Rochester Institute of Technology and the Town of Brighton have embarked on a research and analysis project that will assist the town in reducing its carbon footprint and enhancing overall environmental quality in the region. The collaboration is a component of the town’s Color Brighton Green initiative, which is seeking to reduce local CO2 emissions by 10 percent.
Through the project, RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability is conducting an analysis of Brighton’s public vehicle fleet, studying current fuel efficiency and emissions as well as the potential use of alternative fuels and vehicles. The project will ultimately provide the town with a set of recommendations on ways it can decrease fuel consumption, improve efficiency and potentially reduce CO2 output. The study is being funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“Our partnership with RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability offers a great opportunity for the Town of Brighton to become greener,” says Brighton Town Supervisor Sandra Frankel. “The institute’s professional expertise provides a means of assessing fuel efficiency and emissions for the town-owned vehicle fleet and is identifying ways in which we can conserve fuel and reduce emissions. Brighton is serious about doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint and conserve energy.”
“This collaboration is enhancing the use of alternative fuel and energy efficiency technologies, while also creating a cleaner environment for the citizens of Brighton,” adds Nabil Nasr, director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability. “I would like to commend Supervisor Frankel and the entire town administration for their leading efforts in this area.”
Research conducted through the study includes a comparison of emissions, fuel efficiency and overall performance of a wide variety of alternative energy vehicles and fuel types to assist the town in making the optimum choice for their transportation needs. It also includes efforts to enhance current fleet operations through the implementation of improved maintenance procedures, fuel optimization approaches and recycled and remanufactured components. This analysis supports the Golisano Institute’s larger efforts to develop life-cycle modeling tools and an analytical framework for municipalities or fleet users looking to develop an alternative fuel vehicle fleet.
“The decision to implement alternative energy vehicles is based on a host of factors, including the performance of these vehicles over their entire life cycle,” Nasr notes. “Through the analysis of alternative vehicle and fuel performance, we hope to create a suite of tools that can assist other municipalities and fleet users in making the right choices based on the needs of their communities.”
“By ‘thinking globally and acting locally,’ we can have a cleaner, healthier environment now and for the future, save money and reduce energy costs at home and in town hall, and reduce our reliance on imported oil in the interest of national security,” Frankel adds. “The well-being of our community, our nation and, indeed, the world depends upon everyone stepping up to meet the challenge of climate change and global warming.”