About NYSP2I

Three first place awards with the NYSP2I logo, sitting on a desk.

About the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute

People across New York State want to make the places where they live and work more sustainable—but they don’t always know where to start. The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) gives Empire State businesses, communities, and nonprofits the practical tools and solutions they need to realize the benefits of sustainability for our economy, environment, and our society as a whole. 

NYSP2I launched in 2008 on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) through funding by Empire State Development (ESD). As a pilot program with a budget of $500,000, our first initiative was to provide technical support to manufacturers across New York State. Today, our budget exceeds $4 million and the breadth of our programming has grown as we work across many sectors and within many communities throughout the state.

Three people sitting at a table, having a discussion.

Pollution prevention through sustainability, one problem at a time

We’re problem solvers. Our team of engineers and sustainability specialists have firsthand experience of the challenges facing organizations like businesses, municipalities, and communities who want to become more sustainable.  

NYSP2I is sponsored by New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and led by the Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). We are a collaboration of five research universities and manufacturing extension partnerships (MEPs) across the Empire State. We give organizations registered with New York State the information, resources, and solutions they need to become more sustainable.

Redefining sustainability

“Sustainability” has become a hard-to-define buzzword. It’s used so often that it can seem like it means nothing at all. But that’s not the case for the engineers and researchers who work at NYSP2I. At NYSP2I, sustainability is a framework for assessing the impacts of New York’s economy on our environment and communities. From heavy mining and industrial chemical production to grocery shopping and glass bottle use, even the most common everyday activities affect the world around us. Sustainability offers a set of tools that allow us to better understand how resources are used or wasted, as well as to identify new ones, allowing businesses, communities, and municipalities to find more efficient, less impactful strategies for meeting their goals.

Real outcomes for New York manufacturers

A ban on plastic bags by 2020, a mandate limiting food waste by 2022, and a plan to source 50% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030—New York State is becoming a national model of what a sustainable economy can look like.
NYSP2I has an important role to play in meeting this target. We’re helping to build a more sustainable New York State by giving our clients the expertise and resources they need to achieve the following outcomes:

  • more efficient use of energy, raw materials, and water through sustainable processes and technologies
  • optimized manufacturing processes that generate more business value
  • elimination of hazardous materials for safer workplaces and communities 
  • competitive market positioning as part of the green economy and by supporting a commitment to environmental stewardship
  • adoption of Green Chemistry Principles for sustainable and safe product development

Promoting pollution prevention through community engagement

By providing financial and technical support for community-based projects, the NYSP2I Community Grants Program contributes to the improvement of the health, environmental quality, and economic vitality of New York State communities.

The program provides support for projects that promote public awareness, understanding, and implementation of pollution prevention practices at the local level. Since its inception in 2008, the program has funded 129 projects, totaling more than $2 million for organizations state-wide. The award of program funding prioritizes projects that

  • utilize partnerships and collaborations with other organizations,
  • demonstrate a broad community impact,
  • address populations and communities that are affected by, experiencing, or susceptible to environmental harms and risk,
  • are replicable and transferrable to other organizations, or
  • are located in Environmental Justice (EJ) communities.*

* Environmental Justice (EJ) communities include residents disproportionately impacted by environmental concerns and issues.  

By the numbers


assistance projects working directly with NYS companies


in support for industry-relevant R&D


operational cost savings as a result of direct assistance to NYS companies


companies received sustainable supply chain assistance, supporting retention of more than 2,437 jobs with a potential to create 190 more


companies received commercialization assistance, creating 325 new jobs


in support for community projects