Anand Pallegar, founder of DreamLarge, speaks at the Partners for Green Places launch.

Partners for Green Places (PGP), a collaborative movement and grant program created to inspire local organizations and nonprofits to implement sustainable measures, kicked off its community-wide initiative on Monday, October 14. With a theme of conservation and environmental stewardship, the initiative was founded through a cross-sector partnership with the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, City of Sarasota, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, DreamLarge, University of Florida IFAS and Sarasota County, and the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation. Other businesses are also encouraged to join in the partnership.

Partners for Green Places aims to use energy assessments coupled with energy- and water-efficiency projects to reduce operational costs for human services and environmental nonprofits. A sum of $375,000 was secured through the partnering foundations and a matching grant from the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. These funds will be used to provide nonprofits with “energy roadmaps” that outline cost-saving opportunities through investment in efficiency and renewable energy upgrades and assist them with implementing priority projects at their facilities. Additionally, an anonymous donor with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has granted $200,000 to fund a pilot solar investment program through which nonprofit organizations will be able to apply for low-interest funding to finance renewable energy investments and adopt on-site solar power. As the low-interest funding is paid back, funds will be used for community-wide sustainability education projects.