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REBNY WatchViews

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.

JOHN-BANKS-REBNY-WATCH-300x180The 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.

Photo by Philippe Put/ Flickr
Photo by Philippe Put/ Flickr

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.

Our friends at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have also been strong and steadfast partners on this and every issue related to sustainability.

REBNY remains committed to addressing climate change by working toward proactive and achievable steps that make the real estate industry and our entire city a greener, more energy-efficient place to live, work, and raise a family.

This is not the first time we have partnered with government to confront climate change, and it certainly will not be the last. The future of our planet and the legacy we leave for our children and grandchildren are just too important.

I encourage you to follow REBNY’s work on this issue by visiting our website for any updates, and I hope you will take time to read Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC plan, which outlines the administration’s commitment to reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

In other REBNY news:

Vickey Barron of Douglas Elliman will lead our Residential Breakfast Club Seminar, “Love Your Clients to Grow Your Business,” on Tuesday, February 14 from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. in the REBNY Mendik Education Center (570 Lexington Avenue, Lower Level). This free seminar is open to REBNY residential members. Email to register.

Our Residential Management Council put together a best practice guide on compliance with New York City Department of Finance requirements for the co-operative and condominium property tax abatement. This guideline explains how to successfully fulfill agency requirements and provide sample forms that REBNY members and managing agents may utilize to communicate the requirements to their shareholders and unit owners. The guidelines can be found in the resources section on the membership side of

Leslie Himmel, co-managing partner of Himmel + Meringoff Properties, will offer “An Owner’s Perspective on Capital Markets” at our Sales Brokers Committee Luncheon on Tuesday, February 28 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Cornell Club (6 East 44th Street). Tickets are $70 per person. Non-REBNY members are permitted to attend only as a guest of a REBNY member. Contact Desiree Jones at to register.

Join us for our 19th Annual Residential Management Leadership Breakfast on March 9 to honor outstanding leaders in residential property management: John McDermott of Ogden CAP Properties, LLC, who will receive the Residential Management Executive of the Year Award, and Gene Boniberger of Rudin Management Company, Inc., who will be presented with the Residential Management Community Service Award.

Jonathan J. Miller, CRE, CRP, of Miller Samuel Inc., will give the keynote address at the event to be held at the New York Hilton Midtown (2nd Floor, Sutton Ballroom, 1335 Avenue of the Americas) from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Tickets are available for purchase on Contact Cindy Ramotar at for information on available sponsorship and patron opportunities.


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