You are on page 1of 17

USF CAMPUSES: Making the World A Greener Place

The Initiatives that USFSP is Taking to Lead the Green Movement on Campuses and in The Community

Contributors
LEVI NIENDORF SUMMER CARNLEY PATRICIA CALVO JASCHKE

ENC3250.791F13 Dr. Francis Tobbienne, Jr. November 29, 2013

Executive Summary
This paper provides a look into the initiatives for environmental and sustainable living at the University of South Floridas St Petersburg campus. It also researches examples of connections between the school, local business partnerships, and the city of the community it serves. Topics of school projects include the proposal and building of green buildings, student committees, and various SGEF proposals. Areas researched are curriculum, recycling and waste management, greenhouse gas emissions, transportation, water, green building, energy and community. These proposals include the Race for the Watts event and future project presentations. This paper also explores the relationship with the schools community through Duke Energys SunSense grant program. The goal of this paper is to highlight the universitys green impact on its campus as well as the community.

Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................. 2 Curriculum..................................................................................................................................................... 3 Student Green Energy Fund .......................................................................................................................... 4 Recycling and Waste Management .............................................................................................................. 5 Greenhouse Gas Emissions ........................................................................................................................... 6 Transportation .............................................................................................................................................. 6 Clean Water .................................................................................................................................................. 7 Green Buildings ............................................................................................................................................. 8 Energy ........................................................................................................................................................... 8 USFSP Community Partnerships ................................................................................................................... 8 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................................... 8 Glossary of Terms.......................................................................................................................................... 9 Annotated Bibliography .............................................................................................................................. 11 Works Cited ................................................................................................................................................. 13

INTRODUCTION
The following report is intended to highlight the projects or initiatives that the University of South Florida has undertaken to become more environmentally friendly. The report discusses details of the past, current and future projects that are intended to reduce the schools impacts on the environment. The university as a whole has undergone some level of changes and each campus runs independently while at the same time cooperatively to achieve its goals. This report focuses primarily on the St Petersburg campus and immediate area. It is the intent of this report to identify both the successful projects and those that did not perform as well, so that future efforts can be directed toward the programs that have the potential to provide the greatest benefits. The purpose of this report is not to convince anyone of whether or not these initiatives should be undertaken, but rather to inform the reader of what can be done, or what should continue to be done in the future. It is also intended to educate students and members of the community on what they can do to get involved. It is no secret that individuals, businesses and organizations have a growing concern regarding sustainability. One thing is for sure if nothing changes, than everything stays the same, and the impacts to the earth could be irreparable. There are many issues that impact our environment. The University of South Florida has set in its vision the design and building of sustainable environmental responsibility. It is envisioned that the university will develop partnerships throughout the communities that it serves to strengthen its initiatives and improve innovations. The University of South Florida began its initiatives in sustainable environmental programs long ago. Since its inception the university has increased its initiatives from simple changes to more substantial and far reaching changes. The creation of task forces and committees has helped to develop the efforts and focus of the schools initiatives. Areas of focus are curriculum, recycling and waste management, greenhouse gas emissions, transportation, water, green building,

energy and community, according to the universities sustainability report of 2007 (USF Sustainability Steering Committee). Early on initiatives included planting trees and changing out light bulbs to reduce consumption of electricity. The university planted over 2,000 trees, and reduced consumption of electricity, saving the university somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million (Patel College of Global Sustainability). The initiatives have since been expanded to include much larger projects such as LEED certified construction and renovation of buildings including landscaping. Student activities include recycling programs, educating the community and businesses about their initiatives, reducing poverty by improving environmental, social and economic sustainability, both locally and globally. There are several student groups, who are actively involved with these initiatives, such as the student environmental association, students in free enterprise, engineers for a sustainable world and others (Patel College of Global Sustainability).

Curriculum

The University has created the first College of Global Sustainability. Although other colleges have provided curriculum in sustainability USF is the first to include the global designation, according to a report School of Global Sustainability Proposal written in 2009 (University of South Florida). The college focuses on providing

education to students that further the sustainability efforts through collaborative research, education and community involvement. Some of the classes offered from the college are the principles of sustainability, the economics of sustainability, keys to sustainability, communication of the value of

sustainability and requires internships (Patel College of Global Sustainability). The purpose of the school is to prepare students for work in the field of sustainable living. Upcoming events hosted by the college include the 2014 Green Infrastructure

Conference and Florida Alternative Fuel Vehicles Expo (Patel College of Global Sustainability). The university has invested a great deal into educating their students in environmental stewardship.

Student Green Energy Fund


The Student Green Energy Fund, which began in the fall of 2011, is the primary source of financing for the schools green initiatives. A $1 fee per credit hour is assessed to each student every semester. The funds collected contribute to the financing of green projects around campuses. A committee was formed to oversee how these funds are put to use. The committee is comprised of 50% students in order to ensure that the students have a voice in how the money is used. Students are able to propose projects to the committee that in some way reduce energy consumption or lower greenhouse gas emissions for instance. The committee then votes on the projects that have the most merit. Through this process they have already managed to complete several projects such as solar docks being installed around the USFSP campus for cleaner energy. Motion censored lights were installed in the parking garage in order to conserve energy. Hybrid cars have been purchased to for school use. A friendly computing project has been put in place, where they are utilizing recycled material for computers. The University is also making sure that any computer parts that need to be replaced, such as batteries, get taken to the nearest local recycling center. SGEF is also looking towards the community for fund needs as well as inspiration. SGEF is looking into the SunSense School Program from Duke Energy, in order to one day install solar panels on campus. The SunSense School Program assists local schools in managing energy costs through grants as well as installing PV systems. St. Petersburg campus' Student Green Energy Fund committee hosts presentations for project proposals, and current proposals include a rainwater cistern project, Phase 2 of a plan for light replacement in the student parking garage, the addition of several water bottle refill stations on

campus, recycling older dorm furniture, water recycling system, and the possibility of campus electric cars. The university has done many projects around the St. Petersburg campus that are getting us closer to that desired eco-friendly ideal. Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF) is host to the annual energy awareness event, Race for the Watts. Race for the Watts is a "race" that takes place in the St. Petersburg Campus fitness center, in its Green Energy Loft. All departments, clubs, and organizations within the campus are invited to take part in the event, which uses SportsArt and Woodway Curve equipment such as treadmills, purchased by the fund, to bring awareness to carbon reduction through reducing electricity use. Woodway Curve as well as SportsArt treadmills are unique in that they have no motor, buttons, or plug-ins. The entire experience of using these machines is powered by the user's own energy and pace. The end result is a gym that not only offsets power costs, but provides clean and sustainable exercise equipment for students on campus. The goal of this race is to exercise, or "run" miles and generate watts on the green equipment, spreading awareness of carbon-free independent energy sources.

Recycling and Waste Management


Recycling and waste management is incorporated into many aspects of the schools efforts. From the construction of buildings to placing recycling bins around the campus, recycling and waste management has been incorporated into the master plan of the campus. Recently, the SGEF approved the proposal Dont Be Trashy. This proposal included to placement of 20 recycling bins, made 100% from recycled materials and to include the SGEF logo on them, strategically on the St Petersburg campus. The maintenance staff has agreed to weigh the collections in order to measure the amount of trash and estimate the ROI. This project is intended to lessen the amount of waste that makes it to our landfills and also to increase awareness of the SGEF. The project is still fairly new so no numbers have

been made available to this point. USF dining halls abandoned the use of Styrofoam boxes in 2010, eliminating hundreds of thousands of boxes from making their way to our landfills. A recent approval of water filling stations has resulted in the installation of 9 stations around the St Petersburg campus. The locations are 2 upstairs in the Davis building, 1 downstairs in the Bayboro Hall, 1 upstairs in the Bayboro Hall, 1 on the second floor of the library, 1 in the Peter Wallace Building, 1 in the gym, and 1 upstairs in Coquina Hall. These fill stations count every bottle saved in order to measure the results of this initiative. SGEF water bottles are to be distributed around the campus to create awareness of this project (University of South Florida St Petersburg). These are just some of the ways the St Petersburg campus is reducing their waste and increasing recycling.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions


The University of South Florida St Petersburg has put in place a set of standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next five years by reducing its use of fossil fuels and conserving energy. The school conserves energy by the use of solar powered charging stations, having sensors installed in classrooms that turn on and off automatically, changing out incandescent bulbs with more efficient LED and CFL bulbs, and many other ways. Upon the signing of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment on April 12, 2009, by William Hogarth, the University agreed to take certain steps to improve sustainability. These commitments include first, to eliminate operational greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions; second, to provide the education, research, and community engagement to enable the rest of society to do the same; and third, to publicly report progress on an annual basis, according to the ACUPCC Implementation Guide found on The American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment website. Currently there are 679 signatories to date. The University of South Florida St Petersburgs Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report can be found online at http://www.acad.usf.edu/Office/Strategic-Initiatives/Sustain-A-Bull-USF.htm (University of South Florida).

Transportation
A car sharing program known as WeCar has been implemented on the St Petersburg campus of the University of South Florida. This program began on the Tampa campus, and entails cheaper short term and daily rates for car rentals. This program includes

two vehicles, at the moment, that are kept in the parking garage on campus. These cars are fuel efficient vehicles that are for use by students and faculty, and will eventually be offered to the general public. The rates are cheaper than what would be available directly from enterprise rent a car, which is who provides the vehicles, and is available to anyone over the age of 18 years of age rather than being restricted to ages 21 and up. This allows students who live on campus to not have to have their own transportation. They must sign up for a membership into the program, but then may use the vehicles according to the terms of the program. This is a fairly new program having been officially launched on February 12, 2013 according to the Tampa Bay Times (Gartner). It is still too early to determine if it will be successful. The University of South

Florida St Petersburg has also installed vehicle charging stations in the Gold lot. These stations allow for priority parking being right near the STG building. Based upon a lack of available resources we make the assumption that there is not currently a bike sharing program or agreement between the university and PSTA, the local bus service, to provide discounts to current students. These are areas that the University could definitely improve. The implementation of a bike sharing program, and providing discounts above the typical student discounts to USF St Petersburg students, for bus passes, would help to reduce students needs for private transportation, and undoubtedly lower emissions.

Clean Water
Although not directly related to the St Petersburg campus of USF, there is an initiative currently underway that would help to detect unhealthy amounts of bacteria in water. The idea is that when a water source is a potential harm to people it can be detected and more quickly remedied. Here in Florida we have multiple beach closings due to unusually high amounts of bacteria in the water usually related to the dumping of treated waste water into the bays, lakes and rivers. It is opined that these beach closures impact businesses and communities. Therefore, it would be a benefit to be able to deal with these issues quickly and be able to reopen the beaches as soon as possible. Also this initiative could help to detect contaminants on our food from water cleansing. Foods that have been contaminated would never reach our dinner tables! Having access to clean water is essential to life and something that we take for granted here in the US. Other technologies being worked on would create fuels from the byproducts of treating waste water. This would lessen our dependency on fossil fuels and is a sustainable, renewable energy source. These initiatives recently gained the attention of the EPA according to a story printed by the Tampa Tribune (Stockfisch).

Green Buildings
Campuses have been designed while keeping sustainability top of mind. From the buildings to the landscaping no stone has been left unturned. One of the greatest impacts that a university has on the environment is the use of the actual physical buildings. They are used a majority of the time throughout the year, and cost a great deal to maintain and operate. This is exactly why USF has put forth a substantial amount of effort and capital toward reducing the effects that their campus buildings have on the environment. Recycled materials and materials from within close proximity have been used to reduce transportation. Buildings do not use certain nonrenewable resources like granite. When planning new buildings it is done in a way that provides the greatest use of natural lighting and that creates maximum exposure for things such as solar panels, which are used to heat the water. Special paints are used to improve indoor air quality. The landscaping is drought tolerant, so that watering them is not necessary. Lights turn on and off automatically when people enter and leave a room. These are just some of the ways that USF buildings reduce the consumption of resources. Two of our buildings, the Science and Technology Building and the new University Student Center here at the USFSP campus are LEED Certified. LEED certifications are awarded by the Green Building Council for buildings that are constructed meeting a certain criteria. USF has made a commitment to the green movement by mandating all new buildings and renovated buildings meet the LEED certification criteria (Chachere). Since its construction many other buildings are being constructed, or have been constructed with similar concepts, and with sustainability at the forefront of their designs.

Energy
Energy consumption has been discussed throughout this paper and is the most important aspect to the green movement. With more than seven billion people in the world all being driven by the consumption of energy it is easy to understand why this

initiative the hardest to tackle. Many of the projects funded by the SGEF are aimed at reducing energy consumption. The University has also received grants from the local power company, Duke Energy, for various projects. From lighting retrofits, to self-sustaining work out equipment, solar charging stations, green building initiatives,

and more, a great deal of resources has gone to this principle! In the future I would look for more solar and wind powered energy to be generated by campuses, in general, and certainly here on the St Petersburg campus. Here in Florida our greatest natural resources are sunlight, water and wind.

USFSP Community Partnerships

The City of St. Petersburg has been a green city for many years, and has provided ideas and inspiration for USFs local campus. The goals of the city and the university are aligned when it comes to sustainability. Currently, the city is working on community gardens and urban farming to promote sustainability as well as local food sourcing. As a campus located in the heart of the city, USFSP will be affected by this ambitious project along with the rest of the community. It is not apparent through our research that the university and the city have worked together on projects to this point. This is an opportunity for the university to reach out to the city and provide assistance in the projects that are underway and proposed. The university is an integral part of what the city of St Petersburg has to offer and attracts many new students, businesses and full time residents to the area. We hope to see more collaboration between the university and the city in the future.

Conclusion
This paper has explored USFSPs sustainability and green projects historically, presently, and those proposed for the future. It explored the history of the green movement in both the school and the city of St. Petersburg. It has discussed projects in detail, as well as introduced important student led committees in charge of making campus environmental decisions. It has examined the communitys influence on projects through company grants, and presented ways students can get involved. Although it is possible to measure the successes and failures of certain initiatives such as savings in operational cost from green buildings, weight of trash recycled and the number of plastic water bottles saved through refill stations, the results are not widely published and distributed to the community. Any initiative that is carried out has been voted on by committee, and presented with an estimated ROI; this means that only the most promising initiatives are undertaken. Many of the initiatives once the investment has been made are relatively inexpensive to maintain. Regardless of the effectiveness they are creating awareness and this has a positive impact on the thoughts and actions of students and faculty.

Glossary of Terms
SunSense - A Duke Energy program that offers incentives for solar energy installations Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) - is a certification for energy efficient building designs awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council University of South Florida (USF) - is an institution of higher learning University of South Florida St Petersburg (USFSP) - A campus of the USF school Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF) A fee charged to currently enrolled students to finance green initiatives approved by committee Photovoltaic (PV) - of, relating to, or utilizing the generation of a voltage when radiant energy falls on the boundary between dissimilar substances Return on Investment (ROI) - A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments Light Emitting Diode (LED) - a semiconductor diode that emits light when a voltage is applied to it and that is used especially in electronic devices Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) - also called compact fluorescent light, energy-saving light, and compact fluorescent tube, is a flourescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent lamp Greenhouse Gas (GHG) - is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) - is a highvisibility effort to address global climate disruption undertaken by a network of colleges and universities that have made institutional commitments to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from specified campus operations WeCar Car sharing program at University of South Florida operated by Enterprise Rent a Car STG Building Science and Technology Building is a LEED certified building on the University of South Florida St Petersburg campus Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) - provides public transportation for Pinellas County, Florida

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - is an agency of the US Federal Government, which was created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress

Annotated Bibliography
USF News Channel. Current News. University of South Florida, Dec. 2012. Web. 13 Nov. 2013. This is the official site for the entire USF school system. It hosts all green campus accolades and is the broadest source of information for anything to do with special reports, videos, and media contacts. McGarigal, Daniel. University of South Florida. (2013) Student Green Energy Fund. University of South Florida, n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2013. The official site for the Student Green Energy Fund. It includes past projects, current project monitoring, and future project proposals. Patel College of Global Sustainability. (2013). Office of Sustainability. Retrieved November 10, 2013, from University of South Florida: http://psgs.usf.edu/usf-office-of-sustainability/ The office of sustainability is a college within the University of South Florida. This site is a great source of information regarding the history, programs, and initiatives of the school regarding green projects. City of St Petersburg. (2013, July 31). Green City. Retrieved October 28, 2013, from The Official Site of the City of St Petersburg, FL: http://www.stpete.org/green/ This site is the official site of the city of St Petersburg. It provides great information about the cities green programs in city government, energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, recycling, and building codes. This site has proven to be invaluable as a resource. Cash, J. (2010, May 05). USF One of Nation's Top Green Colleges. University of South Florida Provost Office, p. 1. The article is about USFs inclusion into The Princeton Reviews Guide to 286 Green Colleges. It outlines and summarizes the activities that USF is taking, which earned them this esteemed honor. Temple, Liisa. "Solar Power Plant Coming to USF." n.d.: n. pag. Web. <http://news.usf.edu/article/templates/?a=3044>. This article is about USF staff trying to improve the environment by making solar energy more affordable. They are trying to make a plant of solar panels at USF.

University of South Florida Sustainability Initiative Report. Rep. USF, 13 Oct. 2009. Web. This report informs readers on how USF plans to improve their sustainability and how they have already started to do so. The report mentions the expo that the university has participated in order to get involved. It does also mention internal changes that they have undergone in the student living area and many more. "USFSP Should Sign Commitment to Go Green: Guidelines for Making Campus More Ecofriendly Could Push the University." The Crows Nest. N.p., 25 Jan. 2012. Web. This is the school newspaper article for USFSP students where they inform students of what should still be done and what has been done to be green. They talk about signing on to agree to reduce greenhouse emission which is great. The article says what the school can improve on but also does not discredit what we have already accomplished.

Works Cited
Chachere, Vickie. ""Green" Patel Center Opens at USF." University of South Florida News 21 January 2010. Gartner, Lisa. Tampa Bay Times. 12 February 2013. 26 November 2013 <http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/college/car-sharing-comes-to-usf-stpetersburg/1274944?utm_source=HarborNotes+Weekly+2%2F15%2F13&utm_campaign=Harbo rNotes&utm_medium=email>. GWSC Campus Staff. "Hillsborough Community College Florida." 2012. District Campus News. 24 November 2013 <http://www.hccfl.edu/onlineathcc/gwsc-fa12-green-genome.html>. Patel College of Global Sustainability. Events. 2013. 24 November 2013 <http://psgs.usf.edu/events>. . History. 2013. 20 November 2013 <http://psgs.usf.edu/usf-office-of-sustainability/history/>. . "Patel School of Global Sustainability." 2013. M.A. Program Description. 24 November 2013 <http://psgs.usf.edu/m_a_program/curriculum-m-a-program/>. . Student Initiatives. 2013. 20 November 2013 <http://psgs.usf.edu/usf-office-ofsustainability/initiatives/student-initiatives/>. Stockfisch, Jerome. The Tampa Tribune Online. 28 March 2013. 25 November 2013 <http://tbo.com/news/education/usf-water-science-draws-crowd-b82470227z1>. The Office for Sustainability at St Petersburg College. "SPC building named Project of the Year by US Green Building Council." 28 October 2011. Sustainable SPC. 24 November 2013 <http://sustainablespc.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/usgbc-award/>. University of South Florida. Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. 2013. 26 November 2013 <http://www.acad.usf.edu/Office/Strategic-Initiatives/docs/School-of-Global-Sustainabilityproposal.pdf>. University of South Florida St Petersburg. SGEF. 2013. 22 November 2013 <https://sites.google.com/a/mail.usf.edu/sgef-usf-st-pete/follow-the-approvedproposals/water-bottle-filling-station-info-page/water-bottle-filling-stationannouncements/orderreceivedandinstallationcompleted>. USF Sustainability Steering Committee. "University of South Florida." 2013. Academic Affairs. 20 November 2013 <http://www.acad.usf.edu/Office/Strategic-Initiatives/docs/USF-SustainabilityInitiative-report.pdf>.