Chamber members met Thursday morning to discuss the role and nature of Sustainability in St. Petersburg, as well as receive updates on various initiatives.
The group reviewed drafts for a mission statement, settling on one that is both succinct and meaningful. The statement will clarify the Task Force’s goals and showcase their mission to the community.
The assembly then received a presentation from James Scott and Carly Chaput of USFSP and the Suncoast Sierra Club about the 100% St. Pete initiative, which seeks to move St. Petersburg to 100% renewable energy. As the “Sunshine City” in the Sunshine State, solar power is a focus. This produced the initiative’s tagline: “powered by the sun”. The presenters detailed the process for identifying homes where solar would be most effective, negotiating, buying, and installing the panels, and advocating for policies to promote renewable energy. They are confident that St. Pete can be a leader in the clean energy economy.
Finally, the meeting heard from Phil Compton of the Sierra Club, who gave an update on the status of requests for electric buses. Noting that the city’s largest source of air pollution is motor vehicles, he stressed the need to move toward an electric fleet. He ended by encouraging the group to contact their council members to promote the allocation of BP oil spill money for the purchase of electric buses, which currently produce less than a quarter of the pollution of traditional diesel buses.