The Golisano Institute for Sustainability is a multidisciplinary unit within RIT that offers graduate degrees in the fields of Architecture (Masters Degree), Sustainability (Ph.D.), and Sustainable Systems (Masters Degree). The Ph.D. Sustainability program was the world's first. GIS is also home to groundbreaking research in sustainability practices, technology, and policy. GIS was founded in 2007 largely due to a $10 million grant from Thomas Golisano. It is currently housed in CIMS but will be moved to a new location in 2013 after construction of that facility is completed. The new location, built specifically for GIS, will be LEED certified and will house 7 systems integration test beds, 8 sustainability technology support labs, computing and collaborative spaces to support research, and academic and office spaces. The institute also provides seminars for local companies and education and training programs to industry on such topics as sustainable production practices in operations, vital new sustainable production skills in addition to general training to learn about pressing business and technology questions regarding sustainable production and increasing employee confidence. Community outreach programs are also available to educate about green engineering, green housekeeping, lean, energy and environment assessments, green purchasing, and pollution prevention assessment techniques and tools. Multidisciplinary faculty and students are currently working on sustainable energy, sustainable mobility, sustainable production, and ecologically friendly IT systems via a variety of different programs including:
The institute, while still young, has already proved itself an international recognized and respected sustainability unit. It has earned several accolades including the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Excellence in Economic Development Award, the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable’s MVP2 Award, and an "A" in the College Sustainability Report Card. From visits of high ranking corporate
officials to GIS's student and faculty participation in various seminars, panels
, and summits
, it is easy to see GIS on the front-lines of sustainability work. GIS is one of RIT's strongest commitments to sustainability and the green movement and will be a valuable asset in aiding the institute reach its ambitious goal of being carbon neutral by 2030
Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@pryanjr) to get more frequent updates.