Non-Profit Organization

White Roof Project

The White Roof Project (WRP) is a United States-based nonprofit organization established in 2010. Its primary mission is to combat the urban heat island effect by applying white paint to dark-colored rooftops. By reflecting up to 90% of sunlight, WRP aims to decrease the amount of heat absorbed by buildings, thereby increasing energy efficiency. The organization functions on grassroots principles, seeking to bring about change on local, community, and global scales.


The White Roof Project (WRP) was founded with a vision to fight the urban heat island effect. Their strategy involves painting tar rooftops white, a move that can reflect up to 90% of sunlight, thus reducing heat absorbed by buildings and improving energy efficiency. Founded in 2010, WRP operates based on grassroots principles and aspires to bring change on individual, community, and global scales.

Programs & Initiatives

WRP employs a diverse approach to achieve its mission. Our initiatives include the provision of DIY tutorials, general advising, and the implementation of a building sponsorship program. The latter initiative pairs eligible nonprofits and low-income buildings with local donors to fund the costs associated with white roofing projects.


WRP’s first project was undertaken in New York City at the Bowery Mission homeless shelter, where they coated the roof with white paint. The success of this initial project prompted the formal establishment of WRP as a nonprofit organization. The endeavor also saw the enthusiastic participation of 100 volunteers, illustrating the potential impact of the organization’s vision.

The following year, WRP launched the “Model Block” project, which saw the application of solar-reflective white paint on 20 cooperative rooftops in the Lower East Side. This initiative contributed to the creation of the Go Green Lower East Side initiative, advocating for sustainability and energy conservation in one of the most energy-consuming neighborhoods in New York State.

In 2012, WRP started the DIY Program, a nationwide and international initiative enabling individuals and businesses to undertake white roofing projects on their own. They also extended their “Model Block” program, attracting more volunteers and partner organizations within New York City.

Over the years, WRP continued its efforts, partnering with various entities like the Lott Community Development Corporation, the DeVine Press Building, and the Trinity Lutheran Church. Their influence also grew beyond New York City, with projects in Staten Island, the Lexington School for the Deaf, and their first sponsored project in California with the Boys and Girls Club of Fresno.


WRP set a bold objective of coating 5% of the world’s rooftops each year. They aim was to achieve this goal by 2034, which would lead to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions equivalent to turning off the world for a year. WRP’s advocacy and reach have touched thousands and inspired others to paint rooftops themselves.


Since its inception, WRP has made notable progress towards its mission. The organization has successfully coated approximately 496,000 square feet of rooftops and mobilized over 1150 volunteers for their projects. In addition, they have forged partnerships with 175 community organizations, promoting collaboration and community engagement.

By educating individuals and communities about the benefits of white roofing, contributing to scientific research and policy changes, and recruiting volunteers for painting projects, WRP offers a simple and tangible solution to environmental challenges. Their efforts not only help combat climate change but also reduce energy costs and encourage community participation.


Entrepreneur of the Year: Juan Carlos, White Roof Project

Sustainability Honoree: White Roof Project

Chapter of the Year: Manhattan Young Democrats

In a nutshell

My mission is to empower individuals to unearth their purpose and architect a life of profound meaning.

Hi, I’m
Juan Carlos

Fueled by a passion for storytelling and excitement for life design, I find joy in reframing narratives to illuminate paths toward fulfillment. My experience spans high-growth startups, filmmaking, and social impact. Through mentoring and coaching, I guide teams and individuals to discover purpose and cultivate a meaningful life.

My Story

I started in film, directing award-winning features such as ‘Know How’ and ‘Second Skin.’ These cinematic endeavors earned me recognition and allowed me to serve as a spokesperson for Adobe. I founded the White Roof Project, a grassroots climate activism campaign that mitigated the urban heat island effect and spurred community-led social change.

I carried my storytelling skills and passion for societal transformation as I transitioned into the startup ecosystem. Initially, I contributed to social impact apps, converting complex issues into accessible solutions. This early experience laid a foundation for my later work, where I led the development of groundbreaking products within high-growth startups. My work has underscored the potential of technology to innovate and amplify the quality of human life.