U.S. Commerce Department Promotes Sustainable Manufacturing in Rochester

RIT host’s tour of area firms and Commerce’s Manufacturing Council

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RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability hosted the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Sustainable Manufacturing American Regional Tour, or SMART, initiative this week in Rochester. SMART seeks to share with U.S. businesses successful and sustainable manufacturing practices that reduce natural-resource use and energy consumption while enhancing profitability.

RIT was selected largely due to the Golisano Institute’s efforts to advance the development of sustainability research and education. The institute is currently developing one of the world’s first doctoral programs in sustainability.

“The development of sustainable production methods will be predicated on increased collaboration between government, industry and academia in the areas of training, education and best practices,” notes Nabil Nasr, director of the Golisano Institute. “Commerce’s SMART initiative is expanding understanding of successful sustainability methods, while also increasing opportunities for future partnerships.”

The delegation, led by William Sutton, assistant secretary for manufacturing and services, visited three Rochester area companies, Eastman Kodak Co, Xerox Corp. and Harbec Plastics, and convened a meeting of the Manufacturing Council, a department advisory group devoted to enhancing domestic manufacturing.

“American manufacturers’ ability to compete in the global economy is boosted with sustainable production practices,” Sutton says. “SMART showcases U.S. companies that have become more competitive and profitable through sustainability, leading the way into the 21st century economy.”

Sustainable manufacturing seeks to profitably produce goods while minimizing environmental impact, natural-resource use and energy consumption. Evidence shows that companies that employ both environmentally and economically sound manufacturing practices gain significant competitive advantages across the board. These practices help companies comply with domestic and international regulations related to the environment and health, while improving their products, image and services.

For more information on the SMART initiative visit http://trade.gov/competitiveness/sustainablemanufacturing/index.asp.