History

Sustainable Florida began as a public-private governmental foundation and was administratively part of the Florida Department of Natural Resources. Its mission shifted and it became a program of the Governor’s Office under Lawton Chiles. It became a stand-along non-profit organization in 1999. From 2004 through 2011, it was part of the Collins Center for Public Policy – a non-partisan think tank based in Miami. We continue our rich tradition of service as an independent non-profit organization.

Under the watch of Governor Bob Martinez, as part of the Environmental Education Act of 1989, the Legislature created the Environmental Education Foundation of Florida. The Foundation focused on showing Florida how to do it better – promoting environmental ethics and funding environmental education projects and programs.

In 1994 – more than 10 years ago – the Foundation expanded its scope to “sustainability” and changed its name to reflect the new direction serving as a non-partisan forum for diverse perspectives on the advantages and opportunities to be gained by adopting a sustainable development philosophy for Florida. Governor Lawton Chiles renamed the organization the Governor’s Council for Sustainable Florida.

After a comprehensive review of state commissions and councils, the Governor’s Council for Sustainable Florida became an independent organization that incorporated as a not-for profit organization in 2000 and was known as the Council for Sustainable Florida. In 2004, CSF merged with the Collins Center for Public Policy – an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization named in honor of former Florida Governor Leroy Collins. The Collins Center closed its doors in 2007.

In 2006, Sustainable Florida become independent once more and remains committed to the interrelated issues of economic growth, environmental quality and social capital. We are dedicated to promoting and expanding sustainable practices and programs in Florida.

In partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection, the Educational Alliance for Sustainable Florida was established to encourage Florida’s colleges and universities to incorporate sustainability issues into their curricula. By developing case studies for use in our classrooms, we can help tomorrow’s leaders carry the sustainability banner into the corporate world.

With the Florida Department of Community Affairs Coastal Management Program, Sustainable Florida developed a public awareness campaign to protect and sustain our fragile coastal system and document successful practices in the Waterfronts Florida initiative that focused on coastal waterfront revitalization.

Additionally, Sustainable Florida sponsors Executive Leadership Forums that focus discussion on the progress and importance of long-term sustainability for Florida’s future. These Forums focused on such themes as climate change, transportation, tourism and market-based incentives.

Our signature event is its annual awards program. These awards are an example of state-level recognition for accomplishments and leadership in sustainable development and are a respected measure of best performance standards in the integration of environmental, social and economic factors for the long-term sustainability of Florida. The Council has recognized and honored more than 100 businesses, organizations, governmental agencies and individuals over the last eight years.

Sustainable Florida is a unique alliance of business, government, higher education and citizen leaders committed to conserving Florida’s vast natural and economic resources. Throughout its history, Sustainable Florida has exhibited a firm commitment to defining excellence for Florida’s economic, environmental and social future.