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Iconic Hotels Join NYC Carbon Challenge in Effort to Cut Emissions

As part of the NYC Carbon Challenge, a small group of iconic NYC properties have pledged to make small changes that can have a big impact on greenhouse gases.

A number of New York’s most well-known hotels have pledged to go green. The Waldorf Astoria, Grand Hyatt New York, Loews Regency New York and the Peninsula New York are just a few of the iconic properties that have joined the NYC Carbon Challenge. The program, launched by former mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2007, is aimed at reducing the city’s greenhouse emissions.

While it initially targeted New York’s universities, the initiative has expanded to offices, residences and, as of last month, current mayor Bill de Blasio also announced that the program was being extended to include hotels.  

Nilda Mesa, the director of the city’s Office of Sustainability, applauded the pledge made by this initial group of 17 hotels. “Hotels are definitely a cause of emissions, and their involvement can have a big impact on achieving the goals of the NYC Carbon Challenge,” she commented to the New York Times.  

The initial pledge was secured as part of a collaboration between the Office of Sustainability and the Hotel Association of New York City, a trade group that represents 275 properties within the city. The trade body’s chairman, Vijay Dandapani, has confirmed that his organization is encouraging more hotels to pledge.  

“For the hotels who need it, we can connect them with environmental consultants…We hope that our help and the visibility of the hotels that have agreed so far gives others the push they need to sign up for the Challenge,” he told the paper.

It is hoped that the action of this first group of hotels will encourage others to follow suit and make the small alterations to their infrastructure that can have a significant impact on emissions.

From the installation of exhaust controls in kitchens to increased used of LED lights and new windows, these changes will vary from hotel to hotel. While these initiatives may not be noticeable to guests, Adam Weissenberg, head of the travel, hospitality and leisure sector at Deloitte & Touche commented that those, “who care will educate themselves about how their hotels are trying to be greener.”

[Photo: The Peninsula New York]

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