Thursday, May 6, 2010 - County Receives Green Government DesignationIt's official. St. Lucie County is now a certified "Green County," joining the ranks of only five other Florida counties to receive this prestigious recognition from the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC).
"Receiving the Green County designation is a proud moment for St. Lucie County," said Board of County Commissioners Chairman Charles Grande. "I'm especially proud of all the County employees who came together and worked cooperatively to find ways we could operate more efficiently and save taxpayer dollars."
The FGBC uses a standard of criteria to evaluate performance in implementing policies and programs in the areas of energy, water, air, land, waste and education/awareness. St. Lucie County submitted a several-hundred-page application to the FGBC in September 2009. It was evaluated using a point system, with St. Lucie County achieving gold level certification for its exceptional stewardship and sustainability initiatives. St. Lucie County is currently tied with Indian River County for the third highest score in the FGBC application process.
Many of the policies and programs that led to St. Lucie's gold level score had already been in place for some time prior to initiating the certification process, including the environmentally significant lands program, innovative land planning codes and policies and numerous educational and community outreach programs. Additional credits were earned from recently adopted policies and programs, including the County's implementation of environmentally preferred purchasing standards, green cleaning and landscaping policies, databases to track green certified buildings, and an Energy and Water Manager position to coordinate green programs and track resultant cost savings.
The recommendation to pursue green local government certification came from the St. Lucie County Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC), an advisory board commissioned by the St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners.
"Becoming a Green County is much more than developing a stewardship mindset within County Government," said SAC Chairman Alan Gilbert, executive director of Facilities and Maintenance for the St. Lucie County School District. "It has to be embraced by business people and individual citizens to be truly successful. This initiative being driven by the business people, industry representatives, and citizen ambassadors that make up the Committee speaks volumes to the commitment of our community."