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In this video, we highlight three of UCF’s sustainability goals: to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, become a zero waste campus, and integrate sustainability across all disciplines.

Buildings & Energy

As UCF grows, the university continues to investigate new methods to reduce resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Technological advancements in renewable energy, natural gas, and high-performance buildings have played an integral role in improving existing infrastructure and building to the latest standards of efficiency.

Renewable Energy

Solar Thermal Panels

Solar thermal panels absorb energy from the sun to generate low cost, low emission, thermal energy. The energy is then harnessed to heat water or generate electricity indirectly.  The solar thermal panels on the Global UCF and Towers at Knight Plaza buildings heat water for building occupants.

Garage B Solar

UCF installed its first photovoltaic system in 2012. This 107-kilowatt solar array feeds into the grid, generating more than enough power to serve Garage B. The resulting impact is both a reduction in campus utility expenditures and emissions.

Solar-Powered Charging Station

Located in the D1 lot near Memory Mall, this carport harnesses solar energy, producing electricity to charge electric and hybrid vehicles.

High Performance Buildings

The University of Central Florida mandates that all new construction projects and major renovations be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified. LEED buildings optimize efficiency and use about 30% less energy and 40% less water than their comparable counterparts. UCF currently has 30 buildings with LEED certification. 

    • 21 LEED Gold buildings 
    • 7 LEED Silver buildings

Combined Heat and Power Plant

UCF’s Combined Heat & Power Plant (CHP) uses an 18-cylinder natural gas reciprocating engine coupled to a 5.5-megawatt generator to provide a third of campus power needs. The CHP also uses waste heat to cool buildings.

While natural gas is not a renewable energy source, it plays an essential role in the transition to a dynamic and low-carbon utility portfolio. The onsite production and efficiency measures have reduced annual emissions by 15 percent.



Food & Dining

Departments and community partners are working together to provide sustainable and healthy dining options for the campus population. Students also have a variety of opportunities to learn about sustainable agriculture, cooking, and nutrition.

Campus Dining

Dining Halls

UCF Dining Services is committed to improving their sustainability operations through their Green Thread initiative.  Here, a special emphasis is placed on responsible sourcing, waste minimization, efficient operations, and transportation management. UCF dining halls also feature tray-less dining and portion control.

    • As a collaborative effort between ASI and Student Government, the 63 South Dining Hall has started back-of-house composting with O-Town Compost as of March 2024! 
    • UCF Dining Services hosts monthly Farmer’s Markets, where students are able to purchase fresh produce from local vendors for $6 or a meal swipe. Campus partners such as the Arboretum & Sustainability Initiatives typically table at the Farmer’s Market too.  

Growing Food on Campus

Community Garden

Since forming in 2009, this student-run garden has produced crops for the UCF community. Students can volunteer with the Arboretum to help in the Community Garden, learn to grow their own food, and take home their own produce at the end of shifts. In 2018, the Arboretum drew 973 volunteers who collectively donated 8,690 hours of their time.

    • The Arboretum has recently revamped its garden with new raised beds and signage! See if you can find all the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the signs in the garden 

Hydroponic Tower Gardens

These hydroponic tower gardens can be found all over campus and are maintained by Wellness & Health Promotional Services. These gardens not only produce a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, but also maximize water efficiency by over 80%.

Fleet Farming

Fleet Farming is an urban agriculture program in the Orlando area with the goal of transforming underutilized land into micro-farms. In 2017, Fleet Farming implemented their first garden on UCF campus by the Student Union. The UCF chapter of IDEAS For Us typically maintains the SU garden beds. Check out if there’s something growing now! 

Knights Helping Knights Pantry

Knights Pantry was formed as a grassroots initiative in 2009 with the goal of providing necessities to UCF students in need. Today, it is supported with donations from Lucky’s Market, the UCF Arboretum, Publix, Second Harvest food bank, fellow UCF students, and more. Students with a valid ID can pick up 5 food items a day. There is no limit on toiletries or clothing items.



Natural Lands

Central Florida is a region characterized by its distinctive natural wildlife, plant species, and freshwater wetland habitats. These diverse ecosystems, often adjacent to areas of dense human development, have created a mosaic of contrasting environments completely unique to the area. Nestled at the heart of all this lies the University of Central Florida, a campus that cherishes and protects over 800 acres of conservation lands.

Resource Management

Prescribed Burning

UCF’s Department of Landscape and Natural Resources periodically conducts prescribed burns on natural lands in order to open up mid-story vegetation, remove invasive species, and reduce the risk of future wildfires through fuel reduction. 


Despite its proximity to urbanization, UCF’s natural lands have made impressive strides in biodiversity. These ecosystems provide habitats to gopher tortoises, hawks, osprey, deer, songbirds, and even black bears.

    • Who should you call if you come across injured wildlife on campus? 
      • UCF PD non-emergency number: (407) 823-5555  
      • For domestic or feral animals, please contact the nearest Humane Society, Animal Services Office, or Animal Control Agency.  
        • Orange County Animal Services: dial 3-1-1 or (407) 836-3111  
      • If you come across injured or orphaned wildlife, please contact a Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator.   
        • Rehabilitators in Orange County:  
          • Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Central Florida: (407) 568‐3200  
          • Audubon Center for Birds of Prey: (407) 644‐0190  
          • Back To Nature Wildlife, Inc: (407) 568‐5138  
      • If you see or suspect a wildlife violation anywhere in the state, you can call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922). 

Tree Campus

UCF’s urban tree canopy provides a variety of services, including wildlife habitats, water filtration, recreation, and carbon sequestration (a process in which trees release oxygen and store atmospheric carbon). The trees also reduce the campus’s urban heat island effect. UCF is designated as a Tree Campus USA 


Formed in 2008, the Adopt-a-Pond/Road program focuses on the care and maintenance of  UCF retention ponds and campus roads. Student groups and organizations maintain these areas by doing regular cleanups. The Adopt-A-Program is managed by the Arboretum’s Stormwater team – contact with any questions! 


Nature Trails

Visitors can traverse a variety of nature trails on campus and explore different flatwood ecosystems unique to the central Florida region. Here, plants and animals can be observed in their natural environments. These trails are maintained by the Arboretum’s Land Management team. For more information on UCF’s nature trails and to obtain digital maps, visit Landscape & Natural Resources. 




The University of Central Florida supports one of the biggest student populations in the nation. Yet this exceptionally large community comes with its own challenges, especially concerning commuting. Single occupancy vehicles contribute to traffic congestion, limited parking, and increased carbon emissions. By providing alternative transportation options, UCF continues to provide resources that are both affordable and sustainable.


For more information and up to date routes and schedules, visit UCF Parking & Transportation


The Pegasus Express line consists of ADA compliant buses that circle UCF’s campus with eleven designated shuttle stops in the busiest areas.  


UCF provides fifteen shuttle routes that travel to 23 off-campus apartment complexes.

Between Campuses

Roundtrip routes are available to the Rosen, Health Sciences (Lake Nona), and Downtown campuses. 

Grocery Shuttle

This shuttle travels from campus to the nearby Publix Supermarket every Tuesday.

Park and Ride

Avoid wasting time (and emissions) searching for parking! This shuttle travels from parking lot E4 to UCF campus during peak hours Monday- Thursday.

UCF and Lynx

Students, Faculty, and Staff can travel on Central Florida Lynx busses for free with a valid UCF ID.

Spin scooters & Lyft codes

Spin e-scooters are available for rental around campus. See Parking Services for more information.  

Monthly Lyft discount codes are available to students through UCF SG. See Student Government for details.  


Bike Share

UCF makes biking possible for all students through its bike share program – an efficient, sustainable, and free means of transportation. With a valid UCF ID card, students can rent bicycles, locks, helmets, and lights from Bike N’ Gold at the Student Union.   

Bike Repair

Located in the Student Union, UCF Bike N’ Gold provides free bike repair services for students with bike problems. Services include:

    • Inflate tires 
    • Change tubes 
    • Brake adjustments 
    • Tighten crankset 
    • Loose handlebars 
    • Adjust gears 
    • Brake cable installation

Bike Safety

In 2017, UCF was awarded bronze for bike friendliness on campus. Still, as UCF continues to implement safer bike infrastructure, it is important for bicyclists to practice bike safety and awareness.

    • Wear a helmet. 
    • Know your rights and responsibilities as a bicyclist. Obey all traffic rules and signs. 
    • Keep your bike in good mechanical shape. Check your tires, chain, and brakes regularly.
    • Ride with traffic on the right side of the road (not against traffic). 
    • For night riding, equip your bike with a headlight, taillight, and reflectors. 
    • Ride as far to the right as is practical, but beware of debris and uneven pavement. 
    • Be predictable. Ride in a straight line. Do not weave in and out of parked cars. 
    • Be aware of all vehicles around you, whether moving or parked. 
    • Ride in a single file when traveling in groups. 
    • Be especially cautious when riding through intersections. 

Electric Vehicles

UCF Parking and Transportation has 8 designated Electric Vehicle charging stations. Users can make payment for charging sessions through the SemaConnect mobile app. Single charging sessions can also be purchased by calling 1-800-663-5633. See Parking Services for full details. EV charging stations can be found at the following locations: 

    • 6 stations in Parking Lot D1 (Memory Mall)
    • 2 stations in Parking Garage A (first level near elevators) 




UCF is striving to be a zero-waste campus. To reach this goal, we are working with UCF Recycling Services to implement comprehensive waste reduction programs on campus. 

Single Stream Recycling

UCF currently utilizes single stream recycling; all recyclable materials can be placed in a single bin and are sorted later at recycling facilities. This has not only increased recycling rates campus-wide, but has also made recycling more convenient for the UCF population. Check the Facilities Operations Recycling webpage for specifics on what can and cannot be recycled on campus.  

Electronic Recycling

Electronics contain a variety of harmful, and in some cases even toxic, substances. When these items are discarded in landfills, they not only pose risks to our health but also to our environment. Batteries and Ink Cartridges are recycled internally at UCF. For recycling any UCF-owned electronics, visit UCF Surplus. For personal electronic recycling, please use the following resources: 




Water is one of the most important resources on our planet. We’re made of it, we’re surrounded by it, and we consume it. Water is a necessity of life. Therefore, the University of Central Florida is committed to conserving and protecting water in all its forms.

Potable Water

Water Refill Stations

Filtered water refill stations can be found all across UCF campus in high-traffic areas of buildings, providing a convenient and sustainable alternative to singleuse plastic bottles. 


UCF’s Utility and Energy Services (UES) handles the production, transmission, storage, and distribution of 800,000 gallons of water on UCF’s main campus each day. As a university, UCF has decreased potable water consumption by 21% since 2008, and will continue to adhere to best efficiency practices in order to conserve water resources. 


UCF has implemented low-flow technology at all of its on-campus housing communities to help reduce potable water consumption. Initiatives include:

    • Low-flow shower heads (2.5 gallons per minute flow rate) 
    • Low-flush toilets (1.8 gallons per minute flow rate) 
    • Reclaimed water for all housing irrigation 

Process Water

Chilled Water Plant

UCF continues to expand cooling infrastructure through its chilled water initiatives. These centrally located chilled power plants use waste heat produced by the Combined Heat and Power Plant to deliver chilled water to buildings. 


In Florida, the irrigation of lawns and landscapes is responsible for the largest use of water from municipal suppliers. To curb this reliance on potable water, UCF uses 100% reclaimed water to irrigate campus landscapes.


In order to combat stormwater runoff, UCF builds stormwater ponds to help collect and filter out water impurities. At UCF, there are over 10 stormwater ponds. These ponds are strategically built alongside development as a means of flood control. The water then trickles into the Econlockhatchee River before being emptied into the St. Johns River.