The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) says 10 counties have become “Florida Green” Certified. The group made the announcement during the Florida Association of Counties annual conference in Orlando.
FGBC says Manatee County has become Florida’s first platinum-certified county government. Manatee joins Charlotte, Martin, Osceola, Orange, Pinellas, Sarasota, St. Lucie, Palm Beach and Volusia.
In all, 94 local governments through out the state are either certified or registered to be certified though FGBC, an all time high since the non-profit was founded in 2000. FGBC’s Green Local Government Certification program is the only one of its type in the state endorsed by the Florida Legislature, the Florida League of Cities and the Florida League of Mayors, FGBC says in a statement.
“We commend local governments for their dedication to sustainability and pursuing local certification,” said FGBC executive director C. J. Davila. “This achievement demonstrates a government’s commitment to protect and conserve the community’s natural resources, enhance the efficiency of government thus reducing the cost to taxpayers, and raise public awareness about the benefits of environmental stewardship.”
Orlando-based FGBC says its mission is to lead and promote a state of sustainability with environmental, economic, and social benefits through regional education, information, grassroots outreach and certification programs. “With over 17,600 certifications to date, FGBC is by far the largest certifier of green homes, communities and local governments in Florida,” the organization says in the statement.
“Many months of fears, tears, but mostly cheers went into this certification process,” recalls Manatee County energy manager Diana Robinson. ”This is a remarkable achievement because we are surrounded by counties and cities that have been implementing sustainable and green programs longer than us. Manatee County has proven that with dedication and perseverance, you can accomplish wonders.”
FGBC Florida Green standards address Florida’s hot-humid climate, environment, topography and natural disasters. The five certifications provide pathways to build green homes, developments, local governments, high rises and commercial buildings. FGBC’s process, including low builder fees, is often more affordable than other certifications. The free market aspect of FGBC certifiers keep costs low, the statement says.