Communities make a project work. 

The Urban Heat Island presents real challenges for big city residents - high energy costs, the need for more power plants, pollution and its accompanying health hazards. These problems are daunting, especially for struggling nonprofits. Serving some of New York City’s neediest, The Bowery Mission invest in our communities, but often there isn’t a lot left over for sustainability. Going green is all the rage. Yet, sometimes it seems out of reach for those that could benefit the most from cost-saving, people friendly projects.

WRP believes in environmental change for the social good. Our method of rooftop sustainability is comparatively cheap (costing much less than solar or green roofing) and our projects are sponsored, so there is no bar to entry. We help busy do-gooders find the door to more sustainable future.

Our partnerships with housing associations, nonprofits, and community groups are invaluable to our efforts – as are the private homeowners and advocates that spearhead many of our projects. 

Sustainability is a community effort.

White Roof Project connects community groups, nonprofits, and local residents to tangible, cost-effective solutions to big problems. We create a space for neighbors from all walks of life to think about their relationship to the environment and to realize the potential of local ‘green’ projects.

Targeted change: the urban heat island and our neighborhoods.

Urban environments struggle with the climate and cost impacts of the Urban Heat Island effect. The Urban Heat Island causes cities to stay hotter than surrounding suburbs due to a proliferation of heat-trapping surfaces such as roofs and roads. This stresses the power grids of big cities  – where black outs and brown outs are summer hallmarks. Cities are generally hot, but legacies of environmental injustice, an uneven distribution of park space, power plants and industrial properties mean that some neighborhoods are really searing. We work with hot spots like the Lower East Side of Manhattan to address this issue. The historic and diverse Lower East Side is also one of the highest per capita energy consuming neighborhoods in the New York State. By targeting change to the worst hit communities with the most white roof eligible buildings, we maximize our impact to combat climate change and improve everyday life.

Tangible change: block by block.

Think climate change — take action block by block. Hot spots residents are cranking their air conditioning all summer long, warming the urban environment and contributing to heat trapping smog, decreased air quality and asthma. These are big problems, that have many causes, but we can help combat the heat - by working one block at time. Our community partners are done waiting for the climate change silver bullet. Their spirit of activism and belief in the tangible and cost-effective white roof model brings our project to life one building owner at a time. Together, these buildings multiply white roof's beneficial effects for even more impact. That's why our mission makes sense to communities and why the block-by-block model is employed all over the globe.

A Gateway to more green projects.

Our volunteers are committed to their communities; but solving global climate change doesn’t seem realistic. White roofing is easy to understand, easy to implement and budget friendly. Our project empowers communities to plan for a more sustainable future while saving money and making new partners for their next initiative.