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Deals & Dealmakers

Building owners gets behind NYC Carbon Challenge

Mayor Bill de Blasio, in partnership with the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), announced the official launch of the NYC Carbon Challenge for Commercial Owners and Tenants.

The move represents a significant expansion of the partnership between the City and private and institutional sector leaders, who have committed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their buildings by 30 percent or more in 10 years.

To achieve these reductions, existing participants as well as new commercial owner and tenant participants have committed to work together to identify strategies for co-ordinated implementation of energy efficiency projects in their buildings.

Today’s expansion of the NYC Carbon Challenge to the 22 commercial owners and tenants adds more than 58 million square feet to the Challenge and is projected to reduce citywide GHG emissions by an additional 60,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) – the equivalent of taking almost 13,000 cars off the roads – and result in an estimated $50 million in energy cost savings.

The launch of the NYC Carbon Challenge for Commercial Owners and Tenants marks a major commitment by the city’s commercial real estate community to help New York City achieve its ambitious OneNYC goal of reducing citywide GHG emissions 80 percent by 2050.

“The commitments from these 22 commercial owners and tenants show environmental sustainability and economic sustainability work hand in hand,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“These private sector leaders demonstrate that New York City is committed to continuing to move aggressively to protect our residents and our planet.

“We applaud our members and the other participants who have committed to the NYC Carbon Challenge,” said John H. Banks III, President of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).

“By implementing energy efficiency improvements, these owners and tenants are helping the City reach its 80 by 50 goal and setting an example for others towards achieving a more sustainable future.”

Commercial buildings account for roughly 30 percent of New York City’s GHG emissions and the energy used in interior leased office space accounts for 40 to 60 percent of total energy consumption in a typical commercial office building.

However, commercial owners and tenants face a range of barriers to meaningful co-ordination that persistently delay or prevent uptake of energy efficiency and cost saving measures.

As part of the expansion, participating commercial owners and tenants will be better equipped to find unique and creative solutions that enable greater energy efficiency and sustainability improvements than either party could achieve on its own.

The ten participating commercial owners include: the Durst Organization, Forest City, Normandy Real Estate Partners, The Related Companies, Rockefeller Group, Rudin Management Company, Inc., RXR Realty, SL Green Realty Corp., Silverstein Properties Inc. and Vornado Realty Trust. These owners have committed 56 buildings within their portfolios to the program.

The 12 participating commercial tenants and owner-occupiers include Allen & Overy LLP, Barclays, Barnes & Noble, Citi, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Pfizer, Inc., Stroock LLP, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, UBS, Viacom and White & Case LLP. These participants total almost 8 million square feet and employ more than 25,000 people.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions isn’t just sound policy and good corporate citizenship – it’s a smart business move as well,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer.

“I thank this latest group of businesses for doing their part to increase sustainability and serve as examples for the others who can join them to do even more.”

“We look forward to working with these other large commercial owners and our tenants to continue to drive deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in our buildings, ensuring that our City is at the forefront of innovative and progressive thinking to fight climate change,” said Bill Rudin, Chief Executive Officer of Rudin Management Company and Chairman of the Association for a Better New York.

“We are happy to continue to step towards a more sustainable future and demonstrate that the need for action is not a burden requiring sacrifice, but an opportunity to do things better, cleaner, and cheaper and make our communities and buildings more livable and productive.”

“Vornado is a proud participant in the NYC Carbon Challenge for Commercial Owners and Tenants,” said David R. Greenbaum, President of Vornado’s New York Division.

“The Challenge presents an opportunity for us to demonstrate our leadership in responsible energy management. We have signed up substantially our entire New York City commercial office portfolio, and look forward to partnering with the City – and our tenants – on the very important effort of reducing our collective carbon footprint.”

Marc Holliday, Chief Executive Officer of SL Green, “Through the NYC Carbon Challenge, we will work with our tenants to identify the most effective energy efficiency opportunities that will position our portfolio for continued success.”

Charlotte Mathews, Vice President of Sustainability for Related Companies, “At Related, we believe city and business leadership is critical to global cooperation on climate change, and thus we are proud to join the NYC Carbon Challenge, a public private partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings.

“Reducing buildings’ fossil fuel use will reduce operating costs and delivers environmental benefits to our local communities.”

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