Office of Sustainability aimed at greening Miami-Dade County

The county’s attempt to help turn Miami-Dade “green” was described by Susanne M. Torriente, director of the Office of Sustainability, to members of the Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations (KFHA) on June 7.

“The office was established as a link of all county departments in a common effort to become stewards of the environment,” she said. “Working together, we can better ensure a healthy and sustainable place to live, work and play for future generations.”

The office assists departments and leads initiatives enabling the county to target and realize improved performance that simultaneously values economic, social and environmental impacts and opportunities, she described.

“Miami-Dade’s challenge is to continue providing essential services and shift our business operations to a more sustainable, energy efficient and, in the long run, more economical model,” she continued. Torriente emphasized one of the county department’s priorities was to enhance use of “green” (LEED) standards while eliminating inefficient and wasteful depletion of natural resources.

“We’re forming programs that can coordinate county agencies with municipalities, non-profits, business groups and other organizations to partner in green-oriented collaboration,” said Torriente, who also addressed 16 of Miami-Dade’s city representatives on June 7 regarding the same subject, urging their participation.

“Currently, we’re determining what can be done to further use of LEED standards,” she explained. “We also want to encourage where they can be best be used, and what federal and state standards are best adaptable to local green efforts.”

In tracing the background of the development, Torriente said, “Things only began to come together in 2009 when the U.S. Department of Energy began its conservation efforts through the LEED program recognition.”

Now, through her office, a centrally coordinated program would assist localized organizations and municipal agencies better direct efforts in line with county programs either in existence or being planned in the immediate future.

Asked what individuals can do, Torriente urged opening dialogues with local officials and county commission offices, as well as visiting the newly established website at < > to research areas of participation.

“We’re still a small office but we’re there to get things moving, green-wise,” she said. For details, call 305-375-5593

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