Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

Committed and Resilient

Environmental Health and Safety supports the university's teaching, research, and public service mission by assisting members of the campus community in meeting their responsibility to ensure a safe, healthy and sustainable environment for students, employees and visitors.

Environmental Health and Safety will assist the university in achieving national prominence through innovative and effective programs in both safety and sustainability.

Sustainability and Resiliency Council (SRC)

The SRC is responsible for ensuring that the university maintains goals (with associated action plans) for promoting environmental sustainability that are included in the university's strategic plan.

Sustainability Logo
Did You Know?
The “S” is representative of the words sustainability and stewardship. The “S” is in the shape of the infinity symbol representing unlimited capacity, energy, excellence, or knowledge. The FGCU emerald green and cobalt blue school colors are symbols of the earth and water, in keeping with the university’s environmental mission.

EHS Students

Students who work with EH&S will see campus from a different perspective.  We have 1-2 students working with our Fire/Life Safety personnel to learn how to inspect our FGCU buildings and the campus for specific safety related issues and/or practices, fire hazards, and fire safety systems, including the many fire extinguishers across campus.  We also have 1-2 students whose main focus is our technology-related communications and outreach, and coordinating sustainability related service-learning opportunities for students.  Students can also connect with EH&S for service-learning activities to complete their requirements.

EHS Service-Learning Opportunities



Real Food Challenge

Real Food Challenge

The Real Food Challenge (RFC) is a nationwide, student-led campaign to shift $1 billion of existing university food budgets away from industrial farms and junk food and towards local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food sources—or “real food”—by 2020. On April 26, 2016, Florida Gulf Coast University became the first school in Florida to sign the Real Food Campus Commitment.

With this commitment, we pledge to have 20% of the food served in South Village and through catering meet the RFC criteria by 2020. Thereafter, FGCU will continue to increase the amount of food meeting the RFC criteria until 60% is achieved. Read more about this historic commitment on FGCU360now and stay tuned for details and progress reports on the FGCU Campus Dining sustainability page

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)’s mission is, “to inspire and catalyze higher education to lead the global sustainability transformation.” Our AASHE membership supports us as we integrate sustainability deeper into our institutional DNA by helping us benchmark and measure our progress towards sustainability goals and offering continual training and resources for our campus community.   

FGCU has been a dedicated AASHE member since 2006, when it was one of only 50 institutions that participated in the Sustainably Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) pilot. The university earned a STARS Silver Rating in 2011 and a Gold Rating in 2014.  

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Recyclemania Tournament SG


RecycleMania encourages universities to increase recycling efforts, reduce wastes, and raise environmental awareness through a fun and friendly student-led competition that measures and benchmarks recycling activity in an effort to improve campus programs over time. Florida Gulf Coast University has been participating in RecycleMania since 2010.  Past results can be viewed on RecycleMania's scoreboard and are summarized in our STARS report.  

Students interested in participating are encouraged to watch this instructional video and contact the Student Government Director of Sustainability to earn service learning hours or be assigned to help coordinate volunteers and events. 

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Tree Campus USA

Tree Campus USA

Tree Campus USA is a program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, which recognizes college and university campuses across the nation that:

  • Manage their campus trees effectively.
  • Develop connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests.
  • Utilize service learning opportunities centered on campus, and community, forestry efforts.

FGCU’s Physical Plant coordinates our Tree Campus USA efforts. Please see their webpage for more details or to get involved.


Carbon Commiment

Carbon Commitment

Florida Gulf Coast University signed the Carbon Climate Leadership Commitment in 2007.  In doing so, we pledged to develop a comprehensive plan to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible. Second Nature, the Climate Leadership’s direct support organization, defines carbon neutrality as, “having no net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to be achieved by eliminating net GHG emissions, or by minimizing GHG emissions as much as possible, and using carbon offsets or other measures to mitigate the remaining emissions.”  Upon signing the Commitment, FGCU set a climate neutrality date of 2050 and agreed to immediately take the following tangible actions:
  • Establish a policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver standard or higher
  • Adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy
  • Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors at our institution

The tangible actions established by FGCU upon signing the agreement were our first step to taking more carbon out of the earth’s atmosphere than we put into it on an annual basis.  As we continue on our path to carbon neutrality, we regularly submit Greenhouse Gas Reports, Climate Action Plans, and Progress Reports to Second Nature. All reports can be viewed on the Second Nature's Reporting System. 

15-16 GHG Report

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US Green Building Council Member

USGBC Member

Florida Gulf Coat University’s membership to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) supports us by offering our campus educational opportunities and resources such as the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification program.  These help us decrease our ecological footprint and meet our carbon emissions reduction goals.


Earth Charter Affiliate

Earth Charter International

The Earth Charter is, “an ethical framework for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century.” Florida Gulf Coast University has been an International Affiliate of the Earth Charter since 2009, when President Bradshaw signed the Affiliation Agreement recognizing the connection between FGCU’s mission and the principles of the Earth Charter. FGCU is presently the only Affiliate in the United States and many of the tangible actions to support our association with the Earth Charter are coordinated by FGCU’s Center for Environmental & Sustainability Education (CESE).  Please see the CESE's webpage for more details.

FGCU Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) Academy

Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) Academy- FGCU 

Faculty interested in adding or revising course content to include sustainability are   encouraged to apply to the annual Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) Academy. Following the Piedmont/Ponderosa Project professional development model, the ISAC Academy provides time, space, and resources for faculty at all career stages across the university to engage in inter- and cross-disciplinary discussions for sustainability curriculum development.


The ISAC Academy is supported by the Office of the Provost, the Center for Environmental and Sustainability  Education, the Lucas Center for Faculty Development, Environmental Health & Safety and the Office of  University-wide Programs in Undergraduate Studies.


The call for applications will go out via an all Faculty email from the Provost's Office each year. Please consider joining this learning community by applying to this competitive, cohort-based annual academy. 


If you are interested in considering ways to incorporate sustainability content into your courses in the meantime, please see our ISAC Library Guide. We continually add new resources to the ISAC Library Guide. To suggest a resource, please email jpmarcolini@fgcu.edu or eweatherford@fgcu.edu.


Click here to apply to the next ISAC Academy