HCC has the first LEED Gold certified community college campus in Florida, at our SouthShore location. Sustainable features include rainwater collection, a raised-floor HVAC system, maximum use of natural lighting, and landscaping with native plants. As of 2009, HCC committed that all future buildings would be a minimum of LEED Silver certified. HCC's LEED silver certified student services building at our Ybor campus
HCC has made revamping our waste disposal system our top priority. We promote recycling, but we also know reducing and reusing items plays a large part in managing our waste stream.
To date, HCC has saved over $3 million dollars through the conservation changes, with continuing savings expected. We are committed to energy conservation and efficiency. We are proud that HCC is the first community college in Florida to commit to a totally green campus at our SouthShore location. With our partnership with Trane we provide access to our live recording of our energy input for our college, as well as the solar power gathered from our Brandon Campus.
Solar picnic tables are used by students at HCC to charge laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices while being able to enjoy sitting outside. This reduces our energy consumption while also providing wellness opportunities associated with fresh air and sunshine.
When HCC first evaluated our carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions, we discovered that most of our impact came from travel. Just over 75% of our GHG emissions were from student and faculty commuting. As a commuter school, this is one of the more difficult tasks to tackle, but it is something that the college is committed to improving.
HCC has several electric vehicles charging stations and owns an electric van for college use. We also have reserved parking spaces for carpool and hybrid vehicles, as well as bicycle racks.
Please consider carpooling or take advantage of purchasing a discount bus pass through our partnership with the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART). With their help, HCC students can purchase discounted full semester passes.
Without a doubt, water is the key to life. HCC believes that preserving water is integral to our success as a community, especially in a state like Florida. In 2014, we were able to save just over 9 million gallons of water, about 25% of our base year in 2009, by installing water conserving fixtures.
Hydration stations have been installed at each of the campuses. These stations promote the filling of reusable water bottles. Counters on the machines keep track of the number of disposable bottles that have been replaced by refills. As of 2016, HCC users have replaced approximately half a million plastic disposable bottles!