Florida A&M University (FAMU) joined seven of the largest organizations in Leon County in signing a pledge to collectively confront key issues such as energy, transportation and waste that affect the environment.
Member organizations signed the Capital Area Sustainability Compact during a ceremony at Domi Station in Railroad Square on Wednesday, June 26.
“We are delighted to be a signatory to this Compact. Florida A&M University is committed to a holistic approach to sustainability that includes social equity, carbon neutrality and zero waste,” FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., said in a statement issued before the ceremony.
“To reach this laudable goal, we will encourage and adopt innovations that promote resource stewardship, including our current efforts to reduce our own carbon footprint through energy efficiency and development of solar power,” Robinson added. “We look forward to collaborating with our Compact partners for the benefit of the Capital area.”
In addition to FAMU, member organizations are Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, Florida State University, the City of Tallahassee, Leon County Schools, Tallahassee Community College, Capital Regional Medical Center and Leon County Government. The member organizations created the Compact to establish a platform where members can share information, identify collaboration opportunities and find solutions for shared sustainability challenges.
Each member pledges to create and implement an internal sustainability action plan for their respective organization and work in close collaboration with other Compact members to develop a joint strategy to minimize the community footprint, reduce community greenhouse gas emissions and drive sustainable action in the Capital Area.
FAMU’s sustainability plan includes:
- An aggressive energy conservation and retrofit program that has reduced FAMU’s energy use significantly and reduced expenditures by $2.2 million annually since 2011
- Ongoing use of solar-generated electric power from the City of Tallahassee’s solar farm with goals to increase reliance upon solar in the future
- Establishment of the Sustainability Institute to catalyze and support campus-wide sustainability efforts
- Establishment of “The SEED,” a campus garden, mini-orchard, and outdoor classroom where students, faculty and staff can take part in gardening, composting, learning about sustainable practices, or just relaxing outside
- Creation of a FAMU Sustainability Action Plan with priority steps to enhance sustainability in teaching, research and in campus operations and processes
- Establishment of a FAMU Sustainability Fellows program for faculty and students to incentivize and support sustainability research and campus-based service project
- Introduction of 29 FAMU-branded “Big Belly” solar-operated recycling and waste collection containers across the campus that have improved the efficiency of collections and promoted recycling messages
- Installation of bottle filling stations across campus where filtered cool water can be obtained, replacing single-use plastic bottles
Sustainable Tallahassee, a local non-profit focused on promoting environmental stewardship and economic development through education and collaboration, will coordinate the Compact.
“Sustainable Tallahassee feels the Compact has unlimited potential to assist in making our community attractive to our residents and those seeking to relocate here,” said Jim Davis, Sustainable Tallahassee representative and Compact coordinator.
To learn more, call the FAMU Sustainability Institute at 850-599-8231. For more information about the Capital Area Sustainability Compact, visit SustainableTallahassee.org/Compact.