreach helping affordable housing communities become more environmentally and economically sustainable; and special events that educate 7th and 8th grade students on how to identify, research, and participate in developing practical solutions to important community and environmental issues. (Please see below for a complete list of nominees).

The awards program is being held June 4, 2010, at the St. Petersburg Bayfront Hilton Hotel. The awards luncheon program will follow Green Trends – an annual conference sponsored by the Florida Green Building Coalition. Please register for the Best Practices Awards luncheon.

Sustainable Florida – Collins Center is an alliance of business, government and civic leaders and organizations committed to defining excellence for Florida’s economic, environmental and social future. Sustainable Florida promotes the adoption of sustainable development principles through collaboration and education. It is a program of the Collins Center for Public Policy, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization that finds smart solutions to challenges facing Florida.

Business Partnership

Gulf Power Co. and Emerald Coast Utilities Authority

The synergy between the Gulf Power Co. and the Emerald Coast Utility Authority will help improve and preserve the Escambia Bay area’s air and water quality. Gulf Power installed a scrubber system at Plant Crist to remove sulfur dioxide and other air emissions, and has partnered with Emerald Coast to recycle millions of gallons of treated water from an advanced wastewater treatment facility due online later this year. Gulf Power wanted to secure a reliable, high quality and low-chloride water source to produce market-quality gypsum, eliminate long-term storage of products generated on-site and to meet current water discharge limits and future water permit limits. The partnership will allow Gulf Power to produce marketable gypsum and meet its permitting requirements, while turning the new Emerald Coast treatment facility into a zero-discharge plant. The project benefits Gulf Power, Emerald Coast, its customers and the community.

The University of Florida and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension Focus Team

The UF and FAMU Small Farms Focus Team is a partnership of nearly 80 state and county extension faculty who collaborate on the design and implementation of educational programming to serve the needs of small to mid-size farmers in Florida. They provide science-based information and technology to sustain the health of Florida’s citizens, communities and natural resources. The 2009 Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference was the result of two years of grassroots planning and attended by over 800 people. The conference integrated the social, environmental and economic strategies needed for a small farm to be successful. As a result of the conference, there is an increase in dialogue among community partners, farmers and agencies, and an increase in farmer-to-farmer networks and the awards received by county faculty for small farms programs. There are more meetings between farmers and policy makers to better understand the issues, and a concerted effort to increase local foods market share in Florida.

Wheelabrator Technologies Inc.

Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. sponsors the annual Symposium for Environment and Education, providing seventh- and eighth-grade students the opportunity to identify, research, and participate in developing practical solutions to important community and environmental issues. Early in each academic year, partner schools meet with Wheelabrator representatives to designate teams for the annual program. School teams spend time defining a local issue or problem that challenges their community’s long-term sustainability. Teams develop a strategy to understand, modify, and recommend alternatives to the chosen issue. The Symposium actively influences the ways that middle school students both think and act about the environment and their communities. It not only encourages changes in local behavior and practices, but seeks to cultivate the future community leaders that one day actually may manage their community environmental infrastructure.

 

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Government

Broward Public Schools

Through the aggressive goals set in its environmental stewardship policy, the Broward County School District has conserved water and energy, diverted waste from the landfill, and expanded awareness of green initiatives. In 2005, Hurricane Wilma tore through South Florida, ripping a 60-foot ficus tree from its roots. The tree lay in the path of School Board member Dr. Robert Parks, who wondered how it could have been torn from the ground. He discovered that as a non-native the tree couldn’t, or hadn’t adapted to Florida’s extreme weather. A few months later, the school board prohibited non-natives from being used in district landscaping. That small step was the first in what became the District’s Environmental Strategic Plan. A brief survey of those efforts include: installation of water-efficient and water-saving devices; partnership with energy efficiency programs; purchasing and use of only “green” cleaning products, emission-free paints and hybrid buses; and recycling. The district created a website to track green successes and encourage participation in a remarkable program that will continue to grow.

Hollywood FL and RecycleBank – A perfect Public/Private Relationship

Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober spearheaded an effort by the city to partner with RecycleBank®, a rewards program that motivates households to recycle and make greener choices. As part of the program, Hollywood homeowners are provided a 96-gallon, wheeled recycling cart. An ID tag matches the cart to the address and through an account number the recycling activity is weighed with each pickup. Residents earn points based on the amount of garbage they recycle. Homeowners can save money by redeeming their recycling points at participating retailers, groceries, pharmacies and other shops. The city saves $98 with every ton of refuse diverted from the landfill. Mayor Bober views the unique public/private partnership as a way to protect the environment, help the local economy, keep the community clean and provide savings to Hollywood households that recycle. About 32,000 Hollywood households received the 95-gallon recycling carts.

Orange County Convention Center

 

The Orange County Convention Center is considered a model center for green operations. It’s the first convention center in the nation to earn an ISO 14001 certification, a result of efforts to reduce waste sent to the landfill and minimize the harmful effects on the environment. As an example, during the 2010 PGA Merchandising Show the goal was to recycle and divert as much solid waste as possible from the landfill. The anticipated target was 60 percent. The post-event analysis revealed a 100 percent diversion. In addition, the center undertakes green practices that contribute directly to Florida’s sustainable future: it installed a one-megawatt photovoltaic array; created a Climate Change Education Center; created educational programs on energy management and greenhouse gases; requires green cleaning in all cleaning contracts; and supports mass transit and multi-modal transportation centers. The center is committed to conserving energy and natural resources, and to reducing waste.

Green Building

City of North Port Fire Rescue

North Port Fire Rescue’s commitment to environmental sustainability is evident in the newly constructed Fire Station 82. Cisterns capture rainwater and air conditioner condensate for use in irrigation and toilet flushing. A soy-based insulation maintains climate control and eliminates the toxic gases often associated with other forms of insulation. Hot water is provided by solar panels on the fire station roof. A new ambulance has two photovoltaic panels on the roof to charge the batteries. And the list goes on and on, from drought-tolerant landscaping to bike racks that encourage an alternative to driving to work. The new station expects to see a return on investment for its green-added features in 8 to10 years on a building with a projected 40-year life. This equates to 30-plus years of savings for taxpayers while proving an example of environmentally conscious construction.

St. Johns Housing Partnership Inc.

While pursuing its mission for safe, decent, and affordable housing, St. Johns Partnership added value to its efforts by introducing energy and water conservation measures. The company’s success in developing The Hancock Place into a sustainable community illustrates how workforce housing can be affordable and green-certified. The low-maintenance construction, energy efficiency and water conservation measures benefit the environment and keep maintenance and operating costs low for homeowners. Among the amenities each home has are double-pane, insulated windows, with those facing west a higher solar coefficient; attics insulated to create semi-conditioned space to reduce the heat load on HVAC ducts; bathrooms with 2.5 gpm low-flow showerheads and dual-flush commodes; and environmentally friendly landscaping. The Hancock Place is an example of successful green, affordable construction.

Stanley Russell

 

In the fall of 2007, the director of the Noah Nothing Caring and Teaching House, a food pantry in East Tampa, asked University of South Florida School of Architecture and Community Design assistant professor Stanley Russell and his students for design ideas for a new facility where food, tutoring, and other services could be available to the community. The students worked side by side with local residents to arrive at a design uniquely tailored to the needs of the community. The result is a green building that utilizes reclaimed shipping containers, Thermablok insulation, a white TPO single-ply roof, a zoned cooling system, structural insulated panels, clerestory windows for daylight, and locally produced lumber. Through media coverage and attention from design and building professionals, the project is being promoted as an example of sustainable building practices to the Florida building industry.

Large Business

Atlas Paper Mills

In 2009, the Miami-based Atlas Paper Mills received Green Seal™ certification, becoming the only Green Seal-certified manufacturer of tissue and paper products in the state. All products are made from 100-percent recycled waste paper, are 100-percent chlorine free, and meet all EPA standards helping companies obtain LEED-EB credits that bring them closer to their sustainability goals. Atlas has never cut down a tree to create its paper, saving an estimated 18 million trees over its 28-year history. By using only recycled wastepaper, Atlas saves 19,000 gallons of oil and 150,000 cubic yards of landfill space each year. It reduces 100 million pounds of paper from the waste stream annually by recycling the paper in its mill and saves 230 million gallons of water each year by recycling the water in its manufacturing operations. In 2010, through its partnership with the Friends of Florida State Forests, Atlas donated 25,000 trees to help rebuild the forests. In this way, Atlas is giving back to the community, improving the quality of life for Florida residents by offsetting carbon emissions.

CEMEX East Aggregates Division

Throughout Florida, CEMEX balances the equation of people, planet and profit in a vision for a more sustainable Florida. The company supports more than 500 employees in the state, while being active in conservation and wildlife enhancement programs at its production facilities and corporate offices. It also forges close ties in the communities in which it operates through innovative educational partnerships that promote student learning and environmental awareness. Its East Aggregates Division mines stone, sand other construction materials throughout Florida. The division has undertaken a number of green initiatives at its facilities, including the recycling of waste oil and numerous energy efficiency practices. The CEMEX Corporate Lands for Learning programs educate students about mining and conservation. The CEMEX commitment to environmental stewardship extends to its voluntary efforts that exceed local, state and government regulatory requirements to restore the lands it uses for its mining operations, enhancing wildlife habitat to a level above that required by law.

Florida Power and Light Company

Florida Power & Light’s DeSoto Next Generation Clean Energy Center is a 25-megawatt solar facility that is the nation’s largest operating photovoltaic plant. The $152 million facility, commissioned last year, represents a breakthrough in the cost for solar. The DeSoto team preserved wetlands by working around them and relocated protected gopher tortoises prior to construction. The solar energy center has zero air emissions, no cooling water consumption or offsite water discharges, generates no waste, produces no noise and does not use chemicals or solvents in its process. With photovoltaic technology, sunlight generates electricity directly, eliminating heat transfer and turbo-generation equipment. Power output is maximized by an advanced GPS tracking system that enables the panels to precisely follow the sun throughout the day. Because the technology is proven, reliable and can be easily replicated, this innovative approach may become a model for the rest of the industry to follow. FPL is planning for significant expansion at DeSoto and multiple new projects. Many other utilities are now pursuing projects utilizing this technology.

Leadership

Hollywood FL and RecycleBank – A perfect Public/Private Relationship

Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober has spearheaded an effort by the city to partner with RecycleBank®, a rewards program that motivates households to recycle and make greener choices. As part of the program, Hollywood homeowners are provided with a 96-gallon, wheeled recycling cart. An ID tag matches the cart to the address and through an account number the recycling activity is weighed with each pickup. Residents earn points based on the amount of garbage they recycle. Homeowners can save money by redeeming their recycling points at participating retailers, groceries, pharmacies and other shops. The city saves $98 with every ton of refuse diverted from the landfill. Mayor Bober views the unique public/private partnership as a way to protect the environment, help the local economy, keep the community clean and provide savings to Hollywood households that recycle. About 32,000 Hollywood households received the 95-gallon recycling carts.

Stacy Ranieri

Stacy Ranieri has spent the past decade focused on projects and initiatives that promote sustainable communities and a more sustainable Florida. Her firm, The Firefly Group, provides public relations, marketing, strategic planning and community outreach services to a diverse client base that includes large landowners and Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses and non-profit organizations. She began focusing on sustainable community education in 2000 when Martin County was designated a Sustainable Community through a pilot project initiated by the Florida Department of Community Affairs. She spent five years pulling together a diverse representation of all of the sectors of Martin County – the natural environment, the built environment, economic and social interests, and helped to found a 501(c)(3) organization called Sustainable Martin Alliance (SMA). In 2004, she served as a governor-appointed member of the Committee for a Sustainable Treasure Coast, uniting the business, community, environmental and political leadership to focus on a shared vision of how that region could become more sustainable.

Michael R. Carlson, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, BD+C

Since launching his career in 1986, Michael Carlson’s work continues to keep him in the forefront of sustainable design while he serves as a mentor, teacher, innovator and collaborator in the green building movement. Carlson’s sustainable design firm, Carlson Studio Architecture, was founded in 1997. At that time, third-party certifications for sustainable features such as LEED did not exist. He designed the LEED-NC Gold-certified Twin Lakes Park Office Complex for Sarasota County in 2000 (which remained the highest scoring green building in Florida until 2009). And last year HGTV tapped Carlson to be their architect for the 2009 Green Home. That home became only the fourth home in the state to earn LEED Platinum certification from the USGBC. Sustainable design demands whole system integration and Carlson’s leadership achievements have been recognized well beyond just the green design-build community through the numerous accolades he has received from environmental organizations, professional and civic associations.

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Non-Profit

A Gift For Teaching

A Gift For Teaching (AGFT) helps the environment and helps students in need. AGFT recycles surplus goods from local businesses and puts them into the “free stores” they operate in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. Teachers shop at free stores and take the goods back to their classrooms, where students in need are able to utilize resources they need in order to succeed in the classroom. The Orlando non-profit now has three free stores where teachers can shop for essential school supplies like books, backpacks, paper, crayons and glue. But the stores also serve as a clearinghouse for surplus items and merchandise that businesses would otherwise discard. Rather than clogging local landfills, the items are used by resourceful teachers as educational tools. The simple solution bridges the gap between the great need for school supplies and the excess resources available in the community. Since the first AGFT store opened to teachers in 30 public schools in 1998, it has grown significantly to reach 324 schools.

Florida Home Partnership, Inc.

Over the past 17 years, the non-profit Florida Home Partnership, Inc. (FHP) has built affordable, sustainable homes for more than 450 low- to moderate-income families and individuals under the USDA Mutual Self-Help Housing Program model. In early 2006, an FHP staff member began exploring criteria for incorporating green building principles and energy and water conservation into construction practices. The motivation was twofold: to make the homes more sustainable for low- to moderate-income homeowners by reducing monthly utility bills; and to help preserve Florida’s natural resources. In 2007, FHP was awarded a grant to begin incorporating green building techniques into housing construction. A portion of these funds was designated for staff and homeowner education. The lasting impact will come from the lessons learned by the children raised in these environmentally friendly homes. Knowledge they practice today will conserve natural resources for tomorrow.

Learning Gate Community School

Learning Gate is an environmental charter school in Lutz that serves 550 students from Kindergarten through eighth grade. Nestled among trees, wetlands and ponds, the school’s campus and its curriculum are testimony to an integrated environmental approach to education and community. The school’s motto, “Nature is our Best Teacher,” personifies the natural spirit of the school. Its mission requires a full-circle environmental curriculum that starts with the seeds from an organic garden and ends with the soy foam insulation in “green” classrooms. Students develop service learning projects that demonstrate the sustainable features of green building, energy efficiency, water conservation, zero waste, organic agriculture, ecology restoration, and renewable energy. The student projects will be shown at Eco-Fest 2010, a community event organized by Learning Gate that will feature exhibits, tours, presentations and vendors that build community awareness, appreciation and advocacy for sustainable living.

 

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Small Business

 

Brevard’s GREEN Team.org

Founded in 2008, Brevard’s Green Team.org was developed as a non-profit recycling program that works with community volunteers and local businesses to recycle at schools, events and programs. Sponsors adopt recycle bins with a $10 donation per bin sponsorship. The money is used for printing, lamination, placard replacements and bags. Business logos are placed on bins that are positioned at local events and throughout the county. Volunteers gather the bottles and cans and take them to the local recycling center or for reuse as new product reprocessing. Expenditures are paid with community in-kind donations. As a result of the program, many events in the county are 100 percent recycled.

Debbie Smith

Debbie Smith combined her passions for learning and the environment with the development of Green Building University, an online and in-person green educational tool. In 2000, Debbie developed the first online green building courses and online exams for a self-study program. Today, students across the world are able to access the courses and Green Building University has at any one time over 200 participants, from students to CEOs. Where the focus once was on green building only, there is now a water conservation series. Two types of certifications are available: Green Building Sales Professional, which provides information on how to sell a certified green home; and Green Building Technical Professional, for industry professionals wanting to know what the next phase of green may bring.

Florida Home Partnership, Inc.

 

Over the past 17 years, the non-profit Florida Home Partnership, Inc. (FHP) has built affordable, sustainable homes for more than 450 low- to moderate-income families and individuals under the USDA Mutual Self-Help Housing Program model. In early 2006, an FHP staff member began exploring criteria for incorporating green building principles and energy and water conservation into construction practices. The motivation was twofold: to make the homes more sustainable for low- to moderate-income homeowners by reducing monthly utility bills; and to help preserve Florida’s natural resources. In 2007, FHP was awarded a grant to begin incorporating green building techniques into housing construction. A portion of these funds was designated for staff and homeowner education. The lasting impact will come from the lessons learned by the children raised in these environmentally friendly homes. Knowledge they begin practicing today will help conserve natural resources for tomorrow.

 


The Complete List of Nominees
This is our 11th year hosting the awards – our signature event of the year. In order to make the process greener, this year we are doing the entire nomination, judging and registration process online.
 

2010 Sustainable Florida Best Practice Award Nominees Announced! (Click on the category name to see descriptions of the nominees. Finalists are in bold. Finalists descriptions can be found above.)

Government

  • Broward College
  • Broward County Public Schools
  • City of Casselberry
  • City of Palm Bay Utilities Department
  • City of Tavares, Florida
  • Collier County Solid Waste Management Department Landfill Reclamation of Cells 1 and 2
  • Farm to Fuel Initiative
  • Florida State University- Institute for Energy Systems, Economics and Sustainability
  • City of Hollywood – RecycleBank Partnership
  • Lee County Port Authority
  • Marion County Forest Public Library
  • Mr. Thomas Shewan P.E., MBA, CEFP
  • Orange County Convention Center
  • Orange County, Florida
  • Peace River Manasota Region Water Supply Authority
  • Sarasota County Government’s Planned Mixed-Use Infill Code (PMI)
  • Sheila Rose
  • Stanley Russell
  • TAPP (Think About Personal Pollution)
  • The Captiva Erosion Prevention District
  • The School Board of Polk County
  • The University of Florida (UF) and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension Focus Team.
  • VisitGainesville Great Green Grant

Green Building

  • Big Bend Habitat for Humanity
  • Carl Abbott, Architect FAIA
  • Carlson Studio Architecture
  • CG Solutions
  • City of North Port Fire Rescue
  • Florida Home Partnership, Inc.
  • GS Florida, LLP
  • Headquarter Honda
  • Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control
  • Marion County Forest Public Library
  • Mr. Thomas Shewan P.E., MBA, CEFP
  • St. Johns Housing Partnership,Inc.
  • Stanley Russell

Large Business

  • Atlas Paper Mills
  • CCNA High Springs Plant
  • CEMEX East Aggregates Division
  • Florida Power & Light Company
  • Jim Vick, Gulf Power Co. and Stephen Sorrell, Emerald Coast Utilities Authority
  • Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control
  • Massey Services, Inc.
  • Orange County Convention Center
  • Plum Creek Timber Company
  • Rosen Hotels & Resorts
  • SCS Engineers
  • Titan America – Pennsuco Cement and Aggregates
  • UPS Carbon Neutral Product Offering
  • Valley Forge Fabrics, Inc LIVING FRESH Initiative
  • Wheelabrator Technologies Inc.

Leadership

  • Brevard’s GREEN Team.org
  • Collier County Solid Waste Management Department Landfill Reclamation of Cells 1 and 2
  • Darren Fancher
  • Debbie Smith
  • Dr. Luisa Amelia Dempere
  • Farm to Fuel Initiative
  • Florida Power & Light Company
  • Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce Green Awareness Taskforce
  • Hollywood FL and RecycleBank-A perfect Public/Private Relationship
  • James Heaney
  • Michael R. Carlson, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, BD+C
  • Peace River Manasota Region Water Supply Authority
  • Sarasota County Government’s Planned Mixed-Use Infill Code (PMI)
  • Stacy Ranieri
  • Stanley Russell
  • Susan Ferrell
  • Titan America – Pennsuco Cement and Aggregates
  • Valerie J. Amor
  • Valet Waste
  • Vision North Port
  • Yvette Little, Simply Green Solutions, LLC

Non-Profit

  • A Gift For Teaching
  • Brevard’s GREEN Team.org
  • Florida Home Partnership, Inc.
  • Florida State University- Institute for Energy Systems, Economics and Sustainability
  • Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce Green Awareness Taskforce
  • Learning Gate Community School
  • Mr. Thomas Shewan P.E., MBA, CEFP
  • U.S. Green Building Council South Florida Chapter
  • Vision North Port
  • Volusia County Association for Responsible Development (VCARD)

Partnership

  • Brevard’s GREEN Team.org
  • Collier County Solid Waste Management Department Landfill Reclamation of Cells 1 and 2
  • Florida Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs and National Solid Wastes Management Association member solid waste management companies’ “Carts on Parade” Partnership
  • Florida Home Partnership, Inc.
  • Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce Green Awareness Taskforce
  • Hollywood FL and RecycleBank-A perfect Public/Private Relationship
  • International Environmental Management
  • Gulf Power Co and Emerald Coast Utilities Authority
  • Nestle Waters North America, Madison County Bottling Plant, and Virginia Paarlberg
  • Peace River Manasota Region Water Supply Authority
  • Stanley Russell
  • TAPP (Think About Personal Pollution)
  • The University of Florida (UF) and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension Focus Team.
  • Titan America – Pennsuco Cement and Aggregates
  • Volusia County Association for Responsible Development (VCARD)
  • Wheelabrator Technologies Inc.
  • Yvette Little, Simply Green Solutions, LLC

Small Business

  • Brevard’s GREEN Team.org
  • Carl Abbott, Architect FAIA
  • Coskata, Inc.
  • Debbie Smith
  • Florida Home Partnership, Inc.
  • Rick Kearney / Summit East
  • Touchstone Architecture
  • Yvette Little, Simply Green Solutions, LLC
The Best Practice Award recognizes businesses, organizations and individuals for their dynamic work in helping to create sustainable Florida.
Since 1990, Sustainable Florida has exhibited a firm commitment to improve Florida’s environment and economy, while building a safer, healthier, higher quality of life for all of its citizens. With the support of its many partners, Sustainable Florida identifies business, government, and community groups that demonstrate outstanding achievements and excellence in general sustainability practices.

Previous Sustainable Florida Best Practice award recipients have been rewarded for their efforts to demonstrably conserve water; revitalize coastlines; implement cleaner, more efficient processes for air and water; preserve and promote agricultural practices; create green developments that reduce energy and water usage and save residents money; adopt and implement practices to create sustainable communities, companies and campuses; develop win-win solutions to enable smart growth while preserving green space and native habitat; and many more. Read more about past winners.

A blue ribbon panel of leaders in government, business, civic and environmental organizations, and academic institutions will evaluate the nominees based on outcomes achieved, the ability to duplicate the effort, and overall success of the initiative. Nominees will be recognized at a formal awards program and honored for their achievements by the Governor and Cabinet this summer.

Sustainable Florida Best Practice Award winners are promoted as examples of Best Practices in the state. The annual awards program identifies best management practices for sustainability in Florida and encourages their widespread replication.

As an integral part of the Collins Center, Sustainable Florida serves as an independent, non-profit and non-partisan alliance that serves as the primary statewide collaborator on sustainability issues. Its mission is to advance the vision of sustainability by identifying, supporting and communicating best management practices—those which protect and preserve Florida’s environment for the future while building markets for Florida’s businesses by enhancing their competitive advantages today.
Judging
  • An Evaluation Team including leaders in government, business, civic and environmental organizations, and academic institutions will evaluate nominees.The 2010 Judges were:
  • Kyle Abney, Principal, Abney + Abney Green Solutions

  • Grace Carlson, President, Carlson Studio Marketing

  • Monica Cepero, Assistant County Administrator, Broward County

  • Greg Ira, Director of the Office of Environmental Education, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

  • Michael Hewett, Manager, Environmental Services, Publix Super Markets

  • Joe Kilsheimer, President, Joe Kilsheimer Consulting, Inc.

  • John Masiello, Manager, Power Center for Utility Explorations, University of South Florida

  • Mary Oakley, Consultant and Author

  • Elizabeth Porter, Visiting Instructor of Economics, Jacksonville University

  • Penni Redford, Sustainability Manager, City of West Palm Beach

  • Dan Roach, Manager of Forest Environmental Systems, Rayonier

  • Jim Sellen, Principal, VBH MillerSellen

  • Robert R. “Ron” Solomon, Vice President, PRATTCO, Inc.

  • Brenda Smith – Okaloosa Saves/Food & Nutrition Program, University of Florida/IFAS

  • Frank Wells , Chief Executive, World Power and Water, Inc.

     

Registration Fee
  • A $40 registration fee was required.