New York State Enhances Industry Efforts of Pollution Prevention Institute
Statewide center receives $2 million to support services to small businesses
April 4, 2011
by William Dube
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The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, hosted by Rochester Institute of Technology, has been awarded $2 million in additional state funding to enhance its leading research, education and outreach efforts.
The applied research center, which focuses on reducing the environmental footprint and increasing the productivity and efficiency of New York businesses, received the funds through an appropriation that was included the state’s Environmental Protection Fund as part of the 2011–2012 state budget passed last week.
“Through the continued development and implementation of sustainable design and production technologies, the Pollution Prevention Institute is helping to make New York greener and more economically competitive,” notes Nabil Nasr, director of RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. “We are gratified to receive this acknowledgement of our efforts and their positive impact.”
“This is a difficult budget year for all New Yorkers and I am pleased that we are able to continue support for the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute,” says Assemblyman Harry Bronson. “As we move forward revitalizing our economy, programs such as this will be vital to our state and nation, and it is an excellent example of a public-private collaboration of future financial investment and growth.”
“I have been pleased to champion the Pollution Prevention Institute since its inception in 2007, and I recognize that it is an integral part in RIT’s universal efforts to improve business practices and environmental awareness through educational enterprise,” says state Sen. Jim Alesi. “Today’s announcement reinforces RIT’s stature as one of the leading academic institutions in the nation for pollution prevention, research and education in sustainable design and alternative energy development.”
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute was formed in 2007 and is funded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. It is a partnership between RIT, Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University at Buffalo and the 10 New York State Regional Technology Development Centers.
The institute has worked with more than 50 companies throughout the state, conducting environmental assessments of manufacturing operations to identify product and process improvement opportunities. These efforts have resulted in the reduction of more than 890,000 pounds of hazardous waste and materials and saved 840,000 kilowatt-hours of energy. In addition, the work has already saved companies $450,000, and potential savings could reach $8 million over a five-year period.
“New York’s Regional Technology Development Centers are tasked with helping manufacturers across the state grow and increase employment by providing them with the services essential for increased competitiveness and profitability,” says Mike Haugh, managing director of High Tech Rochester, the technology development center for Monroe County. “In the four years of our partnership, the institute has become a critical resource, bringing innovative and cutting-edge solutions to our clients’ cost, waste generation and sustainability problems.”
“We plan to use this increased funding in two primary ways,” notes Anahita Williamson, director of the institute. “It will enable us to assist additional companies in implementing pollution prevention practices. Secondly, it will provide additional resources for us to explore other collaborative research opportunities with our university partners in areas such as green chemistry, water conservation and alternative energy technologies.”
For more information about pollution prevention, institute programs and additional resources available, go to www.nysp2i.rit.edu.