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Fashion Institute of Technology Commended by Mayor Bloomberg for Meeting – and Exceeding – the Mayor's “Carbon Challenge”

The Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT) president, Dr. Joyce F. Brown, joined Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at a news conference held on April 18, at which the mayor commended FIT’s outstanding progress in PlaNYC, the city’s initiative to cut greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and reduce the impact of climate change by 2030. Although all of the 17 colleges and universities that signed on in 2007 and the 11 hospitals that signed on in 2009 have made impressive gains, only five have met their goals early – Barnard College, NYU, The Rockefeller University, New York Hospital Queens, and FIT.

In fact, FIT not only met its goals in four years – in less than half the time allotted for the challenge – but was the first to do so. By 2011 the college had exceeded the 30 percent reduction goal by 10 percent for a total reduction of 40 percent. Today, the college’s reduction is 40.8 percent, far above any other institution. Savings to the college are at least $1 million a year.

During his remarks, Mayor Bloomberg said, “FIT has already reduced its emissions by more than 40 percent, and we would expect that from Joyce Brown. …Clearly New York institutions are not only committed to making our city more sustainable, they are actually doing it. …We have become the fashion capital of the world. We have something like double the number of fashion houses of Paris, and FIT produces the employees that they need to grow and prosper here.”

FIT achieved and surpassed its goal by replacing an outdated chiller plant and cooling tower, installing lighting retrofits and occupancy sensors, replacing windows with low thermal emissivity glass, installing high-efficiency refrigerators, washers, and dryers, retrofitting 50,000 square feet of laboratory space, painting 10,000 square feet of the campus’s roofs with reflective paint, and installing a green roof on the Shirley Goodman Resource Center.

FIT is continuing its reduction initiatives. Installation of a second green roof will begin in May on the David Dubinsky Student Center. A new FIT surplus inventory webpage acts on the college’s commitment to reuse, recycle, and save valuable resources. Quality goods, including furniture, printers, shredders, and other office items, are offered. All renovations, including minor ones, incorporate sustainable design for lighting, flooring, ceilings, HVAC systems, paint, and plumbing. FIT’s printing services have transitioned from conventional offset printing to digital. This reduces paper waste by 15 percent, allows on-demand printing that greatly reduces waste, and eliminates VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and waste chemicals.

The Fashion Institute of Technology, a college of the State University of New York, has been a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology for nearly 70 years. With a curriculum that provides a singular blend of hands-on, practical experience, classroom study, and a firm grounding in the liberal arts, FIT offers a wide range of outstanding programs that are affordable and relevant to today’s rapidly changing industries. Internationally renowned, FIT draws on its New York City location to provide a vibrant, creative community in which to learn. The college offers 48 majors and grants AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees, preparing students for professional success and leadership in the global marketplace.

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