Sustainability at RIT


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Buildings and Construction

RIT is committed to constructing new buildings using a wide range of sustainable strategies. All new buildings at RIT will be designed to specifications identified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System of the US Green Building Council (USGBC), with a minimum achievement of LEED Silver certification. LEED is the most widely accepted rating system for evaluating sustainable, high-performance buildings.

The campus currently boasts four LEED-certified buildings. On March 26, 2014 the Golisano Institute for Sustainability became RIT’s second building to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest standard that can be achieved. The University Services Center also earned Platinum certification in 2010. RIT completed its first LEED project in 2008, the Gold-certified College of Applied Science and Technology. The Global Village complex was also certified Gold in 2012. The university has two other LEED projects pending: Sebastian and Lenore Rosica Hall and Institute Hall.


Golisano Institute for Sustainability
Golisano Institute for Sustainability



Our Dining Services facilities combat waste generation through a number of creative approaches. Used frying oil from our dining facilities is sold to a vendor for refinement and production of bio-diesel fuel. Dining Services donates tons of pre-consumer organic material every year to a local farm for use as compost rather than sending it to a landfill. A volunteer organization founded at RIT called Recover Rochester salvages leftover food that would otherwise be thrown away from four of our Dining Services locations and transports it to homeless shelters and food kitchens in the Rochester community.

Gracie’s, RIT’s largest dining facility on campus, eliminated disposable to-go containers in fall 2013 and replaced them with reusable ones. This pilot program is estimated to cut the use of 94,000 disposable to-go containers (4 tons) at RIT. The new to-go containers, made from No. 5 polypropylene, are recyclable at the end of life, microwavable, and BPA-free.


Reusable To-Go Containers
Gracie's Disposable Containers


Green Data Center

In 2013 several of RIT’s colleges began moving their previously isolated servers into one central location in Institute Hall to help RIT handle computing in a more efficient, sustainable way. The new data center managed by Information & Technology Services (ITS) is a forward-thinking, combined solution that not only consolidates the campus’s computing into an RIT cloud, but also helps heat the rest of Institute Hall. Data centers require constant heating and cooling, but RIT’s new facility was uniquely designed to moderate temperature in an environmentally conscious way by leveraging free cooling 10 months out of the year and recycling expended heat into the rest of Institute Hall during the cold months. ITS equipped the facility with modern, industry-best equipment that will serve RIT for many years to come. If you would like more information about RIT’s data center or would like a tour of the new facility, please contact Matt Campbell (585-475-7394 or


Green Data Center
Green Data Center


Print & Postal HUB

The RIT Print & Postal HUB is certified as a Forest Stewardship Council printer. The Forest Stewardship Council is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes the responsible management of the world’s working forests. This is done through the development of forest management standards, a voluntary certification system, and FSC trademarks that provide recognition and value to products in the marketplace. In order to produce FSC certified paper, mills have secured fiber from certified forests that meet FSC principles and criteria. This ensures the forest is being managed responsibly. In order to use the FSC logo, the product must have flowed through the FSC “Chain-of-Custody” from the FSC-certified forest, to a paper manufacturer, to a distributor and then to a printer. The FSC’s certification process ensures that the paper used at all the production facilities was manufactured from wood harvested from well-managed forests.


Print & Postal Hub