6 Ways New York is Promoting Sustainability

America’s biggest city is taking unprecedented steps to create increased sustainability in the state and the city of New York, making it the perfect opportunity for businesses to go green. Whether your business wants to attract new customers or promote your environmental practices, now is the perfect time to make sustainable practices a part of their corporate culture.

1. The EV Make-Ready Program
In July, Governor Cuomo announced a $700 million initiative to expand EVSE infrastructure across New York. This initiative by NYSERDA and state utilities will include over 50,000 Level 2 chargers and about 1,500 DCFC chargers over the next five years.

“This groundbreaking public-private partnership is a smart and innovative approach that will bring affordable, clean energy solutions directly into the homes of those who need them most, and make the lives of all New Yorkers safer and healthier” Governor Cuomo said.

This initiative and NYSERDA’s existing Charge NY program with $4,000 rebate per charger port will ignite the state’s EVSE infrastructure growth, making chargers more available in multi-family residences, businesses, workplaces, and many parking locations. See how to install chargers at any of these locations for free at blinkcharging.com/electrifyny

Blink Charging’s partnership with Sustainable Westchester and collaboration with other organizations in the state will help educate the community about the incentive programs available. “When we started an EV Charging program, Blink Charging stepped up and committed to bringing EV charging infrastructure to our region. They will initially provide 50 chargers to be deployed at no cost to hosts through their Blink-owned program, [and we hope to increase this amount over time],” remarked Seth Leitman, Clean Transportation, Program Director Sustainable Westchester.

Other groundbreaking plans like Sustainable Hudson Valley’s 100% Renewable Communities and their Drive Electric Hudson Valley initiative are taking things to the next level and making a difference across the state.

2. Protecting Water Reservoirs
The city is working with the federal government to protect long term fresh water sustainability, and institutionalize environmentally-friendly policies. According to eco.bnb, the New York EPA and NYC’s Department of Health are working together to protect New York’s largest fresh water sources. “The 2017 New York City Filtration Avoidance Determination endeavors to safeguard public health and provide access to safe drinking water for the residents of New York City and other upstate communities reliant upon this water, while promoting good watershed stewardship practices through comprehensive, locally implemented programs,” explains New York’s State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.

As sources of unfiltered fresh water dwindle, making sure they stay clean and fresh is vital. The most important aspects of the plan include mitigating flooding, stabilizing eroding stream banks, and upholding agricultural best management practices for farms, keeping the fresh water flowing to the people who need it.

3. Widespread Urban Gardening
When most people think “urban gardening”, they imagine a few people with roof-gardens on skyscrapers. That is indeed some examples of urban gardening, but many open spaces can become home to gardens. Areas between streets, parks, and even former railroad lines have become urban gardens in NYC, in additional to personal window gardens and rooftop gardens among apartment dwellers. Grow NYC is partly responsible for popularity of farmer’s markets in the city. Enthusiasts come together to create more space for vegetables, flowers, and green spaces.

Own a restaurant? Restaurants such as Bell, Book, & Candle, the LCL Bar and Kitchen, Madiba, Brooklyn Grange, Riverpark Restaurant, and ABC Kitchen, have their own rooftop gardens that supply them with fresh tasting produce that is never at the mercy of COVID supply delays.

4. Sustainable Building Measures
Particularly interesting to businesses and builders, environment standards and LEEDS points are a big deal in NYC, unlike some other places. Recently, Madison Place Luxury, an upscale condo, received Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The certification takes into account water management, site choice, energy efficiency, building materials, outdoor structure, and indoor air quality.

With over $23 billion real estate transactions per year, New York could make an enormous difference in waste and health quality by keeping new buildings to strict sustainability guidelines.

5. Designing the Resiliency of Oceanside Communities
One of the points made in former mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC is providing reliable, dispatchable, and sustainable power to waterside communities, like Hunts Point, in an effort to prevent the tragedies of Hurricane Sandy. As global warming influences weather more and more, the number of deadly storms may increase, and waterside communities are prone to damage.

Many residents were left by themselves when services could not be restored. Developing “resiliency programs” for NYC can help prevent future unforeseen problems. Profits and doing the right thing combine to find new ways to protect the coast—both lives and property—from storms.

6. Recycling Food Waste
Residents in NYC have been recycling for decades, but programs are always being expanded, including food recycling. According to Columbia University, “York City will need to invest in new forms of solid waste management, including recycling, waste-to-energy, and fertilizer technologies such as anaerobic digestion.” Currently, the city recycles food waste from 400,000 residents.

Grow NYC, the same non-profit that puts together local farmer’s markets, also takes responsibility for food waste programs including “Zero Waste Schools, composting, Stop ‘N’ Swap®, and general recycling outreach & education.”

They build garden schools in all five boroughs with volunteer assistance on everything from planting to engineering. They provide 66,000 students in urban neighborhoods with environment and gardening experiences each year.

Some businesses are even creating new products from food waste. Renewal Mill has created a nutritious flour out of the by-products of tofu and soymilk. Sixteen other businesses now are creating their food products out of waste.

New York is taking green, sustainable initiatives seriously, trying to create a city where as much as possible can be recycled or reused. Their choices make for the perfect place to grow a sustainably cutting-edge business.

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