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REBNY Watch Views

Cityʼs real estate industry leading the way on climate change

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is committed to addressing climate change by supporting proactive and achievable steps that make our city a greener, more energy-efficient place to live, work, and visit.

Later this month, the City of New York will host Climate Week in co-ordination with the United Nations and bring renewed focus on this issue and the serious threat to our planet.

New York State greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) have decreased substantially in recent years. Total GHG emissions in 2015 were 8.5 percent lower than 1990 levels, with a significant decline since their 2005 peak.

With buildings generating most of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions, we know that accelerating energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption in buildings is a critical step to achieve ambitious greenhouse gas reductions.

REBNY members are leading the way on reducing energy use.

Take Rudin Management as an example, which has invested in a tech startup called Prescriptive Data (PD). PD utilizes sensors and data sets to reduce emissions and increase efficiency combining data from Rudin buildings and utility companies into a building operating system called Nantum. Actionable data is used to regulate heat, elevators and other property machinery.

At the end of 2018, the 19 properties using Nantum achieved a 44 percent reduction in overall emissions since 2005.

David Pospisil, a strategic energy adviser at Con Edison, recently told Crain’s New York Business, “Nantum and systems like it are going to be an absolute necessity come 2024, when buildings will be measured on their carbon emissions.”

Photo via TutorPerini
10 Hudson Yards is the only NYC office building to be LEED Platinum v2009 certified.

Like Rudin’s commitment to sustainable growth, The Durst Organization has integrated ecofriendly and sustainable practices throughout all aspects of their portfolio.

Notable projects include One Bryant Park, which was awarded the first LEED Platinum skyscraper, 151 W 42nd, awarded the world’s first “green” skyscraper, One World Trade Center, the tallest building designed to achieve LEED Gold, and many more.

These accomplishments prove that innovative development, economic success and environmental sustainability are not just possible, but are happening across New York City.

Related Companies’ latest achievement, Hudson Yards, is another example: New York’s biggest development in history is also home to a LEED Platinum v2009 certified building. 10 Hudson Yards is the first commercial office building in New York to receive such a rating.

As L. Jay Cross, president of Related Hudson Yards noted, “building an entire new neighborhood from the ground up afforded us the opportunity to recalibrate every aspect of a 21st century, urban mixed-use neighborhood.”

These are but a few examples of the groundbreaking work occurring across the five boroughs from some of New York’s most recognizable real estate companies. But the reality is that across our industry, New Yorkers can see what is possible — and the importance of never staying complacent or satisfied.

We must continue to push the boundaries and support new technologies that will help us reduce our carbon footprint.

REBNY stands prepared to work with Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, the New York State Legislature and City Council, and stakeholders across New York State to join us in creating a healthier, more sustainable, and more livable planet.

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