University of Florida
Gainesville, FL, US
|Rating||Score||Valid Through||Liaison||Submitted||Executive Letter|
|Silver - expired||51.12||Dec. 26, 2020||Matthew Williams||June 30, 2017||Download|
The greyscale bar displays the scores (in quartiles) of all institutions rated under this version of STARS that are the same basic type as the institution featured in the report (e.g., Associate, Baccalaureate, Doctoral, or Master’s). Hovering over the bar reveals the following:
- 1st quartile score (75% of institutions scored above this figure)
- Median (or 2nd quartile) score (50% of institutions scored above this figure)
- 3rd quartile score (25% of institutions scored above this figure)
- Top score
Missing lower quartiles indicate the prevalence of institutions that earned zero points, e.g., if 25% of institutions earned 0 points, no 1st quartile will display.
Missing bars indicate that an insufficient number of reports have been published under this version of STARS to calculate quartiles.
The quartiles are recalculated nightly to reflect newly published reports.
UF offers nearly 200 sustainability related courses, as well as 70 sustainability focused courses. There are a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs across various disciplines and colleges centered on sustainability: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has a Major and a Minor in Sustainability Studies; the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has a Sustainable Crop Production and Management focus in the Agronomy Department and an Organic and Sustainable Crop Production Minor in Horticultural Sciences; the College of Design Construction and Planning offers an interdisciplinary undergraduate major called Sustainability and the Built Environment. Graduate students can pursue a concentration in sustainability, Certificates in Sustainable Architecture or Sustainable Construction. Students can also earn a Master’s in Sustainable Design or a Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning with a sustainability concentration; the Levin College of Law now offers a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Environmental and Land Use Law; the School of Natural Resources (SNRE) offers an Interdisciplinary Ecology graduate degree program; the College of Engineering offers undergraduate and degree programs in their School of Sustainable Infrastructure and the Environment.
As part of General Education requirements, UF students must fulfill 3 credits of International coursework, 9 credits of Humanities, and 3 credits of Diversity. In addition, all students will be required to take an interdisciplinary humanities course titled “What is the Good Life?” that explores how to live an ethical life and be a positive, productive member within both the local and the global community.
|Sustainability Literacy Assessment||Not Pursuing|
|Incentives for Developing Courses||Complete|
|Campus as a Living Laboratory||Complete|
UF is home to a number of research institutes, most notably the Florida Climate Institute and the UF Water Institute. These centers and institutes foster interdisciplinary collaboration on some of the world's most challenging problems.
As a tier-one research facility, UF has a unique opportunity to operate as a living laboratory and engage faculty and students in exploring innovative solutions for campus operations.
As a land grant institution, UF extension and Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) faculty carry research from the university into the broader community, educating citizens throughout the state. UF/IFAS is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information accessible.
|Support for Research||Not Pursuing|
|Access to Research||Not Pursuing|
UF has implemented a number of programs designed to engage and educate the campus community on issues around sustainability, health, wellbeing, diversity and inclusion.
In the residence halls, designated Eco-Reps are charged with developing and coordinating peer-to-peer sustainability programming – such as the annual Eco-Challenge - to educate their residents about topics such as energy and water conservation, waste reduction and recycling, and sustainable behavior change.
Additionally, new students to UF attend orientation sessions – called Preview - where they are provided with information about a number of topics, including sustainability efforts taking place on campus. The Office of Sustainability provides information to incoming students about issues such as alternative transportation, waste reduction efforts, academic programs in sustainability, and opportunities for students to get involved with volunteer efforts or student organizations related to sustainability.
New faculty, staff and graduate students are also provided with information about sustainability efforts at UF during orientation events and through on-boarding materials.
|Student Educators Program||Complete|
|Outreach Materials and Publications||Complete|
|Employee Educators Program||Complete|
|Employee Orientation||Not Pursuing|
|Staff Professional Development||Not Pursuing|
The University of Florida is a member of AASHE, ACUPCC, Audubon International, and USGBC. UF Government Relations advocates for sustainability policy as it fits within the mission of the university. UF is also designated as a Tree Campus USA.
Throughout the year, the Office of Sustainability hosts various events to engage with the campus and local community, including the annual Sustainable Transportation Fair and Campus Earth Day events. The office also actively promotes and markets community events related to sustainability, with the intention of creating a collaborative network of partners across the Gainesville area. Furthermore, the Office of Sustainability hosts volunteer opportunities that are open to members of the campus community and the local community, such as the campus clean-up 'Green & Clean' Service Learning Events, and the TailGator Gameday Recycling Program which takes place during the fall football season.
Gators Going Green, a division within Student Government, has implemented a Green Gator Challenge that encourages students to become involved in sustainability efforts at UF, and assigns points accordingly. Graduating seniors who have completed the challenge receive a green cord to wear during commencement as a symbol of their commitment to sustainability both at UF and beyond.<< show less
|Community Partnerships||Not Pursuing|
|Community Stakeholder Engagement||Not Pursuing|
|Participation in Public Policy||Not Pursuing|
|Hospital Network||Not Pursuing|
In 2006, UF's then-president J. Bernard Machen was among the first to sign the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, committing to reduce our carbon emissions and educate our campus community about climate change.
The University of Florida completed a greenhouse gas inventory for 2004-05 as a baseline, and recently completed an updated inventory in 2014-15. UF published a climate action plan outlining a goal to be carbon-neutral by 2025 based on the 2004-05 GHG inventory; a document which is currently undergoing a revision process to reflect the most recent data collection effort.
UF aims to achieve its carbon neutrality goal in ways that are local, tangible, and reliable by reducing, renewing, and then offsetting. UF partners with a local nonprofit organization, We Are Neutral, to provide carbon offsets through tree plantings and energy retrofits in the community.<< show less
|Greenhouse Gas Emissions||Complete|
|Outdoor Air Quality||Complete|
The UF Campus Master Plan outlines strategies for land use and responsible stewardship of resources that support the university’s mission. UF maintains 31 conservation areas on campus and 60 acres dedicated to teaching students and the public about ecology and biodiversity.
All new construction on campus and any renovations have to adhere to a minimum of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards, and UF boasts the first LEED Platinum facility in the state - the Heavener Football Complex.
|Building Operations and Maintenance||Not Pursuing|
|Building Design and Construction||Complete|
|Indoor Air Quality||Complete|
The University works closely with Gator Dining Services (ARAMARK) to achieve goals related to sustainability. In an effort to reduce water and energy use, and food waste, both campus dining halls have eliminated the use of trays. Gator Dining Services has also eliminated Styrofoam and plastic bags from all of its campus dining locations. They also offer reusable to-go containers and cups, vegan and vegetarian food options, locally sourced ingredients and food items, and fair-trade-certified coffee and tea in dining facilities across campus, as well as organic, natural and holistic grocery items in P.O.D. convenience stores.
In 2014, Gator Dining Services began collecting pre- and post-consumer food waste from both of its dining halls for composting. They also work to reduce food waste through a comprehensive tracking system, as well as the composting of coffee grounds and lemon rinds from locations throughout campus. Additionally, in 2016 Gator Dining Services began transitioning Pepsi cups and lids over to compostable versions.
|Food and Beverage Purchasing||Complete|
|Low Impact Dining||Complete|
The University of Florida is committed to minimizing the environmental impacts of our campus buildings and ongoing operations. A strong component of this commitment is the reduction of campus energy use through efficiency improvements that utilize innovative technologies as well as proven best-practices. Examples of such improvements include: building retro-commissioning and continuous commissioning programs, efficient induction and LED lighting retrofits, de-lamping of over-lit areas, optimization of centralized chilled water plants, HVAC upgrades and efficiency optimization, building control data analytics, HVAC set-backs during low-use periods, laboratory occupancy controls integration, and a continued adherence to strict sustainable construction standards for all new buildings.
Through such programs, we have reduced our main campus energy intensity (energy use per gross square foot) by over 7.5% since 2007. In addition to improving campus energy efficiency, UF continues to work to expand solar PV generation on campus.<< show less
|Building Energy Consumption||Complete|
|Clean and Renewable Energy||Complete|
The University of Florida is committed to providing a campus that is safe, pleasant, and supportive of academic pursuits. With nearly 1,000 cultivated acres on main campus as well as outlying facilities, maintenance of landscaping, urban forestry, and irrigation are just a few areas maintained by the UF Grounds Department. Additionally, UF relies on cutting-edge information from researchers throughout campus to better manage and support our campus flora and fauna. In recognition of the work done on campus, UF has been a certified Tree Campus USA since 2013, and was certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in 2005.
UF has a commitment to native vegetation as well as vegetation that requires little irrigation and maintenance. In addition, 95% of UF’s irrigation water is reclaimed through our campus wastewater treatment plant, and 100% of landscape waste and debris is composted. UF has a conservation element within its Master Plan, and manages 31 conservation areas on the main campus, totaling 447 acres of both wetland and upland communities.<< show less
The University Purchasing and Disbursements Department and the Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations Division make every effort to secure contracts with vendors that are socially and environmentally conscientious, and certified green whenever possible.
UF promotes the use of recycled-content and other environmentally preferable products through its sustainable procurement program. UF has also established a Sustainable Purchasing Directive which encourages life cycle decision-making and sustainable procurement practices, include purchasing EnergyStar equipment and EPEAT computers.<< show less
|Cleaning Products Purchasing||Complete|
|Office Paper Purchasing||Complete|
|Inclusive and Local Purchasing||Complete|
|Life Cycle Cost Analysis||Complete|
|Guidelines for Business Partners||Not Pursuing|
UF offers a variety of sustainable transportation options in an effort to reduce the number of trips taken in single-occupancy, traditional vehicles.
UF partners with the local Regional Transit System (RTS) bus service to provide unlimited free rides for students and employees with a valid UF ID. The RTS bus system is consistently ranked among the best transit programs in the state, and were ranked the No. 1 Florida transit agency in 2008 by the Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA). All RTS buses run on biodiesel fuel and are also equipped with bike racks.
UF hosts an annual Sustainable Transportation Fair to encourage use of alternative transportation and highlight key services including the carpool program, Campus Cab, Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol (SNAP), the departmental bike program, the Gator Gears Bike Student Rental Program, RTS, Zipcar, and Zimride. UF also offers faculty the options for a condensed work week, telecommuting, and premium parking spaces with purchase of carpool decals. In 2015, UF outlined a goal to transition 10% of its fleet vehicles to Electric Vehicles (EVs) over the next 10 years.
|Student Commute Modal Split||Complete|
|Employee Commute Modal Split||Complete|
|Support for Sustainable Transportation||Complete|
UF has a Zero Waste goal, and has been developing programs to increase diversion rates and to identify opportunities for increased recycling and composting on campus. Campus-wide waste audits were conducted in 2009 and 2014 and are guiding our efforts moving forward. Pre- and post-consumer composting has been implemented in both campus dining halls, as well as in the Reitz Union catering operations. UF is continuing its effort to expand both food composting and composting of other materials. In 2015, UF began piloting a paper towel composting program in restrooms across campus with the intention of further diverting the more than 500,000 pounds of paper towels purchased each year. Additionally, other waste streams are being studied to determine diversion and aversion opportunities.
UF also has programs in place to exchange surplus office equipment/furniture and lab chemicals. At the end of the spring semester, the Office of Sustainability hosts a waste Collection Day for students, faculty/staff, and community members. In addition to collecting usable household items for reuse in the community, this Collection Day event also provides a way for participants to dispose of or properly recycle materials such as hazardous household waste, electronic waste, and university assets. Collection bins are provided to residence hall locations during move-in to collect empty boxes, and during move-out to collect clothes, nonperishable food items, and electronics for donation.
|Construction and Demolition Waste Diversion||Complete|
|Hazardous Waste Management||Complete|
UF has a sustainability committee that promotes sustainability within the University and in the University's relations with the larger community. It assesses the progress of the University of Florida's sustainability efforts as compared to national and international best practices and pursues their implementation when appropriate. UF has developed a strategic plan that incorporates the three legs of sustainability and a Climate Action Plan to reduce and mitigate for greenhouse gas emissions.<< show less
The President’s Council on Diversity helps the University achieve its goals related to diversity by recommending and implementing initiatives, gathering and analyzing data, and providing input and oversight on matters pertaining to the diversity of faculty, staff, and students.
The Office of Academic Support and the Office of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs are in place to assist students through various programs, mentorship opportunities, and educational initiatives.
UF also has programs in place to provide scholarships, mentoring, and support to students from low-income or non-traditional backgrounds.<< show less
|Diversity and Equity Coordination||Complete|
|Assessing Diversity and Equity||Complete|
|Support for Underrepresented Groups||Complete|
|Support for Future Faculty Diversity||Not Pursuing|
|Affordability and Access||Complete|
UF is committed to providing a pleasant work environment to faculty and staff. Baby Gator Child Development Centers are available to provide child care, and the Employee Assistance Program gives employees access to consultation, training, and workshops.
UF offers a number of employee training sessions on topics ranging from diversity & inclusion at UF and how to 'go green' at work, to wellness topics focusing on topics like work-life balance, stress relief, healthy sleep, motivation, working through grief, and more.
UF also develops and delivers wellness and work-life programming and communications to faculty and staff, such as through its UF-UF Health Wellness team and Wellness Wednesday Lunch & Learn sessions.<< show less
|Employee Compensation||Not Pursuing|
|Assessing Employee Satisfaction||Not Pursuing|
|Workplace Health and Safety||Complete|
UF has invested with private investment funds that sponsor renewable energies such as wind and hydroelectric and sustainable forestry. The investment board has adopted a policy on socially responsive investing that incorporates socially-motivated restrictions on investments where they concern actions that are directly detrimental to the missions of its clients and to consider socially and environmentally responsible investment opportunities within the portfolios.<< show less
|Committee on Investor Responsibility||Not Pursuing|
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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.