North Port renews ‘Florida Green’ certification

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The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) says that North Port in southern Sarasota County has renewed its designation as “Florida Green.”

To earn “Florida Green” building certification, a local government must meet the requirements of a comprehensive list of criteria and earn a minimum level of points, organized in terms of department functions, which are outlined in the FGBC’s Green Local Government Standards.

“FGBC’s standard focuses on improving environmental performance with respect to energy, water, air, land, and waste”, said FGBC president Jeremy Nelson. “Governments are evaluated for environmental practices done in-house, incentives and ordinances that foster green practices, and educational activities for the community to improve the environment.”

FGBC executive director C.J. Davila presented the award to the City of North Port earlier this month. FGBC’s Green Local Government Certification program is the only one of its type in the state endorsed by the Florida Legislature, the Florida League of Cities and the Florida League of Mayors.

“Since the local program was launched, 68 Florida municipalities have achieved certification, with 20 others registered and in the process of certification,” Davila said. “The program is performance based, not prescriptive, and certified governments have found that many of their existing programs and policies contributed to the point total needed for certification.”

Becoming “Florida Green” is an opportunity for local governments to establish sustainable practices that can be carried out on a systematic basis, and sets in motion a process that will extend beyond election terms and protect the community for years to come.

North Port’s quest began in 2008, when the North Port City Commission joined the Florida Green Building Coalition and directed staff to begin an initiative to earn the certification. City administration responded by forming the North Port Green Team, composed of staff representatives from city departments.

In 2011 North Port was the recipient of the FGBC’s “2011 Green Achievement Award” for the “FGBC Certified Green Local Government City Highest Score.”