FIT Awarded Environmental Excellence Award 2016

Environmental Excellence Awards Union College

FIT’s Karen Pearson, Suzanne McGillicuddy, and William Rossi are congratulated by DEC’s chief of staff Peter Walker

FIT has been awarded one of eight 2016 Environmental Excellence Awards by New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).  The awards were announced during a ceremony on Tuesday, November 15, at Union College in Schenectady, NY.

The Environmental Excellence Awards are given annually in recognition of outstanding, innovative, and sustainable projects or programs and unique partnerships that are contributing to a healthier environment and economy and serving as models of excellence. Since 2004, DEC’s Environmental Excellence Awards have honored 72 businesses, schools, municipalities, governments, and organizations achieving outstanding environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and economic viability.

FIT was recognized for sustainability initiatives throughout the college, including its:

  • Green Roof System – 17,000 square feet installed, diverting an estimated 300,000 gallons of runoff from the sewer system each year
  • Carbon dioxide emissions reduction of 43 percent, plus a commitment to reduce FIT’s total carbon dioxide emissions by a full 50 percent by 2020 from the 2005 baseline, in support of the United Nations Climate Negotiations
  • Winning the 2016 Biodesign Challenge, a competition in which teams of students from nine leading U.S. colleges and universities created projects that envision future applications of biotechnology
  • Minor in Ethics and Sustainability
  • Annual Sustainable Business and Design Conference
  • Annual Sustainability Awareness Week
  • Summer Sustainability Institute
  • Campus-wide recycling
  • Water bottle refilling stations
  • Student-led:
    • Rooftop Natural Dye Garden – established and maintained to promote sustainable and eco-friendly dyeing practices
    • Cotton Muslin Composting – an initiative in which FIT’s cotton muslin is composted and transformed into nutrient-rich material for the dye garden
    • FIT Hives – an initiative to establish a beehive at FIT in order to foster education across many disciplines and majors about bees and their role in the environment

“This honor recognizes the myriad steps, large and small, that FIT has taken to become an example of environmental stewardship in action,” said Dr. Joyce F. Brown, president of FIT. “FIT’s success in sustainability is due to the work of many people from all corners of the campus who are continually creating unique and industry-specific ways to conserve, reuse, recycle, and innovate.”

Way to go green, FIT!

Melinda Batista