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Office of Sustainability

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UF Strategic Vision

The University of Florida has a special obligation to meet the challenges of sustainability for three interrelated reasons. First, as educators we play a leading role in training the scientific, social, political, and cultural leaders, professionals and policy-makers who will make a difference in the world. Second, we consume significant resources here on campus. Third, the students we educate and socialize at UF will have major environmental impacts as consumers and conservers when they leave campus with the knowledge and skills we impart. Whether the world is a better or worse place when our students become its citizens, parents, and leaders will be, in no small part, a function of the values, knowledge and skills they receive here.

To achieve the goal of a sustainable UF, we are committed to encouraging and facilitating the collaborative efforts of faculty, students, and staff to generate knowledge, acquire skills, develop values, and initiate practices that contribute to a sustainable, high quality of life on campus, in the state of Florida, and across the globe. In keeping with this commitment, the UF Office of Sustainability brought together representatives of diverse stakeholder groups across our campus to develop a collaborative vision for campus sustainability. Each group of representatives focused on a different topic area, all of which are represented individually and collectively in the sections of the report – Vision for a Sustainable UF.

Implementation of the Vision

Implementation plans were also crafted collaboratively to chart a course towards UF’s goals, as outlined in the strategic vision. Each group of representatives focused on different topic areas related to our Guiding Principles and represented in the vision report. In some cases, multiple topics identified in the vision share one implementation plan (i.e. Equity, Health, and Well-being, or Stewardship and Campus Culture).

Some implementation plans are still being crafted or interact with larger goals set by the institution. A plan for waste is underway as part of a comprehensive work to meet UF’s Zero Waste goal. The foundation for a plan regarding sustainability in Academics and Research was laid by the work of Dr. Kim Tanzer and Dr. Tom Ankersen. Conversations in this area are ongoing via the UF Sustainability Committee and the Prairie Project. In addition to the Energy and Climate Change Plan, UF also has a Climate Action Plan that outlines additional steps we are taking to reduce our carbon footprint in line with the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

The actions outlined in all the plans lay a framework toward meeting UF’s sustainability objectives, but are non-binding. The implementation process is meant to be inclusive and adaptive, and the implementation plans are “living” documents. For each action, stakeholders are identified and a lead department/unit is noted in bold. Actions will be assessed regularly by the stakeholders to determine appropriateness and/or progress toward the goals, and modified as needed to reflect the best path to a sustainable UF. The Office of Sustainability will review overall progress annually and lead efforts to identify new actions and develop implementation plans every three years.

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