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Sustainability At RIT

Resources by Topic

Resources by Topic
Sustainability is such a broad and wide ranging issue that it can be confusing to know to where to start or which sources to trust. We have identified some resources to help you get started. They are sorted by topic below. Just click on the topic you are interested in to view the list.


GreenBiz – Daily news on a variety of topics related to sustainable business.

Green Student U – A news source for college students interested in sustainability.

Huffington Post – A good source of mainstream news pertaining to sustainability.

Justice the People’s News – News on local and global goings-on pertaining to human rights, social justice, environmental justice, and activism for securing human rights and social justice.

Treehugger – A media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream.

Higher Education Resources

American College and University President’s Climate Commitment –A national effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the college and university sector.

Association for the Advancement in Higher Education - An organization dedicated to advancement of sustainability in higher education. Registration required with to RIT email holders. There are a variety of resources for operations, administration, academics, planning, etc.

Campus Green Builder – An online resource on campus green building developed by Second Nature.

Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability (DANS) – Sponsored by the US Partnership on Education for Sustainable Development, the DANS is an informal network of professional associations. Resources are available for disciplines in physical and social sciences, the humanities and business.

National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology - Provides resources and technical support to college campuses working to address sustainability and climate change.

Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) – A free initiative of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and ecoAmerica that advances sustainability and green workforce development practices at community colleges by sharing innovative models and resources and building the capacity of college administrators, faculty, and staff to contribute as leaders.

University Leaders for Sustainable Future (ULSF) - An organization dedicated to support sustainability as critical focus of teaching, research, operations and outreach in colleges and universities worldwide.


Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) – A site dedicated to obtaining and maintaining LEED credentials.

International Green Construction Code - Provides model code language to establish baseline regulations for new and existing buildings related to energy conservation, water efficiency, building owner responsibilities, site impacts, building waste, and materials and other considerations.

Sustainable Resources Building – A site dedicated to fostering environmentally responsible practices in homebuilding.

U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) - A nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable and energy efficient buildings, building materials, sustainable construction practices, and building commissioning process.


Cradle to Cradle – A program created by MBDC, a global sustainability consulting and product certification firm, that assesses a products safety to humans and the environment and design for future life cycles.

EnergySTAR- A government-backed symbol for energy efficiency helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.

EPEAT – An environmental rating that helps identify greener computers and other electronic equipment for your business, agency or organization, or for your personal use.

Food Alliance - A non-profit organization that certifies farms, ranchers and food handlers for sustainable agricultural and business practices.

Green Restaurant Association – A non-profit organization that provides a convenient and cost effective way for restaurants, manufacturers, distributors and consumers to become more environmentally responsible.

Green Seal - An independent non-profit organization dedicated to promotion, marketing, certification and use of environmentally responsible products and services.

Forest Stewardship – Forest management operations that meet the principles and criteria for the environmental, economic and social standards of the Forest Stewardship Council.

ISO – Management and leadership standards for social responsibility, risk management, quality management, environmental management and energy management.

LEED - Provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. 

Marine Stewardship – A global organization working with fisheries, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public to promote the best environmental choice in seafood.

Fair Trade – A non-profit organization that audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies and their international suppliers to guarantee that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods are paid fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment and receive community development funds to empower and uplift their communities.

Energy – A website that provides information on developments in the field of alternative energy sources in the North America, Europe and Australia. 

Energy Star - A joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy designed to help consumers save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory - The only federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Natural Resources Conservative Service - a US Department of Agriculture sponsored resource dedicated in support of clean water and air, improvement soils and wildlife habitat.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) - A public benefit corporation whose aim is to help New York meet its energy goals: reducing energy consumption, promoting the use of renewable energy sources, and protecting the environment.

U.S. DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) – EERE invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce dependence on foreign oil.


Local Harvest – Search by zip code to find area farmers’ markets, csa’s, farms, meat processors, etc. – Search by county for u-pick farms.

Seafood Watch –An initiative of Monterey Bay Aquarium that helps consumers and businesses make choices for healthy oceans. Their recommendations indicate which seafood items are "Best Choices," "Good Alternatives," and which ones you should "Avoid."

Sustainable Food Purchasing Policy Project – an initiative to help educational, health care and other institutional and commercial food buyers develop purchasing policies that support social and environmental responsibility in agriculture and the food industry.

Sustainable Table – Clearing house of information on sustainable choices in food and agriculture.

Footprint Calculators

Carbon Footprint Calculator – What is your personal carbon footprint?

Earth Day Network – Ecological footprint calculator

Global Footprint Network – Calculators for cities, businesses, carbon emissions and person footprints.

Low Carbon Diet Calculator – Calculator allows you to compare the relative carbon impacts of different foods.

Water Footprint Network – Find out how much water your lifestyle requires.

Zero Footprint Calculator – A footprint calculator for kids.


Reliable Prosperity - A project of Ecotrust, this site lays out 57 elements for greater economic, social and environmental well-being.

UN Division of Sustainable Development – This UN division provides leadership and is an authoritative source of expertise within the United Nations system on sustainable development.

World Business Council for Sustainable Development - a CEO-led organization of companies that drives the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. 


Acumen Fund - Their mission is to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas.

Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment - The U.S. membership association for professionals, firms, institutions and organizations engaged in socially responsible and sustainable investing.

Kiva - A non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. – The site features over 10,000 pages of information on SRI mutual funds, community investments, corporate research, shareowner actions, and daily social investment news.


For institutions

US EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) – EPP is an initiative to assist federal agencies in green purchasing requirements.  The site includes general guidelines, product specific purchasing guides, sample contract language, etc.

Responsible Purchasing Network – An international network of buyers dedicated to socially responsible and environmentally sustainable purchasing. 

SF Approved List - San Francisco Department of Environment created the SF Approved List to share the best in authoritative green purchasing information within City government and with the world at large.

NYS Office of General Services – List of approved specifications by product that comply with Executive Order 4, which established a State Green Procurement and Agency Sustainability Program.

For Consumers

Consumer Reports Greener Choices – A website developed by Consumer Reports to help you make greener choices on anything you purchase.

National Green Pages – Find socially responsible businesses in your state.

Responsible Purchasing Network – Guides available to assist with purchasing decisions.

Sustainable Table – Provides a comprehensive list of food purchasing guides by topic.

US EPA Greener Products - Users can search for EPA programs related to greener products based on the type of user and their specific product interests. It also links to additional greener products information from EPA and other sources.

Recycling and Waste Reduction

Catalog Choice – Free service that lets you decline unwanted catalogs.  You can clean out your mailbox and save trees.

US EPA Resource Conservation – This site contains is a comprehensive collection of recycling and waste reduction topics.

Earth 911 - A one-stop internet resource on recycling, including answers to commonly asked questions and search tool for recycling opportunities by zip code. – This web site is designed to be a hub for all composting information.

Monroe County recycling – Provides information on recycling options in Monroe County.

Recycle Mania – A friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. – This site provides a slew of strategies for individuals and organizations to reduce the amount of waste they generate.

Social Sustainability

Do – An organization whose mission is to "inspire young people to believe that change is possible". They also "train, fund and mobilize them to be leaders who measurably strengthen their communities".

Environmental Justice Resource Center (EJRC) – An initiative of Clark Atlanta University that serves as a research, policy, and information clearinghouse on issues related to environmental justice, race and the environment, civil rights and human rights, facility siting, land use planning, brownfields, transportation equity, suburban sprawl and smart growth, energy, global climate change, and climate justice.

Human Rights Watch – An organization dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – UN department dedicated to promoting and protecting all human rights.

Social Justice Training Institute - An organization that serves as a forum for the professional and personal development of social justice educators and practitioners. The website has a good collection of resources on the subject.

Sustainable South Bronx – On organization that has played a significant role in drawing attention to the relationship between economic and environmental problems and solutions.


Clean Cities - Clean Cities is the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) flagship alternative-transportation deployment initiative, sponsored by the Vehicle Technologies Program. – A collaborative effort between the US Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency that serves as a clearinghouse of information on vehicle fuel efficiency, alternative fuel vehicles, costs, etc.

League of American Bicyclists – An organization that works to promote bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation and work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America.

Rails to Trails - A nonprofit organization whose mission it is to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.

Urban Environmental Management – A website dedicated to sustainable transportation, with links to a variety of reports, organizations and a variety of other resources.