Report Finds Greener Operations Continue Benefiting New York's Environment and Economy
Three New Green Purchasing Specifications Issued, 15 Others Tentatively Approved to Help Protect New Yorkers from Hazardous Substances and Fight Climate Change
The GreenNY Council today issued the tenth annual Greening New York State Report for 2020-21, documenting the continued progress made by New York State to reduce the environmental footprint of State operations. Highlights of this year's report include a record $300 million invested in green products and services, 4.4 trillion BTUs of energy saving projects completed or underway as part of the BuildSmart 2025 program, and a record 94 percent recycling rate.
The GreenNY Council, co-chaired by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), New York Power Authority (NYPA), Office of General Services (OGS), and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), issued the report detailing progress on a wide range of sustainability initiatives, many of which save State resources and make operations more resilient. The full report is available online on the State's GreenNY website (https://ogs.ny.gov/greenny/), along with more details about New York's efforts to green State purchasing and operations.
"The Greening New York State Report is documenting New York State’s sustainable actions and investments to reduce the environmental footprint of State agencies," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "We're proud of what we’ve achieved, but recognize there is more work to do. I commend the Interagency Committee for approving the three new green purchasing specifications that will fight climate change, reduce waste, and protect New Yorkers from hazardous substances."
OGS Commissioner Jeanette Moy said, “For more than a decade, OGS and our partners in State government have been leading by example and making great strides toward a cleaner, more sustainable New York. We have made it our priority to procure green products and technology and advance energy-saving projects at public facilities. We are especially excited about what comes next as we begin work to implement Governor Hochul’s ambitious plans to electrify the State’s passenger vehicle fleet by 2035.”
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “New York’s agencies and authorities are leading by example when it comes to tackling greenhouse gas emission reductions and combatting climate change. Our new green purchasing specifications will build on our collaborative success to date and further expand our progress within new areas of state government, helping to lower costs and use cleaner and more resilient technologies.”
NYPA Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, “Whether it’s enrolling more New York State agencies in our New York Energy Manager to help them monitor their energy use, upgrading transmission infrastructure to integrate more renewable energy into the grid, or employing sustainable land management techniques at our statewide clean energy projects, the New York Power Authority is fully engaged with our state partners and is privileged to help lead the way to a shared sustainable, clean energy future that will have tangible, lasting benefits for all New Yorkers.”
Executive Order 4 directs State agencies and authorities to implement a Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship Program and assign an employee to serve as Sustainability and Green Procurement Coordinator. In addition to releasing the report, the Executive Order 4 Interagency Committee gave final approval to three new green purchasing specifications and tentative approval to 15 additional specifications. These specifications will lower the environmental impact of goods and services purchased and used by New York State government, with a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions ?and reducing exposure to hazardous substances. Approved specifications are:
- Lower Carbon Concrete;
- Menstrual Products; and
- Product Packaging
Specifications given tentative approval include:
- Heating and Cooling Equipment (Heat Pumps);
- Green Cleaning Products (specifications for 13 different types of equipment); and
- Passenger Vehicles.
Specifications that received tentative approval will be posted for a 90-day public comment period before the Interagency Committee considers them for final approval at their next meeting. Today's actions bring the total number of final green purchasing specifications to 79. All green purchasing specifications can be found on the GreenNY website.
In addition to the Executive Order referenced above, other laws, executive orders, and policies have created a strong framework to support New York State government as it works to advance the State's ambitious climate goals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and adopt sustainable practices. The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), for example, is the most ambitious and comprehensive climate and clean energy law in the country, mandating that the State's power system be 100 percent zero carbon by 2040, and that the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and 85 percent by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities. Executive Order 88 requires state agencies and authorities to reduce source energy use in State-owned and managed buildings 20,000 square feet or greater; Executive Order 18 directs New York State executive agencies to eliminate the expenditure of State funds for the purchase of bottled water. And the "New Efficiency: New York" initiative, supported by the Public Service Commission Order of December 2018, establishes a reduction of State agency site energy use of 11 trillion BTUs by 2025 (from the baseline year of 2015) through energy efficiency measures.
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Act
New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy-wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $33 billion in 102 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.