UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County defines sustainability as satisfying our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. We are committed to environmental, social and economic sustainability. To achieve the balance necessary for a sustainable community, this means:
- Replenish the resources we use or consume;
- Ensure our values guide us into the future; and
- Invest in our community to ensure future prosperity.
This is a constantly evolving journey, with countless directions and possibilities. We invite you to join us on this journey, through your choices and actions and by encouraging others in the community. Together we can make a difference – today, and for future generations.
The products we buy, the cars we drive, the places we choose to live, work and play: our choices affect our environment and community. Our cumulative behavior in consuming and disposing of resources will influence our community’s future quality of life. This is true for the community and for government entities. When local governments, businesses and residents practice sustainability it enhances the economy, provides cost savings, saves taxpayer dollars, conserves resources, protects the environment, and helps make a healthier community.
Sustainability in Sarasota County
Sarasota County Government leads the move to sustainability, with programs, processes and policies to achieve greater balance among environmental, economic and social impacts. Among our achievements:
- Designated a Gold level “Green Local Government” by the Florida Green Building Coalition in 2008 and again in 2015, the highest scoring county in the state.
- More than $4 million in grant funding, primarily focused on energy efficiency and sustainable economic development.
- $1.5 million in Florida incentives through the Sustainable Energy Economic District (SEED) Incentive Program.
- Reached 1,500 households with Energy Upgrade program, saving residents an estimated $259,000 per year.
Join us as we build a sustainable community.
Sarasota County Government offers an array of programs to help you build and maintain sustainability in your life, your business, and your activities.
- Sustainable Communities Workshop
- Universal Design and Visitability
- Energy Upgrade
- Electric Vehicles
- Neighborhood Challenge
- Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)
Learn more about the concrete actions Sarasota County Government is taking to create a sustainable community. View a list of sustainability-related policies.
- 2030 Challenge Resolution #2006-157 — Directs that county buildings be designed for reduced energy use and to be carbon neutral (requiring no fossil fuel energy) by 2030.
- Canopy Road Ordinance #2001-041 — Designates, preserves and protects canopy roads and encourages property owners to maintain and protect these trees.
- Community Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Resolution #2010-243 — Commits Sarasota County to take a leadership role in reducing greenhouse gases from county operations and develop a Community Energy Action Plan for the reduction of energy use and associated emissions from the community.
- Community Housing Fund Ordinance #2007-016 — Promotes development of quality affordable housing through the Community Housing Fund Program.
- Comprehensive Plan — Official document providing policy direction for land use decisions and growth management initiatives. Updated in 2016.
- Environmentally Preferable Procurement Ordinance #2003-084 — Establishes preference for purchasing products and services that minimize harmful environmental and social impacts and emphasize long-term value.
- Environmentally Sensitive Land Protection Program (ESLPP) — A voter-approved, taxpayer-funded program to acquire and protect natural lands, many with public access for natural recreation.
- Florida Green Building Coalition — Sarasota County is a participant in the Green Local Government Program, meeting state-level standards for greening local government.
- Get Ready Tampa Bay Partnership Resolution #2011-129 — Continued commitment to electrifying transportation in our region on the part of Sarasota County Government by joining Project Get Ready Tampa Bay.
- Golf Course Ordinance #2003-069 — Requires all new golf courses to be designed, constructed, certified and managed in accordance with Audubon International Signature Program standard or equivalent.
- Green Building Resolution #2005-04 — Provides for Finance, plans, designs, construction, management, renovation, commission, maintenance, and deconstruction of county facilities in accordance with green building standards.
- Green Development Resolution #2006-174 — Expedites processing of rezone and special exception petitions, site and development plans for projects that meet green development standards.
- Green Housekeeping Policy — Requires use of environmentally preferable janitorial cleaning products and services.
- Plug-In Electric Hybrid Vehicle Resolution #2005-278 — Supports federal, state and local policies that advance the market for flexible-fuel plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
- Solar PV Support Resolution #2015-116 — Support of solar photovoltaic energy generation efforts. Solar lowers energy costs, creates local jobs, reduces dependence on imported fuels and is pollution-free electricity generation.
- Sustainability Resolution #02-119 — Establishes and implements policies, guidelines, goals and strategic actions to promote sustainability.
- Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance #2001-081 — Requires all new landscaping to employ efficient irrigation and site adaptive plants including micro-irrigation systems and limiting irrigated sod to no more than 50 percent.