Sarasota’s Green Economy
Entrepreneurial Opportunity in one of America’s Most Environmentally Friendly Economy
Discover Sarasota’s Green Economy!
Sarasota County is attracting a thriving community of companies built on the interplay of innovation, lifestyle, clean technology, eco-friendly and sustainable practices, and environmental responsibility. For more than 100 years, Sarasota County has attracted residents and entrepreneurs with some of North America’s finest beaches, wetlands, and natural environments. The region has developed a culture and ethos of sustainability, and a celebration and care for Sarasota County’s environment and natural resources. As the home of some of the nation’s top executives and investors as well as young entrepreneurs, today the region is fostering a uniquely specialized economy of environmental, clean technology, and green innovation businesses.
Green Business Resources
Sarasota County has justly earned a statewide and national reputation over the past decade as one of the top sustainable counties in the U.S. We offer several resources for local businesses and individuals looking to join our growing Green Economy. Together the local governments of Sarasota County are committed to supporting sustainability in their own operations and in the community as a whole.
- Sarasota County Government is committed to environmental, cultural and economic sustainability, and offers a number of sustainability resources for businesses and individuals. It was certified as a Gold Level Green Local Governmentby the Florida Green Building Coalition in 2008 and again in 2015, the highest rated county at the time. The cities within Sarasota County are also taking a lead on sustainability.
- The City of North Port was certified as a Silver Level Green Local Government in 2017.
- The City of Sarasota committed to a goal of 100 percent renewable energy city-wide by 2045 and has completed its climate vulnerability and adaptation plan.
- The City of Venice was named a Bicycle Friendly Community in 2016.
- The Town of Longboat Key is committed to a turtle and shorebird friendly shoreline and will also be implementing a smart LED lighting retrofit project.
- The Green Business Certification: The Sarasota County Green Business Partnership is a network of businesses that have incorporated and demonstrated verified environmental measures and practices within their business. The Green Business Certification is open to all businesses in Sarasota County, and provides free technical assistance and marketing attention for making improvements in green operations. Interested joining? Click here.
- · Discover Natural Sarasota County is an Eco-tourism guide, including information about local wildlife habitats, nature trails, land and water-based outdoor sports and recreational activities, museums and educational venues, and historic sites.
- Academics: There are a number of academic programs in Sarasota that offer training and education in clean technology. All local colleges are working together through the Cross College Alliance to share expertise and resources.
- Everglades University’s Sarasota Campus has opened the Solar Energy Teaching Lab, as part of the Alternative and Renewable Energy Management degree program, where students can learn how to install and manage renewable energy on commercial buildings.
- Ringling College of Art and Design has centered its science curriculum around environmental sciences.
- State College of Florida also offers engineering and certificate programs in alternative energy and focal areas in their engineering programs.
- The University of Florida has opened the UF Innovation Station in Sarasota County, the first engineering extension program in the state, which is focused on growing the region’s innovation economy.
- New College, the Honors College of Florida, offers a wide range of related curriculum and has a leading campus greening program.
- Business Resources: Sarasota County is also entrepreneur friendly, offering many resources to assist new businesses, including Community Entrepreneur Opportunity, Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center (FLVEC), SCORE, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and numerous Co-Work spaces including The HuB, BOLD, The Hive, CoworkSRQ and Englewood Incubation Center[LHB1] .
- Other Information and Tips: Businesses looking for information and tips for making sustainability changes are encouraged to view the Sustainable Business Guide. It’s a great place to learn more about greening your operations.
Making Green by Going Green
Sarasota County is becoming a hub for smart businesses that leverage sustainability for competitiveness and innovation. If you would like to learn more about Sarasota's "green" economy and how your company can benefit, please contact a Sarasota County business representative, and we will reply quickly!
Call 941-861-5000 and ask for the Green Business Partnership Coordinator.
Email the Green Business Partnership Coordinator.
Karen Koblenz, CEO of The Women’s Exchange discusses their grant and scholarship program, their sustainability and recycling programs versus letting used goods go to landfills, and the concept of “making the most of what we have.”
Steve Ellis, My Green Buildings, discusses the business of sustainable building practices and the benefits of the Sarasota County Green Business Partnership.
Jamie DiDominico, Owner of N&M Heating and Cooling, talks about the advantages of being a member of Sarasota County’s Green Business Partnership, and how recycling and sustainability programs have helped his company.
Laurel Schiller, Co-Owner of Florida Native Plants Nursery in Sarasota, discusses their “Green Business” designation, their education and outreach programs, and how selecting Florida native plants can help the environment by supporting native wildlife and resisting drought.
A.J Bitner, Director of the Blue Sky Solar Group, discusses sustainability as a business in Sarasota, the commercial solar industry, and how helping the environment is a key priority for his company.
Jessie White, Owner and Founder of Sarasota Architectural Salvage talks about the advantages of being a member of Sarasota County’s Green Business Partnership.
Rod Hershberger, CEO of PGT Industries – a manufacturer of impact windows with 1,400 employees. Rod discusses his love for the ocean and surfing and how he chose to move his company to where he can balance his passion with his work.
Scott Sensenbrenner is the Chief Executive Officer of Enzymedica, a Sarasota-based company that manufactures therapeutic-quality digestive enzyme supplements. Scott shares his passion for sailing, and how doing business in Sarasota is the perfect combination for building a business and a love for the outdoors.
A testimonial by Lisa Krouse, SVP of Human Resources and Support Services with FCCI Insurance Group, a property and casualty company in Sarasota with more than 700 employees. Lisa shares how doing business in Sarasota is like working in paradise.
BioLucid is a Digital Health company. We build interactive immersive experiences for the healthcare industry to simplify communication, amplify their message and create understanding. Like many technology-based businesses, BioLucid chose Sarasota.