New York City has been named a recipient of the World Green Building Council‘s Government Leadership Awards for Excellence in City Policy for Green Buildings. The honor was announced on Monday during the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP17, currently taking place in Durban, South Africa. The award acknowledges that New York City, as well as fellow recipient San Francisco, has made important advances in sustainable building and has innovative city-level government policies in place to help reduce carbon emissions and move us toward a greener future.

planyc, greener greater buildings plan, nyc cop17, united nations climate change conference, climate change, green building, sustainable infrastructurephoto by AngMoKio via Wikimedia Commons

NYC won the “Industry Transformation” award for its Greener, Greater Buildings Plan. As part of PlaNYC, the GGBP requires that large commercial buildings record and post their energy and water consumption so they can track their usage to meet benchmark goals and implement simple upgrades like installing more energy-efficient lighting. The plan is expected to reduce the city’s carbon dioxide emissions by 5.3 percent below 2009 levels, reduce citywide energy costs by $700 million annually by 2030 and create roughly 17,800 construction-related jobs over 10 years.

“The Greener, Greater Buildings Plan will transform the industry because it is the first policy of its kind to aggressively target energy efficiency in large, existing buildings,” said David Bragdon, director of the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, in a press release. “We hope that this plan can be a model for other cities to follow because of the substantial environmental, economical, and social impacts that are possible on a large scale.”

Winners were chosen by an expert panel of experts comprised of ICLEI International, UN HABITAT and the WorldGBC. San Francisco was honored with the Best Green Building Policy award for its Green Building Ordinance. Mexico City, Mexico; Birmingham, UK; Singapore; and Tokyo, Japan also all received awards.

+ Greener Greater Buildings Plan
+ COP17

lead photo by Nosher via Wikimedia Commons