NYC Real Estate Firm Agrees to Enhance Sustainable Practices

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Posted: Monday, April 23, 2012 9:58 pm | Updated: 12:11 pm, Wed Apr 25, 2012.

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed an agreement with SL Green Realty Corp., one of the largest commercial real estate owners and operators in the New York City area, to reduce the environmental impacts of the buildings it manages. The company has agreed to improve energy and water efficiency, reduce waste, and use green landscaping practices. SL Green owns 72 properties throughout the New York metropolitan area. Its tenants range from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

“Buildings are responsible for almost 40 percent of total energy use nationwide and consume enormous amounts of other resources,” said John Filippelli, Director of EPA Region 2’s Division of Environmental Planning and Protection. “SL Green is showing that it takes conservation seriously. This agreement will help reduce operating costs for SL Green and its tenants while also helping to protect the environment.”

"Having a major real estate developer commit to environmentally sustainable practices is very important. From using nontoxic cleaning products to investments in water conservation, there is no shortage of green ideas that the entire real estate industry can learn from," said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator.

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • Increasing energy efficiency through the use of energy efficient lighting, motion sensors to turn lights off and on and enabling the power save mode on office equipment.
  • Reducing energy use with a goal of a 10 percent reduction at each property as an ENERGY STAR Partner. This includes seeking reductions in energy use through on-site renewable energy generation or the purchase of renewable energy from other sources.
  • Using water conserving plumbing fixtures when properties are being renovated or upgraded and encourage building management to install water efficient equipment, such as EPA’s WaterSense endorsed products.
  • Reducing food waste by tenants and food vendors. SL Green will encourage its tenants to assess current waste reduction activities, document sustainable purchases, enhance existing practices to reduce, reuse and recycle waste and participate in EPA’s WasteWise program.
  • Adding green practice policies to its operations manuals, including the use of integrated pest management, green construction, the purchase of green cleaning products and control of environmental tobacco smoke.
  • Using green landscaping activities designed to reduce potable water use and the production of waste, and to promote the reuse and recovery of products that might otherwise be disposed.
  • Including the use of clean construction equipment and clean fuel in specifications for contractors working on future SL Green facility construction projects.
  • Pursuing LEED certification and ENERGY STAR labels for SL Green properties.

EPA has similar agreements in place with 20 other major sports organizations, universities, hospital systems and real estate firms in New York and New Jersey.

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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