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Kudos for green efforts

The past week has been an exciting one for efforts to improve sustainability in our community, and is a sign that local government leaders and business leaders are committed to improving the environment.

Last Friday, Rochester Regional Health unveiled a roof of solar panels at its Reidman Campus in Irondequoit while making an ambitious commitment. The health system pledged that by 2025, all of its energy will come from renewable, carbon-free sources.

“It’s the right thing to do, not only for our community but for all communities,” said Eric Bieber, Rochester Regional Health’s president and CEO.

Another solar array was unveiled Wednesday, when Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and other officials celebrated the city’s new Solar Field off Emerson Street. The panels will generate electricity for City Hall and the City Operations Center on Mt. Read Boulevard.

Also Wednesday, Eastman Kodak Co. released a corporate responsibility report that highlights several environmental goals it plans to achieve by 2025. Those include approaching zero waste at Kodak sites worldwide; reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent; reducing water consumption by 25 percent; and tripling the quantity of spent solvents recovered by Kodak from external sources.

“I’m excited about the programs we have in place and am looking forward to what the growing adoption of our sustainable technologies will mean for the future as we look to move the needle on better environmental practices,” Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke said.

It is encouraging to see major local companies decide that it is important to pursue environmentally friendly, sustainable business practices. Federal support for improved environmental outcomes may be waning, but many companies here and elsewhere have clearly demonstrated that they care about environmental considerations regardless of what regulations they face.

Technology that has been and is being developed will allow us to make immense strides as long as we have the will to move forward. It is good to see that we appear to have that here.

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