Advancing New York’s ambitious plan to fight climate change amid an office landscape transformed by a global pandemic, NYSERDA has launched a robust initiative to drive sustained decarbonization of leased office spaces.

The project will engage stakeholders at each stage of the leasing and facility management process to help tenants and building owners save money, create sustainable and healthy workplaces, meet local and state environmental and public health regulations, and reduce energy use and carbon emissions.  This two-year effort will result in pragmatic and actionable resources to facilitate meaningful collaboration between building owners, tenants, brokers, lawyers, designers and others involved in leasing and office utilization decisions.

This initiative is being led by the Building Energy Exchange, the Institute for Market Transformation, and the NYC Climate Action Alliance.  Together, and in consultation with key stakeholders, the project team will develop professional training modules, model lease clauses, case studies, financing alternatives, and other practical tools designed to promote smart energy efficiency investments and public health, while reducing NYC’s carbon footprint.

“We are at a pivotal moment in commercial real estate where we must rise to face the huge challenges of pandemic recovery and building emission reductions. This initiative will give us valuable feedback needed to craft community-based solutions that meet financial goals, improve occupant health and work in partnership with real estate to embrace the future,” said Michael Reed, Team Lead, Advanced Efficiency Solutions at NYSERDA.

Through practical and innovative energy efficiency leasing strategies, tenants can reduce energy consumption by up to 22%, while creating healthier and more productive workplaces.

Case Study: International law firm White & Case’s renovation of their Midtown Manhattan HQ was a win for both tenant and owner. This collaborative project resulted in bottom line deemed savings of $400,000 annually, 40% energy savings, and a 35% reduction in comfort complaints for White & Case; additionally, the building owner is projected to save $400,000 per year, having implemented key building-wide upgrades.

Accelerated by the pandemic, dramatic shifts are occurring in how office tenants are designing and using their space — tenants and owners need new tools and resources to ensure that people have a safe, heathy, and productive place to work.

Engaging with commercial tenants as they repurpose and redesign their office spaces will create opportunities to establish competitive advantages, and meet climate action and corporate ESG goals.

The first step of the initiative is to get feedback from key stakeholders who have knowledge of or influence over the tenant leasing process, space design, and operations. If this sounds like you, please take some time to complete our online survey regarding Decarbonizing New York City Offices.

We are at a pivotal moment in commercial real estate where we must rise to face the huge challenges of pandemic recovery and building emission reductions.Michael Reed, Team Lead, Advanced Efficiency Solutions, NYSERDA

For more information on NYSERDA initiatives, see their Commercial Tenant Program.

If you have questions or feedback about the survey or project in general, contact us directly at

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