We have many current efforts to make city operations and our buildings more efficient. Here are some of our current sustainability-related projections, policies, or programs for internal operations.
- 100 Percent Renewable Energy- In June 2017, the City Commission adopted a resolution committing to 100 percent renewable energy for city operations by 2030 and 50% by 2024. The City is now launching a planning process coupled with feasibility assessments for rooftop solar on city buildings to inform strategies.
- Fleet – We strive to manage our city-owned vehicles in a responsible manner. We have a no-idling policy for non-emergency situations in an effort to reduce street-level pollution. The parking division uses electric vehicles. We ensure regular maintenance of city vehicles and track fuel consumption to inform any necessary changes. In the summer of 2019, the city established a target to transition 90% of all new fleet vehicle purchases to electric vehicles by 2024. We now have an internal team dedicated to making this a reality.
- Energy Efficiency in City Buildings – We search for opportunities to improve the energy efficiency in public buildings. In 2010 we began upgrading many of our electrical and water systems through a financing method called performance-based contracting. That effort, completed in 2012, has allowed the city to save over $4 million in both direct costs and operational savings. W
- Greenhouse Gas Reduction – We have a goal to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions from city operations by 25% by 2030 from a 2003 baseline. Good news is that based on our most recent inventory we are well on our way to reaching our target. Check out our Climate Change webpage for more information.
- Employee Commuting – We provide free bus passes to all full-time city employees to encourage alternative transportation.
- Green Buildings – The most recent example of our green building practices is the new parking garage at St. Armand’s circle designed and built to meet Park Smart certification and that has solar panels on the top floor. Additionally, the Robert L Taylor Community Center, Palm Avenue Parking Garage, and the Sarasota Police Department Building are all LEED certified green buildings.
- Renewable Energy Agreement - Florida Power and Light and the City have a renewable energy agreement with the City of Sarasota. As part of this agreement, FPL installed a solar installation on the roof of Save our Seabirds and Bay Haven elementary school and installed over 10 electric vehicle charging stations at not cost to the City. The agreement is available upon request at email@example.com
- Greenspace – Our parks and recreation department oversees 50+ parks and open spaces and is currently planning how to better manage recreation activities and improve services. We also have a Downtown Greenspace Policy to encourage compact, mixed-use development in the urban core with walkable streets, parks and green spaces.
- Rain Barrel Demonstration – We have a rain barrel demonstration site at City Hall where visitors can see how a system operates.