Working Together to Reduce New York City’s Carbon Footprint

Last week, the Real Estate Board of New York joined Mayor Bill de Blasio to launch the NYC Carbon Challenge for Commercial Owners and Tenants.

This landmark action represents our commitment to working with the City to build a more environmentally friendly New York and help reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

The mayor’s initial NYC Carbon Challenge has already made great strides, and the new Challenge for Commercial Owners and Tenants expands that effort to include 10 owners and 12 tenants across the city.

Each of these participants has now committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions at their own properties by at least 30 percent over the next 10 years.

I am especially proud to note that among the 10 commercial owners taking part in this challenge are prominent REBNY members and longstanding leaders in our city’s real estate community.

These participants include the Durst Organization, Forest City, Related Companies, Rockefeller Group, Rudin Management Company, Inc., RXR Realty, SL Green Realty Corp., Silverstein Properties Inc. and Vornado Realty Trust. Collectively, the owners have committed a total of 56 buildings within their portfolios to this important effort.

To understand the significance of this partnership, it is important to recognize that commercial buildings are currently responsible for around 30 percent of New York City’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Additionally, as the Mayor’s Office has noted, the interior energy used in leased office space accounts for around 40 to 60 percent of all the energy consumption in a typical commercial building.

Historically, lowering carbon emissions at commercial properties has been a difficult task because there have been few opportunities for owners and tenants to co-ordinate on comprehensive strategies for increasing energy efficiency while implementing cost-saving measures.

By officially joining the NYC Carbon Challenge, participating owners and tenants will be able to collaborate and gain the additional resources and support needed to find real solutions to these problems.

As with so many other issues, our push for positive change is stronger when like-minded groups work together to achieve a common goal.

In addition to the commercial owners participating in this effort, we would also like to recognize the tenants who have joined this campaign. Participating tenants include llen & Overy LLP, Barclays, Barnes & Noble, Citi, Pfizer, Inc., Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, UBS, Viacom and White & Case LLP.

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