2017 Sustainable Business Awards

2017 Sustainable Business Awards

Click here for more information, sponsorships and registration.

Sustainable Business Awards

Sustainable Business Awards

Join us for our Annual Sustainable Business Awards. Click here to learn more.

The Sustainable Buzz

The Sustainable Buzz

Thanks to everyone who came to learn about pollinators, sample local foods, craft beer and wine at our annual event.

Sustainable Business Program

Sustainable Business Program

Sustany® operates the Green Business Designation Program for the City of Tampa. We work with companies to audit, improve, and celebrate the sustainable practices of their operations.

Sea Turtle Secretariat

Sea Turtle Secretariat

Sustany® supports initiatives like the bid to host the International Sea Turtle Treaty Headquarters here in Tampa Bay!

Mini Grants for Many Groups

Mini Grants for Many Groups

Sustany® gives mini grants to help launch projects focused on sustainability and community development.

Sustany® Tumblers

Sustany® Tumblers

Start a lively conversation and support your favorite local foundation with a dozen Sustany® tumblers. Click here!

Help Build A Sustainable Community

Help Build A Sustainable Community

Join the Sustainable Buzz Committee, help with a clean up or participate other Sustany® volunteer activities.

Sustany®: For Tampa Bay's Future

Sustany®: For Tampa Bay's Future

The Sustany® Foundation enhances the quality of life of the Tampa Bay community by promoting sustainability.

The 2017 Sustainable Business Awards

The Sustainable Business Awards is an annual event that, since 2008, has recognized and honored for-profit businesses in the Tampa Bay Area that engage in practices that not only increase economic opportunities but also improve the environment and community.

The Sustainable Business Awards is held annually in partnership with the Center for Ethics at the University of Tampa. The Awards luncheon will be held at the University of Tampa’s Vaughn Center on Wednesday, June 7, starting at 11:30 a.m. During the event, large, medium and small businesses are recognized for their contributions to building a sustainable economy in Tampa Bay.]

Click here to learn more!

Sustany® Updates, Programs & Events

The Sustainable Business Awards 

The 9th Annual Sustainable Business Awards are set for June 7!  Tickets and Sponsorships now available!  Visit the Sustainable Business Awards Event Page


Every week ThinkSustany® bloggers bring us the latest local news and sustainability features from around the world.

2015 Impact Letter 
We had a busy year in 2015! Read our 2015 Impact Letter Here!

Sustany® funds projects and organizations promoting sustainability in Tampa Bay, such as student field trips to Nature’s Academy.


The Latest News from ThinkSustany® Blog

    Sustany Tampa Community Garden Tour

    Community gardens are sprouting up across the Tampa Bay region, in deed-restricted suburban communities where individual home gardens are discouraged, in urban “food deserts” that lack fresh, affordable produce markets, and in a variety of places in between. Supporters note the many benefits the gardens provide, including greater access to healthy locally-grown food, opportunities for outdoor exercise, education and recreation, and chances to interact socially with a cross-section of the local community in a pleasant, relaxed setting. They also increase other aspects of community sustainability by reducing fossil fuel use for long-distance food transport, using composting to reduce landfill disposal of food waste and other organic material, providing fresh produce to food banks and other charitable organizations, returning unused (and often unsightly) parcels of urban land to productive use, and improving residents’ overall quality of life.

    Gardening beds at the Tampa Heights Community Garden
    Gardening beds at the Tampa Heights Community Garden

    To raise awareness of the many benefits that co
    mmunity gardens provide, Kitty Wallace, current president of the local Community Garden Coalition and past president of the Tampa Garden Club, organized a tour for the Sustany Foundation board that visited three Tampa gardens on March 27th.  The three sites are using very different strategies, but each is successful in its own way.

    Tampa Heights Community Garden (http://tampaheightscommunitygarden.com/)


    The first site on Kitty’s tour, the Tampa Heights Community Garden, follows a traditional approach that focuses on partnerships and working with a broad range of members from local neighborhoods.  A project of the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association, it also receives support from the Tampa Heights Civic Association, the Tampa Garden Club, Metropolitan Ministries, and several local residents and businesses.  The garden opened in the summer of 2011, and won the Urban Agriculturalist Award from the Hillsborough County Fair that year.  Individual garden plots on the site are 4’×8’, connected to a site-wide irrigation system, and come with the services of a master gardener who is available to answer member’s gardening questions.

    Kitty Wallace explains a portion of the aquaponics system at the Tampa Heights Community Garden
    Kitty Wallace explains a portion of the aquaponics system at the Tampa Heights Community Garden

    Located next to Interstate 275 just north of downtown Tampa, the site includes individual and communal gardens, a children’s garden area, butterfly and herb gardens, mulch storage and compost processing areas, and a cutting-edge “aquaponics” system.  An array of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels will be installed to provide electrical power for the system in the near future.

    Aquaponics is an innovative approach that combines aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil in a water-infused medium), allowing the garden to grow edible fish and plants together in a single integrated system. Water and fish waste from the aquaculture tanks provide an organic food source for the growing plants, and the plants provide a natural filtering and treatment system for the water that is then returned to the fish tanks.  Other important components are microbes (nitrifying bacteria) that thrive in the plant-growing media. They convert the ammonia from the fish waste, which could otherwise reach levels that would be unhealthy for the fish, into nitrites and then nitrates that serve as key nutrients for the plants.  Earthworms and other organisms living in the plant growing medium also help to break down organic waste material and produce a ‘vermicompost’ that is beneficial for plant growth.  Duckweeds, native aquatic plants that are easily grown in the hydroponics system, provide a large portion of the fishes’ food supply.  The aquaponics system is thus a form of “circular economy”, in which the waste and other byproducts from one portion of the system are used as raw materials to support the other.  It combines the two growing systems in a way that seeks to enhance the benefits and minimize the potential drawbacks of each.

    Sustainable Living Project (http://tampabayharvest.org/sustainability)

    The second site on the tour, the Sustainable Living Project, is located on Sligh Avenue immediately across from the entrance to the Lowry Park Zoo.  A project of the non-profit Tampa Bay Harvest, Inc., and a member of the Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, it does its gardening on a parcel owned by the Salvation Army.  Like the Tampa Heights Community Garden, the project includes a productive aquaponics system. Most of the food produced on the site is donated to Salvation Army food kitchens and other charitable organizations in the area.  The project is staffed almost entirely by volunteers, who focus primarily on food production and also provide community outreach and education.  In addition to the Salvation Army, project partners include Chase Bank, the Boys & Girls Club, GCM Construction, the Lightning Foundation, Whitwam Organics, Lowry Park Zoo, Florida Engineering Solutions, and Meals on Wheels Tampa.

     Solar PV panels and gardening beds at the Sustainable Living Project
    Solar PV panels and gardening beds at the Sustainable Living Project

    H.O.P.E. Community Garden

    The final stop on the tour, the H.O.P.E. community garden, has been operated for a number of years as part of a faith-based school located on North 22nd Street in Tampa.  It focuses on involving the school’s students in gardening and providing outreach and education on healthy food choices for the students and their families.  The newest addition to the garden is a hydroponics-based growing system that has been installed and is expected to go into production in the near future.


    Suzette Dean (L) and Kitty Wallace (R) discuss seedling management at the H.O.P.E. Community Garden.
    Suzette Dean (L) and Kitty Wallace (R) discuss seedling management at the H.O.P.E. Community Garden.

    Between them, these three sites give an indication of the number of different ways that community gardens can be structured and run.  The key ingredient appears to be a committed group of people who will put in the time and effort needed to make them successful.

    Gardening beds at the H.O.P.E. Community Garden.
    Gardening beds at the H.O.P.E. Community Garden.

    The Sustany Foundation would like to support these efforts, and recently provided funding to residents in the Robles Park community in Tampa, as part of the Foundation’s mini grant program, to help them begin constructing a community garden there.  Others seeking small (up to $500) grants to help start or expand a community garden are encouraged to submit an application to the mini grants program (http://sustany.org/mini-grants/).

    Some Community Gardens in the Tampa Bay Area

    (from Kitty Wallace at https://www.facebook.com/communitygardencoalition12345/)

    • Bartlett Park Community Garden, Andrea Hildebran Smith, 1443 Highland St. S, St. Petersburg
    • Euclid Heights Community Garden, Desiree Sims, dls1231@gmail.com
    • HOPE Community Garden, Suzette Dean, 4902 N. 22 St., Tampa
    • Mustard Seed Garden at Tims Memorial Presbyterian Church, Lutz.  Ardell ONeal, 601 Sunset Lane, Lutz
    • Oldsmar Organic Community Garden.  Vita Canalungo, 423 Lafayette Blvd, Oldsmar
    • Plant City Commons Community Garden. Karen Elizabeth, 2001 E Cherry St. Plant City
    • Progress Village Community Garden
    • Robles Park Village Community Garden, Reva Iman, 3518 N Avon Avenue, Tampa
    • Seeds of Faith Community Garden at Bay Life Church, Cindy Paulhus, 1017 N Kingsway Rd, Brandon
    • Seminole Heights Community Garden, Colleen Parker, 6011 N Highland Ave., Tampa
    • Sulphur Springs Community Garden, Urtorio Brown, urtorio1@gmail.com
    • Tampa Bay Community Garden at St. Mary’s Ethiopian Church, 679-4982
    • Tampa Eden Project, Natalia Dengler, nataliabair@gmail.com,
    • Tampa Heights Community Garden, Kitty Wallace, Lena Young Green, 992-0940
    • Temple Terrace Community Garden, Travis Malloy, 329 S Riverhills Dr., Temple Terrace
    • Temple Terrace Farm2School Garden, Elizabeth Lieb, ttfarm2school@gmail.com,
    • University Area Community Garden, Daniel Cupps, 14013 N 22 Street, Tampa
    • Vista Gardens, Carrollwood, Bill West, 13572 South Village Dr., Tampa


    More information on community gardening is available at:


    Written by Gerold Morrison Board Member The Sustany Foundation



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    Sustany's Mini-Grant Program awards community garden a change to grow

    The Sustany Foundation is proud to have awarded a Mini Grant to the Robles Park Community Garden as part of the Sustany Foundation Mini Grant program!

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    Robles Park consists of twelve apartment homes surrounding this initial phase of the garden with approximately another 40 multi-family apartments close by. This project invites all the families to participate in the garden. This project includes an educational component as well as an art project. From the children’s perspective it takes a long time for a seed to become a harvest. To provide interest and successful participation, we propose creating a sculpture out of recycled metal items. Each time they come to the garden they have the opportunity to add to this artwork, under the supervision of a local artist. The art project will communicate the principles of the garden project. By connecting art, recycled material and gardening, we are teaching children to create art from discarded materials, value to the earth by reducing landfill, and gardening to tend and eat the food they grow, all reducing their carbon foot-print.
    The Robles Park Village community garden project will demonstrate a successful model that can be replicated in other low income, high density housing programs. Residents will have a successful garden, improve the quality of activities available for their families, improve the quantity of fresh produce served in their homes, learn about art, civic engagement and caring for their environment. The Robles Park Village community garden project is being funded by the Sustany Foundation, Tampa Heights Community Garden, the Tampa Garden Club, and the residents.

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    St. Petersburg Becomes First Florida City and 20th U.S. City to Commit to 100% Clean Energy

    More information available at press conference on December 9, 2016.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL -  The Saint Petersburg City Council  today formally approved the city’s commitment to transitioning to 100% clean, renewable energy. Saint Petersburg represents the first city in Florida and the 20th city in the country to make such a commitment.

    In a unanimous vote, the City Council Committee of the Whole allocated $250K of BP Oil Spill settlement funds to an “Integrated Sustainability Action Plan” (ISAP), which will chart a roadmap to 100% clean, renewable energy in Saint Petersburg.  In addition, the plan also incorporates components of a climate action plan, a resiliency plan and strategies for Saint Petersburg to achieve a 5 STAR Community rating.  The 100% clean energy roadmap builds on Mayor Rick Kriseman’s Executive Order establishing a net-zero energy goal for the City. 

    Additional visuals available at press conference on December 9, 2016
    Mayor Rick Kriseman will share more information on the Integrated Sustainability Action Plan and related initiatives at a press conference on 
    December 9 at 2:30 PM on the steps of City Hall.  Regional Chancellor of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg Dr. Sophia Wisniewska will also make an announcement about the University's recently-completed Climate Action Plan. 

    In response to today's vote, Saint Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman issued the following statement:
    "The Integrated Sustainability Action Plan builds on my Executive Order on Sustainability by creating a roadmap to achieve the City's long-term sustainability goals. This is the most robust, comprehensive climate planning initiative St. Petersburg has ever undertaken.  Working towards 100% clean energy and zero waste is just one way we continue to build our city of opportunity where the sun shines on all who come to live, work and play.  We still have a lot of work to do, but I want to thank City Council for their partnership and leadership in unanimously voting to pass this plan."

    Saint Petersburg City Council Vice-Chair Darden Rice issued the following statement:
    “St. Pete's commitment to sustainability and resiliency shows we lead the way in strategic economic development, smarter infrastructure investments, long term planning, and measurable quality of life improvements for everyone. It enhances the identity of our city and tells the world we are serious about clean energy solutions.”

    Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune issued the following statement:
    "The movement for clean energy in cities and towns across the country is now more important than ever. Saint Petersburg joins 19 other cities from San Diego, California to Greensburg, Kansas that will lead the way to support equitable and inclusive communities built on 100% clean, renewable energy for all. Whether you’re from a red state or blue state, clean energy works for everyone and local leaders will continue to move forward to create more jobs, stronger communities, and cleaner air and water."

    Emily Gorman, Campaign Manager for Suncoast Sierra Club’s Ready for 100% St. Pete, issued the following statement:
    “This is a historic moment for St. Pete. We envision a city where families can raise their kids in communities free from toxic pollution, where everyone has the opportunity for a good job and access to healthy, affordable energy. The transition to 100% clean, renewable energy will ensure a more resilient, sustainable and equitable future for all our residents.”    

    Organizations that support the Ready for 100% St. Pete campaign include Oceana, Environment Florida, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Sunshine State Interfaith Power & Light, Keep Pinellas Beautiful, LocalShops1, Center for Biological Diversity, Chart 411, Craftsman House, The Burg Bar & Grill and St. Peace House.

    Visuals and interviews are available. 

    BACKGROUND: In addition to the $250K allocated for the Integrated Sustainability Action Plan, two other projects have been allocated from the reserved $1 million from the BP Oil Spill settlement funds. $250K has been allocated for an energy efficiency audit and energy retrofits for City facilities.  $300K has been allocated for collaboration with Pinellas County in developing a vulnerability assessment and modeling program that will asses the impacts and risks from potential future scenarios, like sea level rise and direct hurricane hits. 

    St. Petersburg is one of the first cities in the nation to join Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 national campaign, aimed at leveraging the power of cities to catalyze a national transition toward renewable energy.  Suncoast Sierra Club is a grassroots environmental group comprised of 3,000+ member and 15,000+ supporters.  Ready for 100% St. Pete develops residential and commercial pilot programs with partner organizations and raises public awareness of clean energy and climate planning. Visit SuncoastSierra.org.

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    9th Annual Sustainable Buzz pictures

    Thank you to our attendees, vendors, sponsors and staff for making the 9th Annual Sustainable Buzz a success. The Sustany Foundation is here to promote and lead the way to sustainability in Tampa Bay

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