Orlando has always been a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. And over the past several years, our City has taken a leadership role in one very specific area of innovation: Sustainability.
In 2007, with the support of many community stakeholders, Orlando became one of the first cities in the southeast to adopt a comprehensive program designed to create a more environmentally-friendly City — called GreenWorks Orlando.
This plan has helped us to reduce the use of our natural resources, save our taxpayers money and protect our environment.
Already, the City of Orlando has already made great strides in climate and energy initiatives, including setting a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for city operations by 15% by the year 2017, a goal which has already been surpassed.
Today, at the Climate and Energy Summit, I joined again with our community business, nonprofit and public sector leaders to discuss how we continue to utilize sustainability best practices and solutions to further support economic growth and clean, reliable and renewable energy in Orlando and Central Florida.
As part of this summit I also announced today that the City will pursue five new initiatives to ensure Orlando remains a regional and national leader on climate action, including:
- The City of Orlando will increase its commitment to solar energy and support the business and job creation that will follow.
- The City will explore waste solutions that produce energy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil and save taxpayers money.
- The City will shade its streets and reach a 40% tree canopy goal to create some of Florida’s most inspiring urban forests.
- The City will craft an efficiency and green building policy to enable businesses and residents to save money, clean the air and create an even better Orlando.
- The Green Works Advisory Committee will draft a Green Economy Toolkit and Action Plan to ensure the City and its partners are taking critical steps to produce climate and energy-related jobs and businesses right here in Orlando.
Together, we have the opportunity to continue fostering a green, creative, vibrant and creative city that remains a great place to live and work. Future climate action and the work we are already doing will create an Orlando that we can be proud to hand off to our children and grandchildren.