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The New York City Carbon Challenge is an initiative that helps private sector organizations support the city's long-term sustainability agenda, PlaNYC. In 2007, PlaNYC committed to a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (30 by 30). Additionally, municipal operations committed to a 30 percent reduction by 2017 (30 by 17). By accepting the Carbon Challenge, 17 of the city's leading universities, the 11 largest hospital organizations, 12 global companies, and 16 residential management firms have committed to match the municipal operation's expedited carbon reduction track.

Source: PlaNYC's Mayor's Climate Challenge, Sept 2013, Progress Presentation 

The Carbon Challenge stimulates involvement for corporations and institutions by providing a space to exchange ideas and straightforward tools to track progress. Spurring high-level commitment to energy efficiency promotes the discovery of the most effective strategies for carbon reduction and increases opportunities to expedite scaling these measures to a larger New York City community, beyond the companies that have already pledged to the Carbon Challenge.


In 2007, 17 New York City Universities signed on to the NYC Carbon Challenge. To date, the universities have achieved a combined 20% reduction in carbon emissions per square foot, and five universities have already met the 30% goal. These energy and cost savings mean that millions of dollars can be reinvested in students and research. Detailed progress information is available here.


In 2009, 11 of the largest hospital organizations joined the NYC Carbon Challenge. To date, the hospitals have achieved a combined 13% reduction in carbon emissions per square foot. These savings improve public health for all New Yorkers and make more funds available for patient care and medical research. Detailed progress information is available here.

Commercial Offices

In 2013, 12 international companies with offices in New York joined the Carbon Challenge, launched jointly with NYSERDA. The group uses innovative strategies such as IT efficiency, lighting controls, and space layout optimization in their interior office spaces. To date these companies have reduced their NYC-based GHG emissions by the equivalent of 40,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide as compared to their baseline years. Detailed progress information is available here.

Multifamily Buildings

In 2014,18 residential property management firms joined the Carbon Challenge, launched by the City in partnership with NYSERDA. The residential sector represents 37% of NYC total emissions. The 62 million square feet that are signed up through the Carbon Challenge represent a great opportunity to reduce emissions. Detailed progress information is available here.  

For more information, see "Related Resources" in the right-hand sidebar, or visit the PlaNYC website here.


“The Mayor’s Carbon Challenge underscores the importance of voluntary action by major institutions in advancing PlaNYC’s carbon reduction goals.”
Sergej Mahnovski, Director, Con Ed's Utility of the Future

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