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
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Alexandra Dutton
Program Manager
Office of University Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee, office, and/or officer that focuses on sustainability broadly and covers the entire institution?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the committee(s), office(s), and/or officer(s) during the previous three years:

In 2013 the Modesto A. Maidique Campus celebrated the grand opening of yet another outdoor recreation space for students, faculty and staff: the FIU Jogging Path, a lighted footpath that surrounds the FIU Nature Preserve managed by the Office of University Sustainability. The FIU Jogging Path is 0.6 miles long and has six workout stations along the path. Made from approximately 5,640 recycled tires, the ground material offers pedestrians and joggers better traction and a softer surface that is better for feet, ankles and knees. In addition, the material is durable and able to withstand South Florida’s rainy season and strong sun.

In 2013, the Sustainability Program Coordinator created the FIU Urban Forestry Internship Program through support from the Florida Forest Service, the FIU Department of Biological Sciences and the FIU Department of Earth and Environment. This program
made it possible to fund student internship positions solely dedicated to the education and outreach, maintenance, and conservation of the FIU Nature Preserve.

In 2014 Eco-Couture was created with the purpose of promoting sustainability through fashion. Through collaborative effort from FIU students, the FIU Office of Sustainability, and Florida International University’s School of Architecture, Eco-Couture features a recycled fashion show competition, giveaways of recycled projects, and recycled art installations. Through this event, Eco-Couture strives to educate and inspire the community about good recycling habits and a sustainable lifestyle. Students from FIU create and model outfits that are made only of recycled materials. This event has become an annual tradition.

In 2015 approximately 4 acres of exotic invasive species were removed from the northern portion of FIU's 11 acre Nature Preserve in preparation of re-vegetating with over 2,000 native species. Also in 2015, The Nature Preserve received an Award of Excellence from the Florida Native Plant Society Landscape Awards for five years of restoration efforts.

In March 2016, FIU approved it's first prescribed burn to support the conservation efforts of our globally imperiled pine rocklands. This activity was very successful and we will continue improving our pine rocklands through best management practices for this unique ecosystem.

In partnership with the National Campus Leadership Council, Defend Our Future, and the Environmental Defense Fund, Florida International University was one of six universities selected to host the 2016 Climate Leadership Summit. This event aims to create and empower climate solution makers by bringing together public officials, business professionals, academics, and student leaders.

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

President Mark Rosenberg appointed the Sustainability Committee in January of 2010. The committee is uniquely comprised of an equal number of students, faculty, and staff. The committee’s main charge is to recommend policies and procedures to the President regarding the integration of environmental sustainability into its operations, education, research, and outreach.

Upon its creation the committee established 15 Guiding Principles for FIU Sustainability in areas pertaining to education; teaching and research; land and resource management; service, outreach, and extension; energy and climate change; transportation; water resource management; agriculture and dining services; built environment; solid waste reduction; procurement; investment; health; monitoring; and stewardship.

In addition the committee also reviews and awards funding to sustainable student projects both on and off campus. For example, Spring 2016 recipients received funding for an eco-couture fashion show on campus and off campus students held a City of Sweetwater cleanup that included the purchase of trash cans and signage to improve litter issues along main city corridors and waterways.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role (e.g. staff, student, or faculty):

2015 -2016 Committee Members:

Alexandra Colby, President, Students for Environmental Action
Ethan Roberts, Director of Environmental Affairs, Student Government Association, BBC
Henry Noonan, Director of Sustainability, Student Government Association, MMC
Brandt Absolu, Bike Shop Representative
Miles Medina, Organic Garden & Agroecology Representative
Open Position, Engineering Center Representative

Peter Craumer, Associate Professor, Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies
Hector R. Fuentes, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jennifer Grimm, Environmental Coordinator, School of Environment, Arts and Society
John Parker, Professor Emeritus, Department of Earth and the Environment
John Stuart, Professor, Department Chair, School of Architecture
Open position

Nick DiCiacco, Senior Director, Facilities Management
John Tallon, Assistant Director, Housing Facilities
Julissa Castellanos, Director of Operations, Vice Provost's Office
Jeff Krablin, Assistant Vice President, Business Services
El Pagnier Hudson, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources
Jimmy Carmenate, Director, Purchasing, Office of the Controller

Committee Chair: Tom Hartley
Ex-Officio: Ali Dutton

The website URL where information about the sustainability committee(s) is available:
Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) employee?:

A brief description of each sustainability office:

The Office of University Sustainability was created to centralize sustainable initiatives and reduce FIU's carbon footprint. The mission of Florida International University Office of University Sustainability is to implement policies and procedures regarding the integration of environmental sustainability into its operations, education, research, and outreach. The Office of University Sustainability will encourage and facilitate the collaborative efforts of students, faculty, 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.

The FIU Office of University Sustainability envisions FIU as a global leader in environmentally sustainable, economically feasible, and socially just practices. The Office strives to instill in the university community “best practices” in all areas, to significantly reduce our negative impacts on the natural environment. It seeks to create a permanent position of leadership in sustainable practices through the creation of an Office of University Sustainability with the budgetary and administrative powers required to implement policies that make FIU a global model of environmental stewardship.

Full-time equivalent (FTE) of people employed in the sustainability office(s):

The website URL where information about the sustainability office(s) is available:
Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Alexandra Dutton, Sustainability Program Manager, Connie Caldwell, Sustainability Program Coordinator

A brief description of each sustainability officer position:

The Sustainability Program Manager position includes the following duties:Identifies, implements, and tracks progress on greenhouse gas emission reduction activities. Initiates, facilitates, and coordinates opportunities to extend FIU's community outreach and services in areas related to sustainability. Works with public relations to secure coverage of sustainability initiatives and serves as a primary contact for the media on sustainability issues. Participates in local, state, national, and international committees, organizations and conferences to promote sustainability. Engages in partnerships with other institutions to further sustainability efforts. Prepares sustainability indicators reports that includes cost-benefit analysis benchmarking, survey stake holders.

The Sustainability Program Coordinator position includes the following duties: Coordinates programs/events that promote the Office of University Sustainability's mission. Supervises interns, volunteers, and contractors as needed. Recruits and manages student and community volunteers. Educates students/staff and community on sustainability initiatives. Works with appropriate individuals, departments and community organizations to increase outreach and education efforts and advocate for sustainability. Develops and implements FIU Nature Preserve management plans using an adaptive management process. Recruits, hires, and supervises interns and volunteers. Coordinates community events and leads education/recreation programs. Manages ecological health by developing and implementing maintenance schedules for tasks such as tree planting, tree pruning, trail maintenance, etc. Prepares grant proposals and work plans for Sustainability programs and events. Assists with philanthropy, coordinates fundraisers, inkind donations, and sponsorship opportunities. Researches and develops new environmental sustainability programming ideas and identifies resources to expand existing sustainability programs. Conducts cost effectiveness and technical feasibility analysis of projects as needed liason groups, programs, offices, and departments at FIU to achieve sustainability objectives. Serves as Office of University Sustainability liaison for Biscayne Bay Campus, Engineering Center and the Broward Pines Center for outreach events and sustainability initiatives. Performs other related duties as required or as directed. The omission of specific duties does not preclude the supervisor from assigning duties that are logically related to the position. Serves as Office of University Sustainability liaison for Engineering Center Campus for outreach events and sustainability initiatives.

The website URL where information about the sustainability officer(s) 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.