New York hotels join fight against climate change

Hotels in New York tackle climate change

Hotels in New York tackle climate change

Sixteen New York hotels have joined the city mayor’s NYC Carbon Challenge to help combat climate change.

The hotels represent a major expansion of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s NYC Carbon Challenge, adding the sector to existing multifamily buildings, universities, hospitals, and commercial offices all being part of the OneNYC and Green Buildings Plan. The scheme is a partnership between the City and private and institutional sector leaders who have committed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their buildings by 30 percent or more in the next ten years.

The commitment by the city’s hotels to help New York City reach its goal of dramatically reducing emissions from buildings (which make up nearly three-quarters of citywide emissions), is part of Mayor de Blasio’s plan to reduce all citywide GHG emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The addition of the 16 hotels is projected to reduce citywide GHG emissions by an additional 32,000 metric tons and result in an estimated $25 million in energy cost savings.

The sixteen participating hotels include: 1Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, 1Hotel Central Park, Crowne Plaza Times Square, Dream Downtown, Grand Hyatt New York, Hotel Pennsylvania, Hudson Hotel, Loews Regency Hotel, Lotte New York Palace, The Pierre - A Taj Hotel, The Peninsula New York, InterContinental New York Barclay, InterContinental New York Times Square, Roger Smith Hotel, Waldorf Astoria New York, and the Westin New York at Times Square. These hotels represent almost 10 million square feet, accounting for more than 11,000 rooms.

“Whether we’re talking about universities, hospitals, and offices, or large apartment buildings and hotels, all of New York City has a stake in our fight against climate change,” said Mayor de Blasio. “If some of New York’s most iconic hotels can significantly reduce their carbon footprint, anyone can. NYC Carbon Challenge participants are joining City government in leading by example through the green retrofits all buildings should make – and that’s no small feat, with current Challenge commitments equivalent to removing over 100,000 cars from our roads.”

The expansion of the NYC Carbon Challenge is a key initiative in One City: Built to Last; NYC’s ten-year plan to improve the energy efficiency of its buildings and put the city on the route to achieving 80 by 50. It builds on the success of the existing programme which was launched in 2007 with universities and grew to include hospitals and commercial offices; in 2014 the programme expanded to multifamily buildings. To date, participants have achieved an average 19 percent reduction; eight participants have already achieved their full carbon reduction goals, demonstrating that deep carbon reductions are achievable in just a few years.

The current NYC Carbon Challenge participants make up over 255 million square feet of real estate and account for nearly seven percent of citywide building-based emissions. In total, the Challenge is expected to reduce emissions by 515,000 metric tons – the equivalent of taking more than 100,000 cars off the roads -- and result in an estimated $220 million in energy cost savings that can be reinvested in business operations, students, staff, patients, customers, and research. Participants join local government in leading by example through green retrofits. The Mayor’s office has committed to retrofitting every public building by 2025.

Nilda Mesa, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability said, “In joining the NYC Carbon Challenge, New York City's iconic hotels are now also worldwide leaders in the fight against climate change, and are once again redefining excellence in the hospitality sector to include responsibility for climate action.”

“The Hotel Association of New York City is pleased to partner with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability on this important initiative,” said Joseph E. Spinnato, President, Hotel Association of New York City. “These leaders are setting high standards for environmental stewardship in New York City’s thriving tourism industry. We are excited to see that these participating hotels will continue to make a positive impact on the environment and the communities around them.”

“As one of the city’s legendary hotels that has stood as a landmark since 1931, the Waldorf Astoria New York is in a unique position to embrace the NYC Carbon Challenge as we are a showcase to both travelers and New York residents alike,” said Michael Hoffmann, Managing Director, Waldorf Astoria New York. “With a longstanding motto of ‘the difficult immediately, the impossible takes a bit longer,’ we pride ourselves in the ability to embrace a challenge, especially one that is so important to the New York City community. We look forward to continuing to dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions over the next ten years.”

“The NYC Carbon Challenge is inspiring hotels to take their commitments to sustainability and energy efficiency to the next level,” said Hervé Houdré, General Manager, InterContinental New York Barclay. “The InterContinental New York Barclay is proud to partner with the Mayor’s Office to reduce its carbon footprint in years to come. The hotels in the Challenge are showing the rest of the world that our city is committed to reducing our carbon emissions and fighting climate change.”

Grand Hyatt New York is thrilled to be part of the NYC Carbon Challenge for Hotels,” said John Schafer, Area Vice President and General Manager, Grand Hyatt New York. “We are committed to helping reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions. We are implementing changes that will help achieve the goals and are looking forward to working with the Mayor’s Office on this important initiative.”

The Pierre - A Taj Hotel is a proud participant and is dedicated to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent over the next ten years,” said Francois-Oliver Luiggi, General Manager, The Pierre – A Taj Hotel. “We commend the city for setting an agenda to confront the challenges of global climate change. We are joining this Challenge and accepting responsibility for making a difference in New York and the world.”

"We launched 1Hotels with the simple idea of creating a living platform to accelerate change towards a more sustainable future and celebrating a better way of living,” said Barry Sternlicht, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Starwood Capital Group. “Our name, ‘1Hotels’, reflects that it is one world and each and every one of us can do our part to create a cleaner, more sustainable future. We are excited to be working with the Mayor’s Office to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and we hope that others in the industry will follow our lead.”

“Every industry, every sector, and every New Yorker plays an important part in the global fight against climate change, and this commitment by our partners in the hotel industry will reduce our city’s carbon emissions and keep us on track to achieve our  sustainability goals,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “New York City is a world leader in smart, forward-thinking environmental policy, and the City Council is proud to do its part to go green. From passing legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to implementing energy-efficient building codes, New York City serves as a model in the fight against climate change.”

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions isn’t just sound policy and good corporate citizenship – it’s a smart business move as well,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “These leaders in our crucial hospitality and tourism industries have my thanks and congratulations both for doing their part to increase sustainability and for serving as examples for the many businesses who can join them and do even more.”

"It is great to see major hotels committing themselves to the Challenge as we attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. "It is going to take teamwork from all sectors, especially the business community, to reduce emissions by 30 percent in the next ten years, and this is a step in the right direction. I want to thank leaders in the hotel industry for doing their part."

Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the City Council Environmental Protection Committee, said, “As we move closer towards our goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, our public sector must work in partnership with the private sector. The NYC Carbon Challenge expansion will reduce our citywide emissions by an additional 32,000 metric tons; an energy cost savings of $25 million. Our city’s hotel industry is already a role model in tourism across the globe - we can also be a role model in sustainability. I commend Office of Sustainability Director Nilda Mesa and our world-class hotel industry for their leadership on this important issue.”

More information about the NYC Carbon Challenge can be found online at Hotels or other buildings or institutions interested in joining the Challenge can contact


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