About Golisano Institute for Sustainability

We are a research and education organization working to advance sustainable technology and innovation within the industrial sectors of our economy that have the greatest impact on the environment—manufacturing, energy, transportation, and the built environment.

We help our sponsors and partners capitalize on sustainable technologies to be profitable, gain new knowledge, fuel innovation, and contribute to a better world. There are tremendous opportunities for our industrial sectors to deliver economic and social value without compromising the natural systems and resources we depend on.

Behind our work are some of the brightest minds in sustainability. As an organization, we remain grounded in the needs of our sponsors and partners and are relentlessly focused on execution and results.

What We Offer


Put our team of doctorate-level researchers to work for you. We apply new and customized technological innovations to solve practical challenges that businesses, governments, and communities face today. Some of our primary areas of expertise include:

The rooftop of the GIS building with plants, solar panels, and a man walking

Shaping Tomorrow's Sustainability


Our faculty, staff, and students think globally but act locally here in Rochester, New York. We are active volunteers in our city, whether it’s setting up a community garden, speaking to high school students, or providing design expertise for a new urban development project.


We are discovering closed loop solutions to tackle food waste in the United States. Using processes like transesterification to make biofuel and pyrolysis to create biochar, our research is helping to make waste-to-energy processes a reality.


Industry and government leaders from around the globe turn to GIS as a source of expertise and innovation in remanufacturing. The impact of our research in remanufacturing is shaping trade and regulatory policies internationally to break down trade barriers that inhibit the full potential of the circular economy.

By the Numbers

Academic and research faculty 21
Active Ph.D. candidates 25
Degree programs offered 3
Engineers, technicians, and support staff 57
Industry customers since 2003 1,100+
Applied research centers 6
External sponsored research funding annually $14M+
Signature initiatives launched* 11

*Initiatives include: REMADE, NYSP2I, Reman Conference, 3 food initiatives, Manufacturing USA Institutes, RIC, U.N. IRP Report, Asset sustainment and modernization initiative for Office of Naval Research, High Temperature Materials initiative, Reman testing improvement initiative, Ellen MacArthur pioneer university

Things to Know

Our advisory board members come from leading companies in several industries and provide advanced expertise as well as resource partnerships around the country.

Our space may be available for events such as conferences, meetings, seminars, or networking events. Contact us to learn more.

Customized tours of our facilities are available by request for groups interested in learning more our research and academic programs or receiving training in any of our areas of expertise.

We can provide quick testing, analyses, and recommendations on current products and manufacturing processes to help you become more efficient and sustainable. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Our advanced 3D printing and additive manufacturing equipment provides the capability for highly detailed prototype creation. We also have the capability to test prototypes and make recommendations for improved designs. Contact us to learn more.

Our Facilities

Our facilities cover multiple locations on the RIT campus, totaling more than 84,000 square feet, and include large industrial high bays, labs, testbeds, classrooms, and conference spaces. Our primary building encompasses 75,000 square feet and is LEED Platinum certified. It is designed to demonstrate sustainable building technologies and energy systems, with features including a rainwater collection system and a microgrid with advanced sensors, as well as fuel cells, photovoltaics, and wind turbines that generate 100% of our energy.

The Golisano Institute for Sustainability was established in 2007 with a $10 million gift from Paychex Inc. founder and philanthropist B. Thomas Golisano, and it has come to house nine applied research labs and six technology testbeds with some of the most advanced sustainability equipment in New York state.