Landmark New York City Hotels Pledge to Reduce Emissions

More than a dozen prominent New York City hotels pledge to cut emissions

CTV News, December 29, 2015. Image credit: Thomas Hawk

The Waldorf-Astoria New York, the Lotte New York Palace, the Pierre-A Taj Hotel and the Crowne Plaza Times Square are among the 16 city hotels – all currently thronged with tourists visiting New York for the holidays – whose owners have agreed to cut greenhouse gases from their buildings by 30 per cent or more in the next decade.

New York is one of the nation’s leading tourist attractions – 56.5 million people visited in 2014 – and administration officials believe the famed hotels are a powerful billboard for the mayor’s environmental program. The so-called Carbon Challenge is part of City Hall’s ambitious plan to reduce all citywide greenhouse gases 80 per cent by 2050.

The expansion to the 16 hotels – which also include the Grand Hyatt New York, the Westin New York at Times Square and The Peninsula New York among others – is estimated to reduce emissions by 32,000 metric tons and result in an estimated $25 million in energy cost savings. Environmental advocates largely praised the move, suggesting that enlisting a few high-profile structures to the cause could spur others to join.

City officials said that more than 17 universities, 11 hospitals and nearly 20 residential property management companies – combining for nearly 7 per cent of citywide building-based emissions – have already signed on to the mayor’s program. Officials estimate that the program overall will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 515,000 metric tons – the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off the roads.

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