Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Participating Universities and Hospitals Make Impressive Gains; On Track to Meet Ambitious Emission Goals

Citywide Emissions Down by 16 Percent – More Than Halfway to PlaNYC Emissions Target

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the expansion of the Carbon Challenge, an initiative launched through the City’s sustainability program, PlaNYC, to encourage businesses, universities and other private organizations to cut greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and reduce the impact of climate change. Ten companies will participate in the Carbon Challenge and commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from their offices by up to 40 percent in the next 10 years. They include: American International Group, BlackRock, Bloomberg LP, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Google, JetBlue Airways, JPMorgan Chase, and PVH. The companies join 17 universities with more than 35 campuses that accepted the Carbon Challenge when it began in 2007, and the 11 largest hospital organizations that joined in 2009. The Mayor also announced that four of the participating universities and one participating hospital have already reached their reduction targets well-ahead of schedule. The Carbon Challenge builds on the City’s own goal to cut emissions in municipal buildings by 30 percent by 2017 and will help meet thePlaNYC target to reduce emissions citywide by 30 percent in 2030. The City is more than halfway to meeting its goal, having achieved 16 percent of its emissions in the last six years. The Mayor made the announcement at Rockefeller University and was joined by Sergej Mahnovski, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability; Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President of Rockefeller University; Francis J. Murray, Jr., President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority; Dave Barger, President and CEO of JetBlue Airways; Gary Shedlin, Chief Financial Officer at BlackRock; Gail Beltrone, Vice President for Campus Services at Barnard College; Dr. Joyce F. Brown, President of the Fashion Institute of Technology; Timur Galen,managing director and global co-head of Corporate Services and Real Estate at Goldman Sachs; Alison Leary, New York University’s Executive Vice President for Operations; Kevin Mannle, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management of New York Hospital Queens; Curtis Ravenel, Chief Sustainability Officer for Bloomberg LP; Melanie Steiner, Chief Risk Officer of PVH Corp; Bill Beck, Managing Director at Credit Suisse; and Birdie, the GreeNYC Mascot.

“The Carbon Challenge is an essential partnership between the City and our businesses, universities and organizations who share our commitment to a greener, greater New York,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “I want to applaud the commitment of the 10 companies making the Carbon Challenge pledge, as well as the universities and hospitals that have already taken steps to become more efficient. Their leadership on this issue is not only going to move our city toward a more sustainable future; we also hope it will inspire others to follow suit.”

“The Mayor’s Carbon Challenge underscores the importance of voluntary action by major institutions in advancing PlaNYC’s carbon reduction goals,” said Mahnovski, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. “Each participant has charted its own distinct path to the 30 percent goal, demonstrating that a wide variety of institutions can meet that goal as long as they have a tailored strategy and the leadership to make it happen. From fuel switching and lighting retrofits to behavioral change, the participants prove that there are many opportunities to reduce carbon emissions while also reducing energy costs.”

“Through the Mayor’s Carbon Challenge, the City, State and private sector have formed a successful partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that impact our environment and the quality of life for millions of residents,” said Murray, NYSERDA President and CEO. “As Governor Cuomo has stated, New York is at the forefront of environmental and energy policy innovations—and this partnership serves as an example of that innovation. NYSERDA is proud to support the City in the development and implementation of the Mayor’s Carbon Challenge, and we encourage participants to involve NYSERDA early in their energy efficiency projects to take advantage of the innovative programs, technical expertise and funding available to commercial tenants and others.”

Greenhouse gas emissions are a primary contributor to climate change and its related effects, including extreme weather, severe flooding and storm surges. In 2007, the Mayor launched the Carbon Challenge to encourage universities to help meet one of the chiefPlaNYC sustainability goals to cut emissions citywide by 30 percent by 2030. The Carbon Challenge extended to hospitals in 2009.

Today’s announcement further expands the Carbon Challenge with the commitment of 10 leading global corporations to reduce their carbon footprint. Energy emissions in buildings account for 75 percent of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions and together, the Carbon Challenge companies occupy more than 17 million square feet of city office space.  In addition to partnering with the Mayor’s Office and NYSERDA, the Carbon Challenge participants are working with organizations such as the Natural Resource Defense Council, Urban Green Council, and Green Light New York, as well as leading engineering and architecture firms, who have dedicated time and expertise to help them explore new ways to reduce emissions in commercial office spaces. The companies will work to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 percent over the next 10 years, with a focus on reducing emissions in their interior office spaces and leased spaces. Bloomberg LP, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase – the largest participant based on its NYC footprint – have committed to reducing emissions by up to 40 percent in 10 years.

“JetBlue is on board with the Mayor’s Carbon Challenge. As New York’s Hometown Airline™, our contribution toward a healthier planet for people begins at home,” said Barger, JetBlue’s President and CEO. “When choosing the home of our new support center in Long Island City, we purposefully selected a building that certified LEED Silver. We’re doing our part by reducing our energy, controlling our HVAC, lights and appliances and using green cleaning methods. We encourage our crewmembers and customers to do their part as well.”

“JPMorgan Chase is pleased to partner and collaborate with the City of New York in this important initiative,” said Frank Bisignano, Co-Chief Operating Officer, JPMorgan Chase. “We are proud that our global headquarters in New York City is the world’s largest LEED Platinum-certified renovation of an existing office building. Joining the NYC Carbon Challenge is a great way to continue our commitment to manage our operations in an efficient and sustainable manner. Improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions across our global real estate portfolio is not just a corporate sustainability priority for JPMorgan Chase – it also makes good business sense.”

“We are pleased to be part of the Mayor’s Carbon Challenge,” Jacques Brand, Deutsche Bank CEO for North America. “Our corporate headquarters at 60 Wall St. was recognized in 2012 as the EBIE All-Rounder award winner as the most improved building in the United States by the Urban Green Council. Through the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, we support research in energy efficiency housing for low-income housing, and recently announced Deutsche Bank’s commitment to cleaner energy through the establishment of a $30 million Community Clean Heat Fund and philanthropic support for the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation.”

“Bloomberg has come a long way in reducing our carbon emissions, achieving our first goal of a 50 percent reduction of our global carbon footprint two years earlier than we planned,” said Dan Doctoroff, Bloomberg LP’s CEO and President. “But we’re also just getting started.  We will continue to make significant strides in reducing our emissions, and we are proud to accept the Mayor’s Carbon Challenge to reduce our New York City building-based emissions by 40 percent as part of this important effort.”

“When it comes to greening Google’s office buildings, we apply the same focus that we use for any of our products: put the user first,” said Ben Fried, Chief Information Officer for Google. “Creating facilities with leading environmental performance improves the health and productivity of our employees around the world. It also helps us reduce waste, save energy and water, and improve indoor air quality. Through our participation in the NYC Mayor’s Carbon Challenge, we hope to inspire companies of all shapes and sizes to take innovative approaches to reduce their own environmental footprint.”

“The protection of the natural environment is one of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Rob Shafir, CEO of Credit Suisse Americas. “At Credit Suisse, we take our responsibilities seriously by promoting the efficient use of resources, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and by engaging in dialogue with our stakeholders. We are proud to partner with the Mayor’s Office and we are looking forward to helping New York City reach its PlaNYCreduction targets.”

“Responsibility has always been the ultimate benchmark at BlackRock,” said Shedlin, Chief Financial Officer for BlackRock. “That’s why we are joining this challenge and accepting responsibility for making a difference in New York and the world.”

“PVH Corp. is pleased to be a part of the Mayor’s Carbon Challenge seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the private sector by 30 percent over 10 years,” said Steiner, Chief Risk Officer at PVH Corp. “We recognize that commercial buildings are a large contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, and we are committed to putting into effect measures that will result in the reduction of emissions attributable to our New York City and Bridgewater facilities.”

“The Mayor’s Carbon Challenge is a valuable public-private collaboration that is a natural extension of Goldman Sachs’ environmental commitment to be carbon neutral by 2020,” said Galen, managing director and global co-head of Corporate Services and Real Estate at Goldman Sachs. “The Challenge creates value for our shareholders, for our employees, and for everyone in the community.”

The Carbon Challenge’s 17 participating universities and 11 participating hospital systems represent 120 million square feet of space and 3.5 percent of citywide emissions. By fulfilling the Carbon Challenge pledge, these institutions will eliminate more than 600,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions by a full percentage point. According the Carbon Challenge Progress Report released today, universities have measured an overall reduction of nearly 13 percent, and the hospitals have measured an average reduction of 6 percent of emissions in the last three years. A copy of the report is available at

Of the participating universities in the Carbon Challenge, four have already met their goals, as well as one hospital. Barnard College, The Fashion Institute of Technology, New York University, Rockefeller University and New York Hospital Queens have reduced their emissions by an average of 33.3 percent and cut energy consumption by 22 percent. In the last year alone, these institutions reduced their emissions by 86,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of removing more than 18,000 passenger vehicles from our city’s roads – and saved $19 million in lower energy costs.

The participating universities and hospitals adopt different strategies to reduce energy waste and cute emissions. The Fashion Institute of Technology was the first university to reach the Carbon Challenge goal and is continuing to build on that initiative with the installation of its second green roof. NYU met its 30 percent greenhouse gas reduction goal in 2011 – six years before the 2017 commitment date – accomplished through its state-of-the-art co-generation plant, energy efficiency projects and campus wide engagement campaigns. It is now targeting a 50 percent greenhouse gas reduction goal by 2016. New York Hospital Queens is the first participating hospital to reach and then exceed the Mayor’s challenge with a total carbon emissions reduction of 31 percent. A major initiative that helped New York Hospital Queens reach this goal in only three years was the replacement of a natural gas-driven chiller with an electric chiller. The hospital’s green program has grown to include waste and energy reduction strategies, a recycling program, infrastructure projects and a “green roof” installation of plants to reduce water runoff.

GreeNYC, the City’s program to help New Yorkers live more sustainably is also working with Carbon Challenge participants – from students to patients to staff. GreeNYC provides energy saving tips that individuals can use to reach Carbon Challenge goals. GreeNYC applies customized animation, promotional materials, digital outreach and the mascot, Birdie, to educate and encourage New Yorkers to help meet energy efficiency goals.

The Carbon Challenge commitments match the Administration’s work to reduce emissions in City government buildings by 30 percent by 2017 and an ambitious citywide goal to reduce emissions by 30 percent in 2030. So far, the City has measured a 12 percent reduction in emissions by municipal buildings, or more than 300,000 metric tons. Citywide, the carbon footprint has fallen by 16 percent.

“The sustainability of our research enterprise has been a long-standing priority at The Rockefeller University,” says President Tessier-Lavigne. “I commend the Mayor’s Office for issuing the challenge to the city’s educational institutions to reduce their carbon footprints, and I am proud of the efforts by everyone here at Rockefeller that enabled us to reach our goal of reducing CO2 emissions by more than 30 percent.”

“Barnard is pleased to be able to participate in the Mayor’s Carbon Challenge and help realize a 30 percent reduction in its emissions,” said Gail Beltrone, Vice President for Campus Services at Barnard College. “It’s good for the City, the College and our students and neighbors.”

“The Fashion Institute of Technology is pleased to be a participant in the Mayor’s Carbon Challenge,” said Dr. Brown, President of the Fashion Institute of Technology. “The tools and information provided by the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability allowed the College to document a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2011.”

“As one of the nine initial signatories of the Mayor’s 2030 Challenge Partners, NYU continues to be a staunch supporter of the Mayor’s sustainability initiatives,” said NYU President John Sexton. “We commend the Mayor for his leadership in setting an agenda to confront directly the challenges of global warming. We are proud to have achieved our initial greenhouse gas reduction commitment in January 2011, six years ahead of schedule. As an institution, we have set a target of 50 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2017 on our way to carbon neutrality by 2040. We look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor’s Carbon Challenge and partner universities to create a greener and greater NYC, not only for our generation, but for the generations to come.”

“The Mayor’s Carbon Challenge is a forward-thinking program that encouraged New York Hospital Queens to accelerate its sustainability efforts,” said Kevin Mannle, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management at New York Hospital Queens. “By reducing our environmental impact, we help our buildings and our planet get healthier, which supports the health and well-being our patients and our community.”


Marc La Vorgna/Lauren Passalacqua   (212) 788-2958


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