New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has been tooting his own eco-horn, and with good reason. The mayor recently announced that the city’s ambitious plan to retrofit public buildings to make them more energy-efficient has made significant progress. In addition to setting an example by greening buildings at an impressive pace, the city also launched a new energy benchmarking tool aimed at helping private building owners track energy and water usage of large buildings.
As part of the One City program, which seeks to reduce all green house gas emissions in the city by 80 percent by 2050, the city has been retrofitting its own buildings with the end goal of greening all public buildings by 2025. Public buildings count for 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the city. Working hard to reduce this statistic, one-third of the 3,000 public buildings in the city have already been retrofitted or are currently in the process of doing so.
“This weekend, world leaders took a historic step in the fight against climate change. New York City has long set the pace when it comes to innovative climate action – and we’ll continue to lead the way,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We’re greening every public building, with retrofits now in buildings representing half of all public building emissions. Our progress is clear, but we won’t stop leading by example – and providing the tools for the private sector to do the same – because our very future is at stake.”
As the city retrofits its own buildings, the One City program is also branching out to help small businesses and building owners green their property as well. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress launched a new tool, the New York City Energy and Water Performance Map, that works to help building owners better understand energy and water efficiency. The benchmarking tool comes on the heels of the recent launch of the NYC Retrofit Accelerator, which provides free technical assistance and advisory services for building owners that are in the process of going green.