Sustainable Florida Announces Best Practice Award Winners

Jun 04, 2010, 14:00 ET from Sustainable Florida - Collins Center

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --  Sustainable Florida–Collins Center is pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 Best Practice Awards program. This program recognizes nominees, finalists and award winners for their accomplishments and leadership in sustainable development.



"The accomplishments of these winners are inspiring – and are held out as a shining example for others to follow," said Sustainable Florida Executive Director Tim Center.

A record 109 entries were received this year. A panel of leaders in government, business, academic institutions, and civic and environmental organizations evaluated the nominees based on outcomes achieved, the ability to duplicate the effort, and overall success of the initiative.

"All of those being recognized today illustrate the highest in best performance standards in the integration of environmental, social and economic factors for the long-term sustainability of Florida," said Joe Kilsheimer, chairman of the board for Sustainable Florida.

The following are 2010 Sustainable Florida Best Practice Award winners:


Gulf Power Co. and Emerald Coast Utilities Authority - Pensacola

The synergy between the Gulf Power Co. and the Emerald Coast Utility Authority will help improve and preserve the Escambia Bay area's air and water quality. Gulf Power installed a scrubber system at Plant Crist to remove sulfur dioxide and other air emissions, and has partnered with Emerald Coast to recycle millions of gallons of treated water from an advanced wastewater treatment facility due online later this year. The partnership will allow Gulf Power to produce marketable gypsum and meet its permitting requirements, while turning the new Emerald Coast treatment facility into a zero-discharge plant.


St. Johns Housing Partnership Inc. – St. Augustine

While pursuing its mission for safe, decent, and affordable housing, St. Johns Partnership added value to its efforts by introducing energy and water conservation measures. The company's success in developing The Hancock Place into a sustainable community illustrates how workforce housing can be affordable and green-certified.


Hollywood FL and RecycleBank – Hollywood

Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober spearheaded an effort by the city to partner with RecycleBank®, a rewards program that motivates households to recycle and make greener choices. Residents earn points based on the amount of garbage they recycle. Homeowners can redeem their recycling points at participating retailers, groceries, pharmacies and other shops. The city saves $98 with every ton of refuse diverted from the landfill. Mayor Bober views the unique public/private partnership as a way to protect the environment, help the local economy, keep the community clean and provide savings to Hollywood households that recycle


Atlas Paper Mills - Miami

In 2009, the Miami-based Atlas Paper Mills received Green Seal™ certification, becoming the only Green Seal-certified manufacturer of tissue and paper products in the state. Atlas has never cut down a tree to create its paper, saving an estimated 18 million trees over its 28-year history. By using only recycled wastepaper, Atlas saves 19,000 gallons of oil and 150,000 cubic yards of landfill space each year. It reduces 100 million pounds of paper from the waste stream annually by recycling the paper in its mill and saves 230 million gallons of water each year by recycling the water in its manufacturing operations.


Stacy RanieriPalm City

Stacy Ranieri has spent the past decade focused on initiatives that promote sustainable communities and a more sustainable Florida. Her firm, The Firefly Group, provides public relations, marketing, strategic planning and community outreach services to a diverse client base. She began focusing on sustainable community education when Martin County was designated a Sustainable Community. She spent five years pulling together a diverse representation of all of the sectors of Martin County and helped to found a 501(c)(3) organization called Sustainable Martin Alliance. In 2004, she served as a governor-appointed member of the Committee for a Sustainable Treasure Coast to focus on a shared vision of how that region could become more sustainable.


A Gift for Teaching - Orlando

A Gift For Teaching (AGFT) helps the environment and students in need. AGFT recycles surplus goods from local businesses and puts them into "free stores" they operate in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. Teachers shop at free stores and take the goods back to their classrooms where they are distributed to students. The Orlando non-profit now has three free stores. Rather than clogging local landfills, the items are used by resourceful teachers as educational tools. Since the first AGFT store opened to teachers in 30 public schools in 1998, it has grown significantly to reach 324 schools.


Florida Home Partnership, Inc. - Ruskin

Over the past 17 years, the non-profit Florida Home Partnership, Inc. (FHP) has built affordable, sustainable homes for more than 450 low- to moderate-income families and individuals under the USDA Mutual Self-Help Housing Program model. In early 2006, FHP began exploring criteria for incorporating green building principles and energy and water conservation into construction practices. In 2007, FHP was awarded a grant to begin incorporating green building techniques into housing construction. A portion of these funds was designated for staff and homeowner education.

The awards program was held June 4, 2010, at the St. Petersburg Bayfront Hilton Hotel. For a complete list of Best Practice awards nominees, finalists and winners, visit

Sustainable Florida – Collins Center is an alliance of business, government and civic leaders and organizations committed to defining excellence for Florida's economic, environmental and social future. Sustainable Florida promotes the adoption of sustainable development principles through collaboration and education. It is a program of the Collins Center for Public Policy, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization that finds smart solutions to challenges facing Florida.


Tim Center, Executive Director

850-219-0082 x 114 or 850-212-2684

SOURCE Sustainable Florida - Collins Center