usf going green initiative

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Professional Writing, Team Righteously Angry Swamp Monsters Submission

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  • Righteously Angry Swamp Monsters ENC3250.796S15 Stephen Page Editor Instructor: Dr. Tobienne Anthony Quach Lead Interviewer University of South Florida Gregory Pecori Back Up 140 Seventh Avenue South Sarah Obeso Lead Researcher St. Petersburg, FL 33701 Sabrina Garay Organizer/ Designer April 10th, 2015

  • Table of Contents

    Introduction.3

    Executive Summary......3

    Going Green...4

    USF - A Green University.4

    Patel School6

    Patel School - Background......7

    Patel School - M.A. Program...8

    Patel School - Research Division8

    Patel School - Office of Sustainability....8

    Patel School - Student Green Energy Fund..9

    Projects - USF Tampa....10

    Projects - USF St. Petersburg...11

    Projects - Future Projects..........12

    Conclusion.......12

    Interviews............14

    Annotated Bibliography..20

    Works Cited..23

    Glossary.......26

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  • Introduction

    This intent of this paper is to document the efforts that the University of South Florida has made in order to become green and the results of its participation in the going green movement. The information included is directed towards members of the University of South Florida, members of the County Government, and local citizens who may benefit from the services that the university already offers and can potentially offer. A series of interviews and collection of research provided the foundation for the information contained in this white paper. Executive Summary

    The University of South Florida has made some of the strongest efforts of any university or college in the nation to go green. Efforts to promote sustainability on campus and in the community have included the support of programs like RecycleMania and STARS as well as the funding of projects; such as the introduction of a bike-sharing program and the installation of electric car charging stations.

    The main vehicles for USFs contributions to sustainability are the

    Patel College for Global Sustainability and the Student Green Energy Funds supported on each campus. Through the Patel College, USF provides education about sustainability and supports research that will improve the lives of many in the future. The Student

    Green Energy Fund finances many large-scale projects that have made the universitys campuses some of the

    most sustainable in the country, resulting in USF being awarded

    multiple times for its efforts.

    In many ways the

    results of these efforts are striking. USF Tampa cut its greenhouse gas emissions by over 80% from 2011 to 2014 and maintained its water consumption over this period even though the university nearly doubled in size by number of students. Furthermore, USF Tampa alone had 774 faculty members engaged in sustainability research and offered nearly 250 courses focused on sustainability. These results have earned USF a gold rating in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Educations STARS report and a place on the Princeton Reviews Green Honor Roll.

    The University of South Florida has committed itself to continuing these efforts to become more sustainable. The 2013-2018 Strategic Plan for USF

    3

  • commits the University to fostering sustainable development and helping to create a sustainable future for Florida. Kebreab Ghebremichael, Director of the Office of Sustainability, stated, USF has a policy that all new buildings should be LEED Gold certified (Ghebremichael). Going Green

    Historically, the population of our planet has not lived according to sustainable methods and this has created environmental problems that threaten the future. People did necessarily know from the start that the decisions of each and every person have a direct and/or indirect impact on our planets environment. After scientists and researchers began to look into why our planet reacted in certain ways, research has proven that our actions actually do have consequences and that our planet is paying the price. Our planets natural resources will not last forever and this realization has spurred the voices of those that wish to protect the environment. By spreading awareness about our impact on the environment, they hope to encourage people to help in the efforts of trying to heal the environment and to create a sustainable way of life for the future.

    The going green movement is a sustainability movement based on making changes to ones everyday life that will result in generating less waste and pollution. The more people that jump on board with the going green movement, the greater the impact the

    going green movement will have on the environment. Adopting green habits will create a cleaner environment for all to live in, which will reduce the harmful impact that current practices have had on peoples health. Green habits are

    also financially sustainable, going green entails reducing waste and conserving resources and by doing so less is spent on resources and waste management. USF A Green University

    The University of South Florida continues to commit itself to the advancement of sustainability and to promote participation in the going green movement. The 2013-2018 Strategic Plan for USF lists among its priorities that USF will, through its high-impact research and innovation, change lives for the better, improve health, and foster sustainable development and positive societal change and USF will, as a highly effective major economic engine, create new partnerships to build a strong and sustainable future for Florida in the global economy (01). This double reference to sustainability in the primary goals the university hopes to achieve

    USF has a policy that all new

    buildings should be LEED

    Gold certified.

    4

  • indicates the seriousness of its commitment to creating a green campus and promoting sustainable practices. This commitment entails a continuation of the efforts and practices that have led USF to be recognized several times as one of the top green universities in the nation.

    In 2010, USF was recognized for its actions by being listed in The Princeton Reviews Guide to 286 Colleges, acknowledging that university had shown a high degree of commitment to going green (Cash).

    In 2012, USF received the 2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award for showing the top innovation and climate leadership at the doctoral level (USF to Receive Sustainability Award Today).

    In 2013, USF was listed on the Princeton Reviews Green Honor Roll, a ranking that is achieved by earning a perfect score of 99 on the companys scoring scale of environmental friendliness. This achievement was shared with only 21 other universities out of 832 colleges that were examined by the Princeton Review, highlighting USFs position as one of the

    greenest universities in the country (Top Score for Sustainability).

    More recently, USF has earned the designation of Tree Campus USA. The university qualified for this distinction in 2014 by meeting standards for sustainable campus forestry required by Tree Campus USA . . . (USF Designated as 2014 Tree Campus USA). USF was also recognized by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), being among the

    31 institutions to receive the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment &

    Rating Systems (STARS) gold rating, the highest rating earned by any university (Urbanski 9, 89).

    USF has also shown its

    commitment to promoting sustainable living by, for example, hosting green events such as the annual Campus and Community Sustainability Conference and a Green Jobs Fair where students

    successfully lobbied for a

    $0.75 per credit hour fee for purchasing renewable

    energy. USF has also been ranked 2nd in the region and 25th nationally in RecycleMania (Cash). RecycleMania is a national competition for colleges

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  • designed to promote waste reduction activities. Its primary goals include motivating students to increase recycling efforts and to generate attention and support for campus recycling programs (About). USF President Judy Genshaft has also signed the historic American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (Cash). In 2010 USF created the nations first School of Global Sustainability, an innovative effort aimed at preparing students for a new generation of green collar careers and finding solutions for a world challenged with the protection of its fragile environment and limited resources (Cash). This shows that the University is fully committed to not only going green but to innovate and educate so as to create a sustainable future for all.

    The USF movement to create sustainable campuses has been tremendous to start with and will continue to get better and better. In an email interview that was conducted with Kebreab Ghebremichael, Director of the Office of sustainability, he answered some questions about USFs participation in the green movement and mentioned some of the ways the university has become more sustainable. For example, the university is converting cooking oil into biodiesel fuel that will be used for the universitys Bull-Runner bus system to reduce the use of fossil fuels