Category Archives: Greening NYC

Mayor Bloomberg Announces 70 New Electric Vehicles


Press Release, July 12, 2011     




  • New City Website Provides Facts About Electric Vehicles – 21 Percent of Consumers are More Likely to Purchase an Electric Vehicle after Being Provided Basic Facts
  • Electric Vehicles Will Help Achieve Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emission Goals in PlaNYC
  • City Hosting Free Screening of “Revenge of the Electric Car” and Information Session to Answer Questions About Electric Vehicles Tonight in Central Park

“This is the latest and largest-ever addition of electric vehicles to the City’s fleet, which is already the largest municipal clean-air vehicle fleet in the nation,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We will continue to lead by example, but we also must provide New Yorkers with tools to make environmentally friendly choices in their own lives. When provided with the facts, people become far more likely to choose an electric vehicle. Our job is to ensure the public has the facts, ensure they can make their own decisions and ensure that if they want to drive an electric vehicle, we are providing the infrastructure needed. It’s all part of our PlaNYC agenda to create a greener, greater New York City.”

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability David Bragdon and Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Edna Wells Handy today announced the addition of 70 new electric vehicles to the City’s fleet and launched new City efforts to provide New Yorkers with the facts about electric vehicles. Research has shown most consumers are unaware of basic facts about electric vehicles, and the likelihood of a consumer purchasing an electric vehicle rather than an internal combustion vehicle increases dramatically once they are provided with the facts about electric vehicles. The City already has the largest municipal electric vehicle fleet in the country, now totaling 430 electric vehicles with the infusion of the 70 new electric vehicles announced today. Tonight, the City will host a free electric car information session and documentary screening in Central Park, and the City’s electric vehicle information website is now live on The Mayor made the announcement at the Department of Sanitation’s Central Repair Shop in Maspeth, Queens where he was joined by Department of Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty; representatives from the New York Power Authority; the Environmental Defense Fund; the Sierra Club; Azure Dynamics, a partner of Ford Motor Company; General Motors; Navistar International Corporation; and Coulomb Technologies Inc., the manufacturers of the public electric vehicle charging stations available in the city.



“This largest-ever increase in the City’s electric-powered vehicle fleet is not only good for the environment, it’s good for City taxpayers too,” said Deputy Mayor Goldsmith. “Using electric vehicles reduces air pollution and carbon emissions while also lowering gasoline consumption – a fact that will translate into significant life-cycle savings per vehicle for the City. Today’s announcement illustrates New York City’s ongoing commitment to staying at the forefront of U.S. cities in our use of electric vehicles, and marks another milestone in achieving the sustainability goals set out in PlaNYC.”


“While we are doing our part to make City agency fleets greener, we’re also working to help  New Yorkers to have more sustainable choices in their lives as well,” said David Bragdon, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. “Our goal is to arm the public with information and provide the resources that will allow New Yorkers to reduce their environmental impacts and long-term energy bills.”


“I’m very proud that DCAS enabled acquisition of these 70 vehicles by coordinating grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the New York Power Authority,” said Commissioner Handy. “While New York City is already a leader in this area, boasting the largest clean-fuel municipal fleet in the country – emissions from these 70 electric vehicles are 75 percent cleaner than internal combustion engine vehicles. In addition to obtaining the funding for this initiative, DCAS teams shepherded the contracting, procurement and placement of the Volts, electric Transit Connects, and eStart vehicles in recipient agencies.”


“The New York Power Authority is proud to partner with Mayor Bloomberg and our New York City governmental customers to advance their efforts to address environmental health concerns and lower greenhouse gas emissions through the purchase of electric vehicles for their fleets,” said Richard M. Kessel, president and chief executive officer, New York Power Authority. “We are committed to helping New York City achieve its sustainability goals under its PlaNYC initiative and will continue to study the overall benefits that these electric vehicles provide to the agencies and to the overall community.”


“A year ago we announced with the City of New York the installation of the first public charging station to support electric vehicles as part of the ChargePoint America Department of Energy grant program,” said Colleen Quinn, Vice President of Government Relations at Coulomb.   “We are pleased to see this commitment to the government fleet effort as well.  Coulomb is proud to continue our relationship with the City of New York and continue to lay the groundwork for this important era of clean transportation. We applaud the City for implementing their green fleet of EVs, which will reduce our dependency on foreign oil but reduce carbon emissions as well.”


The City’s electric vehicle program is made possible due to a partnership with the New York State Power Authority and funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation – each helped fund a portion of the cost differential between the purchase of an electric vehicle and gas-powered vehicle – and the U.S. Department of Energy, which provided a grant to the charger manufacturer Coulomb to provide the public charging stations installed throughout the city.


            A survey by McKinsey & Company for the City showed a lack of consumer information and lack of educational resources on electric vehicles. Only 30 percent of New Yorkers are knowledgeable about the specific benefits and limitations of electric vehicles. Providing basic information on electric vehicles dramatically increases interest in the vehicles – the study showed 21 percent of consumers were more likely to purchase an electric vehicle after being educated about the facts on the vehicles.


            The City’s electric vehicle information site, Drive Electric NYC, available at, provides users with the primary facts about electric cars: how they drive, how they are unique and how they are similar to and differ from conventional vehicles. The site also includes a map of public charging stations in the city, a cost calculator link to help potential owners understand the total cost of an electric vehicle versus a conventional vehicle – including fuel costs – and describes how electric cars work in everyday use. The site also documents the environmental benefits of electric cars. The site is part of the recently updated PlaNYC, which includes an initiative to facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles. The City is also collaborating with the cities of Boston and Philadelphia as part of the Northeast Regional Electric Vehicle Partnership to improve conditions for electric vehicles and alleviate barriers to early electric vehicle adoption through low-cost, high-impact actions.


The Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability and Nissan will host a free electric vehicle information session tonight from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM in Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell, where the public can examine electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt, Ford Transit Connect, Navistar eStar, Nissan LEAF, and original electric Toyota RAV4. Experts from the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, the Sierra Club, Nissan and Con Edison will be on-hand to answer questions about electric vehicles.


The information session will be followed by a free screening of the new documentary “Revenge of the Electric Car” at 8:30 PM, also at Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell. The critically acclaimed film premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and it tells the story of the development of a new breed of electric cars during the global economic crisis. The film is the sequel to the 2006 documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car.”


The City’s new batch of electric vehicles includes: 50 new “extended range” hybrid Chevrolet Volts, 10 fully electric Ford Transit Connect cargo vans, and 10 new fully electric Navi-star “E-star” utility trucks.


The City agencies utilizing the 70 new electric vehicles are: the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the Department of Correction, the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Sanitation, Department of Transportation, New York City Fire Department, the New York City Police Department, and Taxi and Limousine Commission. The FDNY and NYPD initially will use the vehicles for non-emergency duties, including use by NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agents


            The Chevrolet Volt is the first electric car being used by the NYPD. The NYPD already uses electric scooters and electric powered golf carts on boardwalks, in parks and some transit hubs.


The Administration is already working towards the use electric vehicles in the City’s fleet of more than 13,000 yellow taxis. As part of its selection as the supplier of New York City’s Taxi of Tomorrow, Nissan is working with the City and taxi owners on a pilot program to study the use of zero-emission electric vehicles as taxis. Nissan will provide six 100 percent electric Nissan LEAFs to taxi owners for testing in 2012 as well as the charging stations to support their use. The City’s Taxi of Tomorrow – the Nissan NV200 – can be manufactured as an all electric taxi, if the pilot program proves successful.


Facts on Electric Vehicles


·         Based on our current power generation, electric vehicle use is responsible for emitting approximately ¼ the CO2 associated with the use of the average car in New York City.

·         Transportation contributes 20 percent of the city’s CO2 emissions and is the biggest single source after buildings. 

·         Electric vehicles do not have any tailpipe emissions such as NOx or particulates (both of which contribute to respiratory illness) and emit practically no engine heat reducing the sweltering heat on busy corridors.

·         Electricity prices have risen more slowly and are traditionally more stable than oil prices, so consumers with electric vehicles are less impacted by power price fluctuations. 

·         The range of an electric vehicle far exceeds the average American’s daily miles traveled and they have an emergency mode to warn the driver of low power, providing enough power to get off the road.

·         By the most optimistic estimates, electric vehicles will represent 0.6 percent of total energy consumption by 2015. If 70 percent of all electric vehicles plugged in at the same time during the peak period, it would increase demand by less than two percent.


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Mark Ruffalo and Orlando Bloom For Global Green USA, June 4, 2011 Santa Monica

Greening Hollywood TV Mark Ruffalo For GGUSA June 2011


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Coachella Renewable

Submitted by Eric Ritz, Founder Global Inheritance

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Film Review: Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives

By Gina Hall
[Guest Blogger Gina Hall has a Film Degree from USC. Her day job is with Global Green USA in Santa Monica]

The documentary Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War is a shocking revelation of the long-term environmental impact of America’s wars over the past century and isn’t for those with a weak stomach or who want to pretend we’re always the good guys. From hundreds of sunken World War II ships slowly leaking oil, to Agent Orange, to land-mines and cluster bombs that still litter a landscape, the film highlights America’s lasting legacy in the war zones we’ve left behind after declaring “mission accomplished.”Filmmakers Alice and Lincoln Day feature several expert talking-heads who guide the narrative matter-of-factly through our various assaults on the lands in which we wage war. It’s not an entertaining documentary, it doesn’t use animation or clever editing to engage. It has facts and visual evidence on its side. And if the melted faces of children affected by Agent Orange or the landmine-mangled foot of an elephant doesn’t viscerally affect you, then you have a harder heart than mine.

A statistic the film cites is that prior to the past hundred years 90 percent of war victims were combatants and 10 percent were civilians. Now it is the reverse, with 90 percent of victims being civilians to 10 percent actual combatants. The total body counts may be lower, but the documentary makes clear the human costs of spreading “freedom.” In addition there’s the toll on our coral reefs, water supply, soil, air and just about everything else we need to sustain life on Earth. There’s a cringe-worthy moment of footage of a U.S. armed forces official selling the natives around Bikini Atoll on their important contribution to humanity in allowing nuclear bomb tests near their homes.

It becomes clear that people in these conflict areas don’t hate us, as Bush said, because of our freedom, they hate us because we’re assholes. We seem to have a bad habit of bombing, consuming resources, salting the earth and moving on. The film doesn’t look to place blame on our men and women in the armed services, but does shine a light on economic policies that put them there. With documentaries like this, it’s getting harder and harder for our government to sell war as the humanitarian act of liberation.  If you have to see the proof for yourself, the images are here and they’re not easy to look at.

The film is being aired locally around the country, is available for screenings and on DVD. For more information visit

Photo Credit: Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives

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Evolve Love Live – Legacy of Climate Crisis



“Evolve Love: Love in a Time of Climate Crisis” is a creative feature documentary (in progress) that will take us on a voyage to discover the ways in which planet wide climate catastrophe could propel us into a sustainable future founded on empathy for all life on earth.

Chronicling the birth of a global “movement of movements” forming to confront climate change, EVOLVE LOVE will reframe the despairing, apocalyptic narrative that is dominating popular discourse around the crisis, transforming it into a moving love story.

The film will feature compelling stories of everyday individuals who are living with the devastating impacts of climate change, while taking us through to the emerging “BRIGHT GREEN” sustainability movement, which offers the energizing confidence of constructive solutions and action, showing that we can reduce our ecological footprint while improving our lives.

With director Velcrow Ripper’s signature awe inspiring visuals, a powerful soundscape, compelling animation, moving stories of crisis, restoration and sustainability, combined with the wisdom of the greatest climate crisis visionaries, EVOLVE LOVE will be an inspirational, transformative and engaging viewing experience.

When: May 23, 2011, Doors 6:15 pm, Start 7:00 pm

Where: Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas St., Victoria, BC


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Calculate Travel Carbon Emissions

[Sponsored post] 


Paige Donner is an Eco Luxury Writer

SHELBURNE, Vt., May 12, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) –

MasterCard and Brighter Planet today announced a new program to help make travel carbon emissions analysis easier – and more accurate – for the businesses worldwide that use MasterCard corporate cards.

The Carbon Emissions Reporting program will initially be launched in the United States later this year.

Developed in response to the nearly 80 percent of companies expressing an interest in green travel initiatives, the MasterCard Carbon Emissions Reporting feature represents the first time that automatic reporting and analysis of estimated travel-related carbon emissions data will be available to corporate cardholders based on their card transactions.

“We continue to innovate and expand our enhanced data initiatives to help businesses more efficiently manage their corporate card programs and meet current and future analytical needs,” said Jay Singer, group head of U.S. Commercial Products at MasterCard Worldwide. “This collaboration with Brighter Planet will help companies with MasterCard corporate card programs continue to evaluate the impact their travel activities and corporate buying decisions have on their broader sustainability initiatives.”

Increased Focus on Corporate Environment Impact

With consumers and businesses alike becoming more sensitive about costs as well as carbon footprints, the launch comes at a critical time. According to the National Business Travel Association, U.S. business travel generates $240 billion in annual spending.

The Carbon Emissions Reporting program provides access to new data that is increasingly valued by companies as they strive to benchmark sustainability goals and initiatives, confront sustainability standards on their supply chains, and address the environmental concerns of stakeholders. The new initiative represents a novel model, implemented on an unprecedented scale.

“Our work with MasterCard is about giving companies deeper insights on travel purchasing so they can make smarter decisions,” said Patti Prairie, CEO of Brighter Planet. “Travel is a huge driver of costs and carbon emissions – as much as 30 or 40 percent of total operations for some companies.”

Sustainability in Action

Detailed estimated data on flights, rental cars, hotels and other travel purchases will be automatically processed by Brighter Planet’s CM1 calculation platform, which will integrate carbon scores into MasterCard smartdata.gen2(TM), MasterCard’s industry-leading, web-based expense management and reporting solution. The carbon scoring, which uses independently validated, standards-compliant calculation methodologies, will let companies benchmark, track, compare, and report various emissions metrics across organizational divisions.

“The MasterCard Carbon Emissions Reporting program is a remarkable step forward in accelerating the availability of information for companies on their carbon footprint,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a leading coalition of investors and environmental groups working on sustainability issues. “As we all know, in the business world, what gets measured gets managed.



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Eco-Friendly Paris, Even the NY Times Is (Finally!) Taking Notice

If you pick up a Weekend Edition of the NY Times Travel section today, you will find inside a wonderful article highlighting some of Paris’s green-friendly programs. Of special interest is the fact that Paris ranks number 10 as a Green City according to a report referenced at the 2009 UN Conference.


Most of the Green Points highlighted in the article have been written about already here on Greening Paris and also on our affiliate blog, Local Food And Wine. Both are published by Paige Donner c. Paige Donner, Ed-in-Chief.



It’s wonderful to see, this Earth Month 2011, that the NY Times, of which the International Herald Tribune is its global edition, sat up and took notice of what Paris is doing in a green-friendly way!


NY Times Article, HERE


You can also read it in Print in the April 10th 2011 edition of Travel Section.

Read all about the World’s Green Trends on The Green Blog Network.


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>Greening NYC: One Bryant Park Receives LEED Platinum Certification


by: Alisa Ahmadian

At 6:30 PM, Thursday May 20th, the lobby of the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park was filled with hundreds of people clad in business casual attire. With 8,000 employees regularly shuffling in and out of the 55-story skyscraper, passersby might have assumed that the hub-bub merely signaled the end of another workday in the building which has been officially operating for 2 years.


Greening NYC – One Bryant Park Gets USGBC LEED Platinum Certification

Instead, the crowd inside was composed of hundreds of people that literally helped to build the tower—a fraction of the team of thousands involved in the intensive six year long building process. Needless to say, the flutes of local sparkling wine passed about were long-awaited and much deserved, with laughter heard and warm embraces shared amongst those that had formed friendships after years of collaboration.

The grandeur of the Bank of America Tower cannot be denied; it is a 2.1 million square foot skyscraper erected in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, and the first commercial high rise to receive the US Green Building Council’s coveted LEED Platinum Certification. However, the tone of the evening was one of graceful deference and thanks. The speaking program included Jody Durst of the Durst Organization, the project’s developer; Rick Cook of Cook+Fox Architects; Christine Quinn, New York City Council Speaker; Anne Finucane of Bank of America; Rick Fedrizzi, founding Chairman of the US Green Building Council; Vice President Al Gore; and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Jody Durst, who experiences the day-to-day operations of the building from his offices inside, joked about the irony of the event’s title-a “grand opening.”

All joking aside, what drew so many people to the lobby last night– two years after the official opening, was an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment. Rick Cook noted that building a green building meant creating something that felt different, something that he would be “proud to be show his children and grandchildren.” It did feel different. Although the reception was held in the vast lobby of the skyscraper, attendees received views of trees in neighboring Bryant Park, as well as live, planted structures in the Urban Garden Room—a portion of the lobby created as part of the project’s effort to increase valuable public space. Aside from the Urban Garden Room, the building symbolizes a way of new of way of thinking about buildings: as a means to give back. This ideology was reflected by Rick Fedrizzi, who called the building’s conception a chance to “doing the right thing on as large a scale as possible.”

One Bryant Park, NYC, USGBC LEED Platinum Certification

The building gives back to its tenants; air filtration removes 95% of particulates, making the air inside cleaner than outside, and creating a healthy workplace that boosts worker productivity and happiness. The tower also gives back to New York City. A newcomer to an impressive skyline of historic skyscrapers, the Bank of America Tower’s contribution is unique—as a result of its construction, New Yorkers enjoy widened sidewalks, improved sightlines and views, and the City’s power grid gets a break due to the installation of a co-generation plant and a thermal storage plant that creates ice during off-peak hours, reducing daytime demand on the grid. Last night, the Bank of America also gave back to the youth of New York City in the form of a $125,000 donation to 100 schools to plant gardens. The announcement was happily received by three schoolchildren from PS 43 in the Bronx who arrived on the stage toting small plants.

The true significance of the event was memorialized in one of the more sobering remarks made last night by speaker Al Gore, a tenant of the building. He mentioned the comprehensive reports issued by the National Research Council on May 19th that stress the need for the United States to develop a strategic plan to address climate change. Specifically, Gore cited the fact that “30% of CO2 emissions in the United States come from inefficient buildings.” Despite the glamour of the event, the true intentions of all attendees and project leaders present were clear: taking real action to address and reverse these global concerns. Although the Bank of America Tower is one LEED Platinum skyscraper, in just one of America’s large cities, it certainly won’t be the last. With any hope, its completion serves as a tipping point, with many others closely following its lead and even surpassing its pioneering standards.

All Images credited to Cook+Fox Architects.

To learn more about LEED Certification, please visit the USGBC website at

Alisa Ahmadian recently migrated to New York City, where she will begin work shortly for Cook+Fox Architects. In her past life in California, she was an environmental activist, a UCLA student and a vegan foodie.

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>Greening NYC – Eco Style Spring Cleaning


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>Greening NYC: Hudson Companies Inc. Third + Bond Collaborates With Pratt Institute


By: Alison Novak
Green Building Meets Match in Green Furnishings: The Hudson Companies Inc. collaboration with the Pratt Institute yields a bountifully green pairing.
Sustainable top to bottom, inside and out, is what can be said about Third + Bond, the 44-unit condo project in Brooklyn, NY. Third + Bond is expected to be LEED-Gold and Energy Star-labeled (as a building) when it is completed next spring. But the effort toward sustainability doesn’t end there. Third + Bond partnered with four academic departments and over 90 designers from Pratt Institute to outfit two model residences with sustainable furnishings.
This collaboration has been covered by Metropolis, Interior Design, the soon-to-close Metropolitan Home, and Yanko design, among others. With furnishings from revered designers Eva Zeisel, Harry Allen, and Bruce Hannah, just to name a few, and prototypes from the newest designers on the scene, like Tawny Hixson and Thomas Stern, the collaboration is undoubtedly buzzworthy.
Pratt Institute, the prestigious art, design and architectural college, completely outfitted the model residences from wall coverings to home accessories, furniture, textiles, art, lighting, and clothing. All items were designed by Pratt alumni, faculty and/or students. Some of the items have been classics for years, such as the T Sling Lounge Chair by Bill Katavalos. Others were created specifically for the project, such as the wallpaper designed by Pratt interior design students who were inspired by legendary, local oysters. Not only do the colors and graphics embody an organic, natural sense, but the wallpaper itself was manufactured PVC-free by Carnegie.
Traditional Brooklyn Townhouse – Modern Eco-Adaptation
Third + Bond was designed by Rogers Marvel Architects as a modern adaptation of the traditional Brooklyn townhouse. The furnished models are a 2 bedroom, 2 full bathroom condominium with a little over 1,000 square feet, and a 3 bedroom, 3 full bathroom condominium with private yard that’s just shy of 2,000 square feet. Green elements include energy recovery ventilators, low-VOC paint, dual flush toilets, pre-fabricated construction and R-39 insulation.  
The Hudson Companies Inc. Paradigm:  Quality Greens
As the first green building project for The Hudson Companies Inc, Third + Bond has also been an experiment in expanding the 22 year old company’s paradigm about quality. Known for both luxury and affordable housing, Hudson has built nearly 4,000 dwelling units in New York City and is known for its quality work. The idea of doing a green building before green was mainstream and when the cost premium was thought to be considerable, was a leap of faith. Now all of Hudson’s projects planned or in construction are green.
For more on Third + Bond, the collaboration with Pratt, and what it’s like for an established company to go green, check back with us on the Green Blog Network.
Photos by Diana Pau, Pratt Institute

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