Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 56.19
Liaison Lissette Hernandez
Submission Date May 13, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Florida International University
EN-9: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Alexandra Dutton
Program Manager
Office of University Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “supportive”?:

A brief description of the institution’s supportive sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “collaborative”?:

A brief description of the institution's collaborative sustainability partnership(s):

South Florida Commuter Services
The South Florida Commuter Assistance Program was founded in 1988 by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to serve as a public information office during the I-95 expansion project. The program has evolved into a one-stop shop for commuter information for programs and services in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie counties. The program is dedicated to improving traffic conditions by promoting alternatives to drive-alone commuting. FIU has had a formal partnership with SFCS since 2013 that promote and incentivize alternative commute options for the university community. The partnership includes use of the SFCS rideshare program, sponsorship of educational events on campus, promotion of bike and transit safety, use of the SFCS Emergency Ride Home program, and more.

UniversityCity Transportation Management Association (TMA)
This partnership between FIU and the City of Sweetwater seeks to reduce the use of single occupancy vehicles by providing a more pedestrian friendly connection between the community and the university. They also seek to improve public transit through technology and innovation. This is an on-going multi-year project funded by a Department of Transportation Tiger Grant.

FIU & FPL Partnership
FIU and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today unveiled a new commercial-scale solar installation at FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing – the only solar research facility of its kind that FPL has installed at a Florida university.
The 1.4-megawatt solar array is comprised of more than 4,400 solar panels on canopy-like structures that provide clean electricity to FPL’s grid and shade for about 400 parking spaces. The unique solar array incorporates a 24-foot by 12-foot FIU logo that is visible from high above.
Engineering faculty and students from the Energy, Power & Sustainability (EPS) program at FIU will use the installation to conduct important research that will help FPL advance solar energy in the state.
Through a five-year research grant, faculty and students are analyzing data from the on-site solar panels to understand the impacts of intermittent solar power on the electric grid in South Florida’s tropical climate. The researchers will also look at historic weather patterns and develop predictive models to forecast the reliability of solar power generation.
For more than three decades, FPL and FIU have partnered on various projects. In addition to hundreds of FPL employees who are FIU alumni, the energy company runs an on-campus customer care training center where students answer calls from customers. FPL also donated an electric vehicle from its clean fleet to FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing to further research and test wireless charging technology.
Besides conducting research on wireless charging, EPS students also work at the FPL laboratories every week to conduct high-end experiments and research on batteries and access points.
“This project further demonstrates FIU’s commitment to working with FPL to help prepare our students for addressing society’s needs for renewable energy,” said Ranu Jung, interim dean of the College of Engineering and Computing. “Our faculty and students are engaged in research related to multiple facets of power generation, and this partnership will help strengthen their contributions to making solar energy viable and economical.”

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “transformative”?:

A brief description of the institution's transformative sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

SLSC Partnership with Southeast Florida Climate Change Regional Compact:
The counties of Southeast Florida (i.e., Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach) have united in the Southeast Florida Climate Change Regional Compact which has begun to articulate a proactive plan for adapting and building resilience to climate change. Florida International University (FIU) researchers have served as advisors to the compact and have worked with counties to develop specific plans based on sound science and exposure data. At the city level, FIU is working with experts and professionals from the City of Miami Beach to address the implications of rising sea levels within that community. The project will not only inform, and hopefully transform, the city’s outlook for the future, but will also serve as a model for building socio-ecologically resilient systems in vulnerable regions globally.
The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact was executed by Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach Counties in January 2010 to coordinate mitigation and adaptation activities across county lines. The Compact represents a new form of regional climate governance designed to allow local governments to set the agenda for adaptation while providing an efficient means for state and federal agencies to engage with technical assistance and support.
The Compact calls for the Counties to work cooperatively to:
- Develop annual Legislative Programs and jointly advocate for state and federal policies and funding.
- Dedicate staff time and resources to create a Southeast Florida Regional Climate Action Plan to include mitigation and adaptation strategies.
- Meet annually in Regional Climate Summits to mark progress and identify emerging issues.

A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with distant (i.e. non-local) communities:

The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships is available:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.