Early this month, the owner of the Empire State Building, the home of Architectural Record’s offices, announced its purchase of wind energy to power all its commercial real-estate portfolio. Having renovated the Empire State Building in 2011 to earn LEED Gold certification, and a buyer of green energy for the past decade for that flagship property, the Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) was already a leader in sustainability in the built environment. Now, the company’s new contracts with Green Mountain Energy and Direct Energy mean that only wind-generated energy will power all 10 million square feet of ESRT’s properties in New York and Connecticut.
The move will utilize 300 million kilowatt hours (kWH) of renewable energy, avoiding the production of some 450 million pounds of carbon dioxide—the equivalent of adding two Central Parks to New York City or removing all of the bustling hub’s taxis for a year. The wind power purchase, along with other sustainability efforts such as efficiency improvements and retrofits to mechanical systems, not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but will also help make ESRT properties a competitive draw for tenants who see sustainability as a priority.
“Our whole opportunity here is to differentiate ourselves and our leadership in healthy buildings, indoor environmental quality, and energy efficiency away from the balance of the real estate industry, which has really been behind and lagging in these areas,” said Anthony E. Malkin, Chairman, President, & CEO of Empire State Realty Trust in a NowThis video released by his company.