NYC Hotels Pledge to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

NEW YORK (AP) -

More than a dozen of New York City’s most famed hotels are pledging to get greener.

The Waldorf-Astoria New York, the Lotte New York Palace, the Pierre-A Taj Hotel and the Crowne Plaza Times Square are among the 16 city hotels whose owners have agreed to cut greenhouse gases from their buildings by 30 percent or more in the next decade.

“If some of New York’s most iconic hotels can significantly reduce their carbon footprint, anyone can,” Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose office is spearheading the NYC Carbon Challenge program, said in a statement.

New York is one of the nation’s leading tourist attractions — 56.5 million people visited in 2014 — and the famed hotels are a powerful billboard for the mayor’s environmental program. The so-called Carbon Challenge is part of City Hall’s ambitious plan to reduce all citywide greenhouse gases 80 percent by 2050.

The expansion to the 16 hotels is estimated to reduce emissions by 32,000 metric tons and result in an estimated $25 million in energy cost savings.

City officials said that more than 17 universities, 11 hospitals and nearly 20 residential property management companies — combining for nearly 7 percent of citywide building-based emissions — have already signed on. Officials estimate the program will reduce emissions by the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off the roads.