RIT and Monroe County Announce New Sustainability Partnership

Comprehensive effort seeks to prevent pollution throughout region

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Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, together with the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, today announced a partnership that will result in the creation of a comprehensive sustainability program that will guide the county in its pursuit of green initiatives.

Conducted through the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, which is housed at the Golisano Institute, the program will examine all facets of county operations and analyze petroleum conservation, energy efficiency, greenhouse gases, building performance, green procurement, electronics management, and environmental management systems.

“RIT has proven to be not only an incredible educational and job creation asset for Monroe County, but also a tremendous partner for county government in our commitment to ‘think green’ in every way possible,” says Brooks. “Our public-private partnership with the Pollution Prevention Institute will provide Monroe County with valuable technical assistance and strategic planning information to advance our efforts in utilizing green technology. The county’s goal of protecting our taxpayers and protecting our environment remains a top priority for this administration, and this partnership will help us continue to lead by example in this area.”

The Pollution Prevention Institute’s mission is to foster the transformation and development of sustainable businesses and organizations in New York in a collaborative program committed to making the state a leader in environmental stewardship.

“We are very pleased to collaborate once again with Monroe County and look forward to the development of this program,” says Nabil Nasr, director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability. “This effort will assist in refining and improving the County’s existing initiatives. It remains a great example of how university- based research can support regional needs and economic growth.”

Sustainable performance programs have gained popularity across the country as municipalities and businesses seek out green practices that are also financially feasible. This program will be funded entirely by a grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Last year, Monroe County established a partnership with Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies to conduct an analysis of alternative fuels and life-cycle engineering in the county vehicle fleet. RIT researchers are currently assessing the performance of the county’s E85 flex-fuel vehicles and evaluating the environmental and economic impact of the different alternative fuels and propulsion technologies utilized in these vehicles.

A referral requesting the county legislature to authorize an agreement with RIT to assist Monroe County in the development of a sustainability program has been introduced by County Executive Brooks and will be voted on at the August meeting of the county legislature.