New Initiative, Decarbonizing New York City Offices: Prioritizing Energy Efficiency & Health in NYC Office Buildings While Addressing a Changing Workplace, will provide innovative resources to advance building decarbonization in commercial real estate.

Prominent Steering Committee contemplates impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on commercial leased spaces, while exploring key opportunities to align the leasing process with the City and State’s climate action goals.

The Building Energy Exchange (BE-Ex) is pleased to announce the formation of a Steering Committee to guide and inform the “Decarbonizing New York City Offices” initiative, a collaborative project between BE- Ex, The Institute for Market Transformation, and the NYC Climate Action Alliance. The project, funded by New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), will provide resources and training to commercial tenants on energy efficiency.

The project’s mission focuses on assessing commercial real estate’s business-as-usual, as well as impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, to identify strategic opportunities that will drive sustained decarbonization and energy efficiency of leased office spaces.

This two-year effort will create pragmatic and actionable tools that facilitate meaningful collaboration between building owners, tenants, brokers, attorneys, designers and others involved in leasing and office utilization decisions. The project will explore leasing process intervention opportunities, where stakeholder collaboration can be leveraged and improved in order to meet energy efficiency and decarbonization goals, as well as new legal requirements, such as New York’s building carbon emission limits, imposed by the Climate Mobilization Act (Local Law 97-2019).


We are thrilled to have the support of such an accomplished committee in this critical effort, and greatly look forward to utilizing the Steering Committee’s insights and expertise, and to broadly sharing the tools of this initiative with the entire commercial real estate industry.Richard Yancey, Executive Director, Building Energy Exchange

“We are thrilled to have the support of such an accomplished committee in this critical effort, and greatly look forward to utilizing the Steering Committee’s insights and expertise, and to broadly sharing the tools of this initiative with the entire commercial real estate industry,” said Richard Yancey, FAIA, Executive Director of the Building Energy Exchange.

At a kickoff workshop, on February 25, 2021, the Committee conducted in-depth discussions on three pressing topics that affect leased office space in New York City, including:

• COVID-19 Impacts on Commercial Tenants
• Tenant Leasing Process Intervention Opportunities
• Decarbonization Challenges & Solutions

“NYSERDA’s Decarbonizing New York City Offices initiative promises to provide impactful solutions to create more efficient, healthier, and higher value tenant spaces while advancing our shared climate goals. The Real Estate Board of New York is pleased to be part of the project’s excellent Steering Committee, and we look forward to helping this effort succeed in providing effective tools and resources for our members,” said Zach Steinberg, Vice President of Policy, Real Estate Board of New York and Steering Committee Member.

“We are gratified to see the NYC Climate Action Alliance, Building Energy Exchange, and Institute for Market Transformation working to develop resources to support the city’s transition towards decarbonization and energy efficiency in commercial buildings. And we are pleased to see the launch of the Steering Committee, which is helping guide and shape collaborative efforts among key stakeholders. We’d like to see the initiative benefit all the constituencies in the commercial real estate industry and in New York City’s neighborhoods while pursuing important environmental goals,” said Margaret Barry and Bethany Davis Noll, co-chairs of the New York City Bar Association’s (City Bar) Environmental Law Committee, and Dorothy Heyl, chair of the City Bar’s Real Property Law Committee.

“With a majority of NYC’s carbon footprint coming from buildings, considerably offices, there’s a fascinating opportunity for corporate real estate to make a dent in the city’s emissions. We’re thrilled to pool our skills together and step up the effort with the Decarbonizing New York City Offices Steering Committee,” said Thomas Baade-Mathiesen, Chair of the Sustainability Committee, CoreNet NYC Chapter, and Steering Committee Member.

“In our kickoff workshop, industry leaders came together to contribute their insights on a range of pressing topics to advance decarbonization and health in commercial real estate, including the impacts of COVID- 19. Having a platform like this Steering Committee to share diverse perspectives and identify strategic solutions is so important for accelerating progress towards a lower carbon and more healthy future,” said Mallory Taub, Associate and Senior Sustainability Specialist, Gensler, and Steering Committee.

“It is an honor to be a member of the Steering Committee and amongst such an engaging and forward- thinking group of people. The Decarbonizing New York City Offices project itself is a challenging and ambitious undertaking to help NYC as well as landlords and tenants achieve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. I have high hopes that this initiative will help catalyze change in the commercial real estate industry through the project team’s collaborative approach and the explicit goal to generate useful industry tools,” said Harry Etra, Chief Executive Officer, HXE Partners, and Steering Committee Member.

“The Steering Committee convened for Decarbonizing New York City Offices is a dynamic group with expertise across multiple sectors, and together we are dedicated to enhancing our built environment and meeting the carbon emission goals set by the City and the State. I look forward to supporting this crucial project to help create tools that can improve the performance of New York City’s commercial real estate,” said Yasemin Kologlu, Design Director, SOM, and Steering Committee Member.

The Steering Committee committed to support the Decarbonizing New York City Offices project is comprised of diverse thought-leaders from key stakeholder groups within the commercial real estate industry, including architects, engineers, energy consultants, buildings owners and operators, lawyers, and leasing agents.

Steering Committee Members:

Mark Ambrosone, Senior Vice President of Architecture and Design, Vornado
Thomas Baade-Mathiesen, Chair of the Sustainability Committee, CoreNet NYC Chapter
Michael Barry, Head of Sustainable Business Operations, Bloomberg LP
Harry Etra*, Chief Executive Officer, HXE Partners
Jason Gorman, Executive Vice President, CBRE, Inc.
Stuart Kaplan, Partner, Real Estate, Blank Rome
Yasemin Kologlu*, Design Director, SOM
Martin S. Konikoff, Partner, Robert Derector Associates
Natasha Lewis, Vice President of Facilities, Calvin Klein, Inc.
Molly Dee-Ramasamy, Head of Deep Carbon Reduction, Jaros, Baum & Bolles
Lauren Moss, Director, NORESCO
Ray Pezzuti, Global Director, Facilities & Operations, Fried Frank
Cindy Quan, Global Chief of Staff and Head of ESG, Corporate and Workplace Solutions, Goldman Sachs
Colm Ralph, Senior Managing Director, Savills North America
John Rice, President & Principal, Legacy Engineers
Luis Rios, Assistant Vice President, Operations / Sustainability, Rudin Management
Zach Steinberg, Vice President of Policy, Real Estate Board of New York
Mallory Taub*, Associate and Senior Sustainability Specialist, Gensler
Jo-Ann Whitehorn, Deputy General Counsel and Vice President, TF Cornerstone
Alvis Yuen, Assistant Vice President, Energy and Building Performance, SL Green Realty Corp.
* Indicates a Breakout Session Group Leader from the kickoff Steering Committee Workshop

Project Team:

Building Energy Exchange
Katie Schwamb, Manager, Projects
Talia Kula, Manager, Development & Operations
Richard Yancey, Executive Director

Institute for Market Transformation
Audi Banny, Associate Director, Market Engagement Team
Eugenia Gregorio, Principal, Gregorio Sustainability LLC

NYC Climate Action Alliance
Stephanie Margolis, Executive Director
Jeff Gracer, Principal, President & Chair

Sophie Cardona, Senior Project Manager
Mayra Lujan, CRE Tenant Advisor



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