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Environmental Record[edit]

Commitments to Action on Climate Change[edit]

The University of South Florida signed the American College & University President’s Climate Commitment in 2008 and submitted their Climate Action Plan[1] in 2010. The commitment lists a goal of a 10% reduction in carbon emissions by 2015, however, a progress report released by the university in 2013 reveals an increase in net emissions between 2009 and 2010 and has no data recorded for 2011 or 2012[2]. Additionally the university did not agree to investing in and producing their energy from renewable sources or establishing policies for all new building projects that comply with LEED certification.

Energy Profile[edit]

The University of South Florida purchases 99% of its electricity on the grid from TECO Energy, Inc., a holding company of Tampa Electric Co. Of these total purchases, 54% are sourced from natural gas and the remaining 44% are obtained from coal burning sources. The university purchases just two percent of its energy from renewable sources which are listed as “in development”. The University also participates in on-site combustion for the heating and cooling of building which utilizes 382,730,910,000 MBtus annually, 100 percent of which is supplied through the burning of natural gas[3].

Energy Investments[edit]

The University of South Florida has a 1.1 billion dollar endowment invested in numerous mutual and comingled funds, the details of which are not available to the public despite the Universities commitment to shareholder advocacy and student involvement[4]. Of its total endowment funds the university holds less than 1% for sustainable investments, while the remaining 99% of investments are not disclosed by the university[5].

Community Impacts[edit]

Natural gas is a form of greenhouse gas that is more potent that carbon dioxide and is retrieved through the process of hydraulic fracturing which forces a mixture of chemicals in bedrock which can cause sinkholes, affect ecosystem plant and animal life, pollute water ways and supplies, and even cause earthquakes[6] [7]. Natural gas in the atmosphere can trap as much radiation as 20 times that of carbon dioxide and is known to have affects on community health and development[8].


  1. ^ "University of South Florida Climate Action Plan". American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. Retrieved 04/03/2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ "Progress Report for the University of South Florida". American Colleges and University President's Climate Commitment. Second Nature ACUPCC Reporting System. Retrieved 04/03/2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ "University of South Florida Report Card 2011". The College Sustainability Report Card. Retrieved 04/03/2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  4. ^ "Cool School Rankings". Sierra Magazine Cool Schools. STARS Reporting System. 
  5. ^ "STARS Report University of South Florida" (PDF). Sierra Magazine Cool Schools. STARS Reporting Tool. 
  6. ^ Fletcher, Jon B. (2012). "Earthquakes related to hydraulic mining and natural seismic activity in western New York State". Journal of Geophysical Research. 82 (26): 3767 – 3780.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  7. ^ C. Pearson (2012). "Parameters and a magnitude moment relationship from small earthquakes observed during hydraulic fracturing experiments in crystalline rocks". Geophysical Research Letters. 9 (4). 
  8. ^ Cupas, Angela C. "The Not-So-Safe Drinking Water Act: Why We Must Regulate Hydraulic Fracturing at the Federal Level". Retrieved 04/03/2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)