Campus Progress

Know our history, shape our future
2005
President John Hitt establishes the Office of Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM)
2007
UCF becomes a pioneer signatory to the American Climate Leadership Commitment

The commitment paves the way for over $30 million in avoided operating expenses, a reduction in energy use intensity of 41%, and cutting edge green building standards

2009
The university adopts the first Climate Action Plan

Learn more and download the plan here

UCF establishes the organic community garden at the Arboretum
UCF begin its journey with high performance buildings, earning a Gold certification for Physical Science I from U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® green building program.
Landscaping begins irrigating with approximately 200 million gallons of reclaimed water each year, reducing the demand for potable water and saving $560,000 annually (2021)
2011
The National Arbor Day Foundation certifies the campus under its Tree Campus USA program
UCF installs 107kW Ground Mount Solar Project at Garage B
The university reaches the 500,000 square feet milestone for LEED-certified space
2013
The university successfully commissions a 5.5MW Combined Heat Power plant
2014
The Faculty Cluster Initiative launches, spurring an increase in sustainability research

Among the clusters, Sustainable Coastal Systems, Resilient, Intelligent and Sustainable Energy Systems (RISES), and Renewable Energy and Chemical Transformation (REACT) are conducting cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research and education to make positive impacts across the globe and to promote UCF excellence

2015
SEM transforms into two departments: Sustainability Initiatives (SI) and Utilities and Energy Services (UES)

The change paves the way for strategic advancement of sustainability in operations while incorporating education and research into the mission of addressing the economic, environmental, and social justice facets of sustainability

UCF establishes the Sustainability Advisory Committee, and later, the Sustainability Working Advisory Teams (SWATs) and Student Sustainability Advisory Committee (SSAC)

Together, the committees investigate and support sustainable solutions such as micro-mobility programs and the use of reclaimed water for evaporative cooling

UCF mandates a minimum LEED Gold rating for all new construction and renovation and surpasses 1 million square feet of LEED-certified space
2017
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) awards UCF a Silver rating under its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS)
The League of American Bicyclists designates UCF a Bicycle Friendly University at the Bronze level
A Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies joins the list of available sustainability-related degrees
UCF receives two USGBC LEEDership Awards, with UCF Global recognized as Most Outstanding Project, and Utilities and Energy Services winning Outstanding Green Business - Public Organization
2018
The university adds two guiding campus sustainability goals to its neutrality commitment

UCF’s campus sustainability goals are:

  1.  Reaching carbon neutrality by 2050
  2. Achieving ‘Zero Waste’
  3. Integrating sustainability across all disciplines
UCF commissions and opens District Energy Plant IV, UCF’s first LEED Gold Certified Industrial facility, providing highly efficient centralized cooling and heating to campus buildings
The university establishes the Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity (GEEO)
The campus earns Bee Campus USA certification

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The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) honors UCF with the Institutional Energy Management Award - Region II
USGBC certifies the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center, UCF's first LEED O+M building
UCF receives the USGBC LEEDership Award Most Outstanding Project, LEED for Existing Buildings for the UCF Alumni Center
The Sustainable Training Series launches for faculty and staff
2019
UCF commissions Solid Waste Management Assessment Report, revealing a path to a 75% diversion rate
The Green Chamber of Commerce awards UCF a grant to update waste and recycling signage to national standards
2020
UCF converts District Energy Plant IV to use reclaimed makeup water for its evaporative cooling process

Using reclaimed water reduces 25-30 million gallons of water pulled from the aquifer per year and reducing operating expenses by $75,000

The university adds it's 28th LEED building to the high performance building portfolio, totaling 1,569,869 square feet of certified space

Check out UCF's LEED portfolio with scorecards here 

UCF receives four awards from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, totaling $9.64 million – $7 million from the DOE and $2.64 million in matches from UCF

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