Welcome to the Sustainability Program's website!
What does Sustainability mean?
Sustainability is implementing projects and programs that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainability is about balancing the environmental, social, and economic impacts of our actions.
What does the Sustainability Program do?
The Sustainability Program works on financially responsible projects and plans that reduce harmful environmental impacts while also improving community health and well-being. Examples of the work completed by the Sustainability Office include:
- Lead a climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan
- Perform recycling education for businesses
- Support renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts
- Track greenhouse gas emissions community-wide and within city operations
- Manage the Community Canopy (a free tree give-away) program
- Support the reduction of single-use plastics
- Support community composting efforts
- Support efforts that increase walkability, bikeability, public transportation use, and electric vehicles
- Coordinate with other local organizations on regional sustainability projects
- Support living shorelines and environmentally-friendly seawalls
Local Sustainability-Related Announcements and Events
Come celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day at Selby Five Points Park on 4/22/2020 from 11:30 - 1:30pm. There will be over 35 organizations highlighting sustainability topics along with live music, food trucks, an interactive community mural, composting demos, DIY reuseable items and more. Thanks to a donation from Tropical Gardens and Landscape, there will be over 120 FREE native trees available (3 gallon containers - first come first serve). We hope to see you there!
Saturday, April 18th, Stevie Freeman-Montes will be presenting as part of the State of the Earth series at the Sarasota Opera House. This event is part of the Listen to the Earth Project, where speakers are using their platform and unique programs to raise environmental awareness and further community involvement – and celebrating the 50th anniversary of earth day. The capstone of the project is the world premiere of James Grant’s Listen to the Earth cantata at the Sarasota Opera House on Sunday, April 19, 2020. For more information, please visit www.ChoralArtistsSarasota.org.
The City is excited to be part of the new Partners for Green Places Program, an initiative to help local nonprofits save money through energy efficiency. The program provides funding for detailed energy audits and roadmaps and also provides capital for nonprofits to implement the energy projects that help them save money. More information at www.PartnersforGreenPlaces.org . This effort is supported by the Gulf Coast Community, Barancik and Community Foundations, Dream Large, Sarasota County and others.
Sarasota receives SolSmart Bronze Certification! Solsmart recognizes communities that have taken steps to make installing solar energy systems easier for residents. The City has made improvements to the permitting process to shorten the wait time for a solar permit and make requirements more clear for contractors. We're proud to be recognized as a solar-ready community!
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a tool for property owners to finance private property improvements related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and hurricane hardening through assessments levied on their property tax bill by special districts established for that purpose. PACE home improvements include rooftop solar panels, solar water heater, energy efficient air conditioning unit, cool roof, impact windows, insulation, and more. The Sarasota City Commission adopted an ordinance setting the framework for a PACE program, and signed agreements with four PACE providers. Currently, there are two approved PACE providers that can operate in the City of Sarasota, YGrene and Renew Financial. For more information on PACE financing and its risk and opportunities, visit Sarasota County's PACE website.
We are a proud Green Business Partner! We are among over 200 local business, non-profits, and governmental entities that are committed to resource conservation and sustainability.
City Sustainability in the News
- City Considers new rule on plastics Your Observer
- Florida Cities Are Most at Risk From Climate Change , Bloomberg article discussing Sarasota's vulnerabilities to Climate Change
- Leading the Way: City of Sarasota a leader in preparing for sea level rise - Herald-Tribune
- City finds receptive audience for climate change - Herald-Tribune 09/29/2017
- Sarasota is looking more sustainable after City Commission Meeting - Herald-Tribune 06/19/2017
Stevie Freeman-Montes, Sustainability Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-263-6314
Jeff Vredenburg, Sustainability Program Educator, email@example.com or 941-263-6296