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by Sarah J.F. Braley | February 5, 2016

New York City businesses are taking Mayor Bill De Blasio's sustainability initiatives seriously. The mayor's New York City Carbon Challenge has signed on 17 hotels, aiming to help reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2050. More immediately, the mayor wants to reduce the gasses by 30 percent or more in the next 10 years. Already on board are educational institutions like New York University and the Fashion Institute of Technology; 11 hospitals, including New York Presbyterian and the Mount Sinai Medical Center; and the commercial offices of Bloomberg LP, Goldman Sachs and more.

The 17 hotels, 16 in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, that have joined the initiative are 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge; 1 Hotel Central Park; Crowne Plaza Times Square; Dream Downtown; Grand Hyatt New York, Hotel Pennsylvania; Hudson Hotel; Loews Regency Hotel; Lotte New York Palace; Pierre, A Taj Hotel; Peninsula New York; InterContinental New York Barclay; InterContinental New York Times Square; Roger Smith Hotel; Viceroy Hotel; Waldorf Astoria New York, and Westin New York at Times Square.

According to the mayor's office, adding the hotels to the effort could reduce citywide GHG emissions by an additional 32,000 metric tons and result in an estimated $25 million in energy cost savings.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Current NYC Carbon Challenge participants represent more than 255 million square feet of real estate and account for nearly 7 percent of citywide building-based emissions. The Challenge ultimately could 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.