A consortium led by RIT has won a $19.5 million contract from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to continue operating the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute.
The institute is led by RIT's Golisano Institute for Sustainability.
RIT is the hub for that institute which began a decade ago, and the latest contract extends that for another five years.
The institute is tasked with coming up with ways to help businesses and other organizations find ways to make the state more environmentally sustainable.
Institute Director Charles Ruffing says that Cornell and Binghamton Universities have been added to the mix of schools that are working with RIT on this effort.
“It will give us more research efforts, but also, Binghamton has got a history of industrial outreach which is very important to the program, and Cornell’s food program and their extensive Cooperative Extension network will give us greater outreach and scope as well.”
Ruffing says the institute has already done work with a number of businesses helping them do things like finding ways to reduce their energy and water consumption.
He says as the institute looks ahead to the next five years, the organization will try to be more targeted in its approach to helping businesses improve the way they deal with environmental issues.
“We’d like to increase the impact by doing work for sectors of business, for example food waste generators; if we can develop solutions or educational materials for all restaurants instead of just an individual restaurant obviously our impact is greater.”
Ruffing says the institute, also known as NYSP2I, will also ramp up its educational and outreach efforts.