RIT selected as one of five universities to host national Climate Leadership Summit

Susan Spencer of ROC SPOT discusses ‘100% Renewable Rochester by 2025’at April 30 event

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Rochester Institute of Technology will hold a Climate Leadership Summit on Saturday, April 30, at the university. The all-day summit is free and runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. RIT was one of only six U.S. locations selected to host a national summit, designed to educated student leaders on current issues that have a profound effect on climate. The summit follows a problem-solution-action framework in order to equip student-leaders with the knowledge of current issues and tools to enact change on campuses and in communities.

Registration is required and can be completed online.

Susan Spencer ’10, ’14 (microsystems) will be the event keynote speaker. The president and founder of Rochester solar energy start-up company ROC SPOT will discuss “100% Renewable Rochester by 2025” at 9 a.m. in Golisano Auditorium. ROC SPOT is focused on implementing renewable energy alternatives in the region as a means to reduce the area’s carbon footprint, to provide an opportunity for economic development through “green” jobs and engage the community in how it can transition to renewable energy resources.

“This is a great opportunity to bring together students of many backgrounds to collaborate on these issues, and to create a network of student leaders in Rochester,” said Sarah Quirk, president of SEAL—the Student Environmental Action League—an RIT student-led organization that promotes environmental education on campus and in the local community.

SEAL is one of the event hosts, along with the National Campus Leadership Council, New York Water Environment Association, Defend our Future and the civil engineering technology/environmental management and safety department, part of RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology.

“This event matters because true progress on college campuses comes from the students,” said Quirk, a second-year environmental sustainability, health and safety student from Lockport, N.Y. “We are the change-makers we’ve been waiting for, and with the right knowledge and tools, we can make a real impact where we live. In the light of COP21, (the 2015 United National Climate Change Conference) now is the time to take action towards sustainability, and we hope this conference can be a catalyst for change.”

During the day, workshops and panel presentations are taking place covering topics such as sustainable food waste to energy conversion, water-related impacts of climate change and climate friendly house designs. Participants will also have the opportunity to tour RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability and the Passive House in Mendon, N.Y. More information about the event and the full slate of speakers and topics can be found at www.leadonclimate.us/rochester_itinerary.