Reducing NYC's carbon emissions one building at
Aug 21, 2014 - Jenna Tatum - greenbiz.com
Catch Jenna Tatum in person at VERGE Salon NYC 2014,
Hurricane Sandy highlighted New York City's vulnerabilities
to coastal storms and provided a devastating snapshot
of the growing risks from climate change, including
rising seas, increased heat and more frequent severe
weather events. In response, Mayor Bill de Blasio
has committed to increasing the city's resiliency
to better withstand future events, and has taken
significant steps to reduce the harmful greenhouse
gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
Since January, the de Blasio administration has
undertaken a number of major environmental, sustainability
and resiliency-related initiatives. This includes
the creation of the new Mayor’s Office of Recovery
and Resiliency, the first city office focused on
On Earth Day, de Blasio announced the most sweeping
update to New York City’s Air Pollution Control
Code since 1975, which will update emission standards
for sources including commercial char broilers, fireplaces,
food trucks and refrigeration vehicles and reduce
dangerous particulates that contribute to more than
2,000 deaths each year.
Moreover, de Blasio has made environmental sustainability
a key component of his affordable housing plan, calling
for an energy efficiency program for affordable buildings.
Last month, the mayor announced a $350 million partnership
with Community Preservation Corporation and Citi
as part of that plan, which will include financing
for efficiency retrofits.
Buildings cause nearly 75 percent of New York City’s
GHG emissions. Reducing their energy use is essential
to mitigating citywide greenhouse gas emissions.
It also has the benefit of lowering energy costs,
saving building owners money and providing welcome
relief from rising housing costs that have contributed
to a growth in inequality.
Since its launch in 2007, the NYC Carbon Challenge
has helped reduce energy use in buildings and lower
their energy costs. Nearly 100 of NYC’s universities,
hospitals, commercial businesses and residential
property management companies have joined this voluntary
leadership program, pledging to work with the city
to reduce their carbon intensity by 30 percent or
more in 10 years.
To date, participants have reduced their emissions
by an average of 16 percent. Six universities and
hospitals even met their goals several years ahead
of schedule. New York University, for example, cut
its emissions by 30 percent through a combination
of major capital investments such as its state-of-the-art
co-generation system that kept the lights on during
Hurricane Sandy. It also has implemented low- or
no-cost strategies such as instituting regular operations
and maintenance schedules. As a result, the university
saved more than $11 million last year, and is now
doubling down to cut its current emissions in half
over the next five years.
Moreover, the Carbon Challenge participants are
piloting cost-effective energy efficiency strategies
and paving the way for others to follow. Commercial
firms participating in the challenge, which include
some of the largest global corporations such as Google,
JP Morgan Chase and Crédit Suisse, are experimenting
with innovative projects including server virtualization
in their data centers, continuous commissioning of
building equipment, consolidation of office space
and maximization of natural daylighting.
As participants implement and evaluate strategies,
the city can learn from their experiences and create
case studies of best practices, which have the potential
to multiply energy reductions and cost savings well
beyond the scope of the program.
Consequently, the city under de Blasio aggressively
has expanded the success of the Carbon Challenge
to deliver the same benefits for multi-family buildings.
In partnership with the New York State Energy Research
and Development Authority, the city is working with
18 of the largest residential property management
companies who have committed to reducing greenhouse
gas emissions from their portfolios of multi-family
buildings. As a result, residents of these buildings
could save as much as $300 on their annual energy
bills. They also will benefit from breathing cleaner
air and helping the city mitigate its greenhouse
The efforts of Carbon Challenge participants are
making a significant dent in citywide emissions.
All together, they make up more than 190 million
square feet of space in New York City — about
one-third of the entire built area of San Francisco — and
contribute roughly 5 percent of citywide emissions.
By the end of the challenge, they will eliminate
more than 700,000 metric tons of carbon — or
roughly the equivalent of making all buildings in
Santa Monica carbon neutral.
A lot more work remains to be done. New York City
will continue to play a leadership role in tackling
climate change, while striving to make the city a
more resilient and equitable place to live.
Read the orginal article: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/08/21/nyc-carbon-challenge-buildings?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRojv6nLZKXonjHpfsX56uwuXqa0lMI%2F0ER3fOvrPUfGjI4FRMBrI%2BSLDwEYGJlv6SgFSLHEMa5qw7gMXRQ%3D