Campus Progress

Know our history, shape our future
President John Hitt establishes the Office of Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM)
UCF becomes a pioneer signatory to the American College & University Presidents Climate 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

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 begins 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)
The National Arbor Day Foundation certifies the university under its Tree Campus USA program
UCF installs a 107kW Ground Mount Solar Project at Garage B
The university reaches the 500,000 square feet milestone for LEED-certified space
The university successfully builds the 5.5MW Combined Heat Power (CHP) plant
The Faculty Cluster Initiative launches, spurring an increase in sustainability research
SEM transforms into two departments: Sustainability Initiatives (SI) and Utilities and Energy Services (UES)

The change paves the way for the strategic incorporation of sustainability in operations, education and research to address the economic, environmental, and social justice facets

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
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 as Outstanding Green Business - Public Organization
The university adds two guiding university sustainability goals to its neutrality commitment

UCF’s sustainability goals are:

  1.  Reaching carbon neutrality by 2050
  2. Achieving ‘Zero Waste’
  3. Integrating sustainability across all disciplines
UCF opens District Energy Plant IV, UCF’s first LEED Gold Industrial facility, providing highly efficient centralized cooling and heating to university buildings
The university establishes the Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity (GEEO) to advance UCF’s role and enhancing UCF’s reputation on global economic and environmental issues
The universities earns Bee Campus USA certification for its work to conserve native pollinators by increasing the abundance of native plants, providing nest sites, and reducing the use of pesticides
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, with the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center recognized as Most Outstanding Project, LEED for Existing Buildings
The Sustainable Training Series (STS) launches for faculty and staff
The Green Chamber of Commerce awards UCF a grant to update waste and recycling signage to national standards
UCF converts District Energy Plant IV (DEP 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 avoids $75,000 in operating expenses

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 for projects ranging from securing our nation’s power grids to optimizing solar energy
The university is recertified by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) as a Silver-rated institution under its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS)

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