HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WROC) — For the twelfth year in a row, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has made the Princeton Review’s list of greenest colleges in the country. Ranking forty-fourth out of the fifty schools listed on the report doesn’t put RIT at its highest ranking in the past 12 years but that isn’t a concern on campus according to Neha Sood, the Assistant Director for Campus Sustainability.
“It’s nice to fluctuate a little bit because it keeps us on our toes,” said Sood.
One of the driving factors that gave the school a score of ninety-five out of a possible ninety-nine was the availability of sustainability education in their degree programs.
“There [are] lots of ways for students to gain an understanding about sustainability which helps them once they graduate to be successful in their careers as sustainability-minded engineers and industry leaders,” said Sood.
Other efforts noted were RIT’s commitment to reducing food waste by composting, and by reducing their carbon footprint by locally sourcing food.
“Dining services does focus on local suppliers as much as possible and that is we do have a commitment to keep increasing the amount of food that we source locally or from New York State,” said Sood.
Expansion on campus has led to other opportunities to work towards more energy-efficient buildings too.
“From a sustainability perspective, we have a commitment that any new building we build on campus will be at least LEED silver standards or better [with] LEED being leadership and energy and environmental design,” said Sood.
One of the other aims is to also make all existing buildings as efficient as possible with Sood noting that they are in the process of refurbishing some of their dorms. Their goal is to change over to more efficient LED lighting systems as well as look into solutions to move these older buildings off of fossil fuels such as natural gas for their energy needs. Ideally, one day they’ll have a building that can be completely sustainable and nearly waste free.
“We want to have a net-zero incompletely carbon-free building in the near future,” said Sood.