Report: Green initiatives at state agencies increasing sustainability, saving money


A rooftop is covered with solar panels at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in New York. ConEdison Solutions installed 3,152 solar panels on the roof of Building 293 in 2016. The new panels will generate 1.1 million kilowatt hours of energy per year, according to the mayor’s office. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided more than $600,000 in incentives for the project. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- New York has committed to relying 100% on renewable energy to power the state by 2040. It has also turned the light on state agencies, requiring them to adopt green initiatives.

A recent report said these measures are reducing the state’s environmental footprint while saving money in the process. Nearly half of state agencies, 48% reported savings from green initiatives, 9% of agencies reported costs stayed the same, and 9% reported an increase in 2019-2020.

The Greening New York State report is a collaboration between the GreenNY Council, the Office of General Services, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and the NY Power Authority. It breaks down the steps taken towards sustainability by state agencies between 2019-2020.

Greening New York State: Ninth Progress Report on State Green Procurement and Agency Sustainability documents that State government is continuing its already impressive progress on reducing its environmental footprint. Accomplishments include a record amount of State agencies having active internal sustainability teams/infrastructure, a record $211 million spent on green products, and finalizing four new green purchasing specifications (bringing the total up to 61).

Greening New York State
Message from Chairs

Findings from executive summary

  • Recycling rate increase from 66% to 90% for all state agencies between 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.
  • State agencies composted 6,928 tons of food scraps and a total of 15,083 tons.
  • 80% of state agencies use green cleaning practices in most or all facilities.
  • Nearly 6 million kilowatt-hours of solar electricity were generated by State Parks, Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, SUNY and the New York State Bridge Authority.
  • Zero-emission vehicles drove 4.4 million miles.
  • Agencies spent 63% of dollars spent on 100% post-consumer recycled content, processed chlorine-free paper.
  • Agencies saved $92,759 by reducing the purchase of bottled water.

“Our actions are reducing energy use, preventing waste, reducing the use of hazardous substances, and demonstrate how entities–large or small–can serve as good environmental stewards,” said DEC Commissioner, Basil Seggos.

“The progress state agencies have made showcases how our collective and coordinated efforts will lead to lower emissions, advancement of clean energy, and a greater quality of life in communities across New York,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris.

“As the State continues to pursue its ambitious climate goals, we want to demonstrate to others the value generated from the clean energy actions of today will protect future generations from the impacts of climate change,” she said.

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