Green FSC: Creating a Sustainable Campus

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Florida Southern College
Colleges and universities account for more than 1.5% of US total annual emissions: understanding how individual institutions can become more sustainable is critical in tackling the existential threat of global climate change (Klein-Banai and Theis, 2013). Institutions of higher education from Elon University to Florida State University have established Offices of Sustainability dedicated toward reducing the campus’ environmental impact. In embracing the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired relationship between humankind and nature, through evaluation of electricity consumption and environmental curricula, Florida Southern can adopt a plan for improving campus sustainability that allows her to join a diverse cohort of schools who have already done the same. After reviewing 14,000+ electric bills over four years, FSC has released approximately 449,045,367.8 lbCO2. On a yearly basis, the cost to offset these emissions would be slightly more than $500,000. Emissions must not be the only factor in improving campus sustainability. Holistic sustainability requires review of environmental curricula for all students. After researching sustainability and requirements for Environmental Studies majors at Pomona College, Middlebury College, Elon University, and Rollins College, recommendations for reformation of the Environmental Studies major at Florida Southern have been provided. Short-term prospects include creation of environmental economics, policy, communications, and capstone courses and long-term prospects include envisioning an administrative and academic Office of Sustainability that can oversee all aspects of sustainability. Most importantly, if sustainability projects are to hold a legacy on any campus, there needs to be a coalition of active student environmentalists to continue the push toward green progress. After consulting student environmental leaders, an outline for an ongoing and coordinated sustainability campaign on campus has been drawn.
Honors Thesis Spring 2020
Sustainable development, Environmental responsibility, Environmental monitoring, Environmental impact analysis