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Orange County government praised again for environmental stewardship

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ORLANDO – After a rigorous recertification process, Orange County Government was recently recognized as a gold-level Florida Green Local Government (FGLG). Under a program administered by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC), his distinction has only been achieved by five counties in the state. Orange County was the first county in Florida to be certified at gold level as a Green Local Government in 2008.

Under the leadership of Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and direction by Lori Cunniff, deputy director of the Community, Environmental and Development Services Department, the County continues to promote environmental responsibility and operational efficiency. The FGBC recognizes that this achievement reflects more than just environmental stewardship, it also demonstrates a coordinated effort throughout all departments to reduce costs to taxpayers and strengthen communities.

The recertification process involves extensive review of county policies and activities, including how decisions are made, how work is done and how messages are communicated to the public. The FGBC takes into account the implementation of existing programs, such as the state’s Florida Main Street Designation and the nation’s Tree City USA program. Among the programs, the FGBC also weighs new initiatives, such as compliance with building energy codes, fertilizer awareness campaigns, and oil and grease prevention programs – all of which are currently implemented by Orange County. The FGBC presents a set of criteria that are assigned point values. Local governments that meet the essential amount of points are certified as a Green Local Government. There are currently 35 certified municipalities in Florida, eight of them are counties, and only five of the counties are certified at the gold level.

The Florida Green Local Government Standard was created under a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Florida Energy Office. The purpose of the standard is to motivate and guide local governments to become an improved and greener version of themselves. Whether a local government is looking to become certified or not, the standard serves as a valuable tool to accomplish any environmental objective.

Orange County Government is proud to be recognized as one of few Florida Green Local Governments. It will continue to serve as a world-leading destination for innovation through the many strategies set forth in its sustainability plan, “Our Home for Life.” For more information on the Florida Green Local Government, visit the Florida Green Building Coalition's website