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Sustainability At RIT



Sustainability Policy

The Institute recognizes that the sustainable choices made by faculty, staff, and students will resonate for generations throughout the Upstate New York area and beyond. Those that work and study at RIT also live and raise families in the area. By making the campus more environmentally friendly and by engaging in and learning more about sustainable practices, the RIT community is improving the cleanliness of the greater environment in real and measurable ways.

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is committed to conducting its operations in a sustainable way that prevents pollution, complies with applicable environmental laws and regulations, and improves its environmental performance. RIT believes that proactive environmental management and fostering sustainability are fundamental components in educating our students and future leaders. RIT is committed to integrating this environmental stewardship into its academic programs. RIT will strive to conduct its activities in an ecologically and economically sound manner and will promote responsible consumption and environmentally sound practices among all members of the university community.

RIT values its relationships with the local, regional and global communities and is committed to developing opportunities that share and expand the environmental expertise of its faculty, staff and students. Read More...

To assure our being a good steward of the land and its ecological permanence, we will maintain the following sustainable focus points:

  1. Excellence of sustainable curriculum
  2. Advancement of sustainable research and development of technology
  3. Maintenance of Institute’s environmental commitments
  4. Improvements of Institute’s operational energy efficiencies
  5. Lowering of campus emissions
  6. Harvesting of renewable energy
  7. Continuous advancement of Green Building technology
  8. Improvements in transportation, infrastructure and institutional commuting
  9. Pollution prevention
  10. Excellence in recycling
  11. Sustainable business methods and purchasing
  12. Well-being of stakeholders
  13. Stewardship of land air and water
  14. Full transparency and representation of stakeholders
  15. Community involvement

Other Policies

Sustainable Purchasing Policy

Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

Bottled Water

Bottled water has economic, environmental and social implications. Our municipal tap water, coming from Hemlock Lake, is of high quality and is at least 2000% less expensive than bottled water. Therefore, this policy has been developed to minimize the non-essential use of bottled water. Find out more about bottled water here.


University funds may not be used to purchase single serving bottles of water. 

In new construction and renovation projects bottle-less water dispensers will be installed; and the university will explore the feasibility of retrofitting existing buildings with such dispensers.


This policy applies to all departments, governing bodies, student groups, and any other campus groups that use university funds for catered events or beverage purchases; and will be phased in over six months to provide adequate time to make adjustments.


Dining Services will continue to sell bottled water for the time being to individuals in vending machines, at its retail locations and at sporting events.  It will, however, not provide bottled water for other campus events.  Water is available at fountain locations in dining centers for no cost. After the current vending contract expires, no new contracts for bottled water will be entered into.

For all other catered operations, bottled water will be replaced with bulk water.  Until alternatives can be identified, box lunches that are intended to be carried elsewhere will be exempt from this policy.

Other exceptions may be made to this policy, in emergency situations; in cases where there are no reasonable alternatives to access safe drinking water (this may include off campus or out of town events); when there are hydration requirements for individuals outside of RIT facilities; where other legal or contractual reasons are present.