HANYC Partnership with NYC Retrofit Accelerator

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The Hotel Association of New York City is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability’s NYC Retrofit Accelerator program that will connect member hotels to free, cost-saving sustainability resources that reduce electricity consumption and contribute to a cleaner, more energy efficient city.

The NYC Retrofit Accelerator is a program created and managed by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability that offers one-on-one advisory services to help streamline the process of making energy efficiency improvements to physical buildings. About 5,000 buildings are currently enrolled in NYC Retrofit Accelerator and are undergoing efforts to pursue greater efficiencies, implement clean energy, and water conservation projects, with projects already completed in more than 1,800 buildings.
Fatou Jabbie of USL Technology, who is both an Efficiency Advisor on the NYC Retrofit Accelerator program and a HANYC Sustainability Committee member, will help lead this partnership by working with the HANYC to implement a comprehensive strategy that will connect members to available sustainable hospitality resources that support climate action, energy efficiency, sustainable water and waste management, renewable energy, and alternative resources.
 “There are real, bottom line financial incentives for hotel owners and operators to enroll in these programs not only on the front end by avoiding fines but on the back end realizing big savings over the long term. We’re eager to connect members with these programs and help them achieve their sustainability goals,” Ms. Jabbie said.
Vijay Dandapani, President and CEO of Hotel Association of New York City, said: “We are encouraging all of our members to take advantage of these opportunities to lower costs while improving operational efficiency relating to water usage, energy consumption, waste management and more.”


Why Should Hotel Owners Make Sustainability Upgrades Now?

New York City hotel owners can save money today by implementing improvements that save energy and help ensure compliance with local laws over the long run. That money can be reinvested elsewhere to improve guest comfort and services. Additionally, NYC Retrofit Accelerator’s services are completely free and include:
  • One-on-one, customized guidance to identify high-impact opportunities;
  • Building system and utility usage analysis;
  • Connections to incentives and financing to reduce the upfront cost of upgrades;
  • Introductions to qualified contractors to install upgrades; and
  • Ongoing support through every step of the retrofit process.
Con Edison, National Grid, and the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) also have incentives available to help reduce initial costs.
Currently, hotel properties over 25,000 square feet in New York City are required to comply with annual water and energy benchmarking laws, and properties over 50,000 square feet must complete energy audits and retro-commissioning every ten years. To help hotel owners meet these requirements, New York City provides hospitality properties with information that can help them reduce utility costs while making guests more comfortable during their stay. The NYC Retrofit Accelerator will also provide recommendations to help properties increase their ENERGYSTAR® scores, which must be publicly posted by 2020.

In addition to reaping financial and environmental benefits associated with sustainability upgrades, participants in the NYC Retrofit Accelerator program have the opportunity to be recognized as leaders in the sustainability space. Hotels can also deepen their commitment to sustainability by participating in the NYC Carbon Challenge, a voluntary leadership program for private, institutional, and non-profit entities who have committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent or more over ten years.

Highlights from the new partnership include:

  • Beginning immediately, member hotels will be provided with new opportunities to learn more about the NYC Retrofit Accelerator program, which serves as a one-stop free resource to reduce operating costs, increase asset value, and improve occupant comfort.
  • Hotels that take steps to implement sustainability measures are encouraged to join the NYC Carbon Challenge for Hotels by voluntarily pledging to reduce their carbon emissions by 30 percent over ten years.
  • HANYC has redesigned its Sustainable Hospitality website to serve as an end-to-end resource for everything sustainability.
  • HANYC will create a sustainability platform for members to network and exchange ideas and best management practices including quarterly thought leadership events.
  • Participating member hotels will be recognized as part of the HANYC Earth Day Annual Sustainability Awards.
General Managers, Hotel Managers and Directors of Engineering of member hotels will be instrumental in helping to make this partnership engaging and successful, so we urge hotels to become involved!
Hotels interested in taking steps towards a greener, more sustainable future should reach out to the NYC Retrofit Accelerator at fatou@nycretrofit.org or by phone at 866-761-0940.


Successful Implementation

In addition to reducing waste and implementing the required regulations can save money on waste removal and help increase employee morale and customer satisfaction.  It is also key also enhancing the company’s image becoming a more sustainable property. To make your program a success follow this proven guideline:

  • Conduct a complete audit of all spaces within your company foot print.
  • Create a property-wide plan including all waste generating areas, transport procedures and waste holding areas.
  • Train and keep employees informed.
  • Monitor and adjust procedures consistently.
  • Track progress and participation.
  • Fine-tune waste management service, equipment and operations.
  • Evaluate removal systems and costs.
  • Pinpoint areas with success and those in need of improvement.

Its time to cut the waste and increase recycling.

The Mattress Challenge

Did you know that an estimated 20 million mattresses were dumped into landfills last year and up to 90% of a mattress can be recycled?

Hotels can make a great impact on disposing of mattresses responsibly, transforming them into reusable materials.

  • It takes up to 90 years for a mattress to decompose in a landfill.
  • Every mattress dumped in a landfill takes up 23 cubic feet of space and absorbs up to three times its weight in moisture.
  • At landfills, mattresses decompose letting different chemicals used to compose foam and fibers to seep into the ground and into the waste stream.
  • It can cost less to recycle a mattress than to throw it out.

Renewable Recycling, Inc. disassembles mattresses and box springs on site, then proceeds with bundling the parts, (metal, wood, wool, foam), bailing and distributing these parts to vendors that re-purpose the parts. The company certifies that 100% of the mattresses will be properly processed making the metal, wood, fabric, cloth, and foam available for purchase. Renewable Recycling extracts the maximum amount of reusable materials from each mattress for recycling. Learn more and sign up for a pick up here: https://renewablerecycling.com

Materials and Food Donation

Hotels dispose of many reusable items that would benefit the local community.  Items kept out of the landfills also save money on disposal and benefit our environment.

Some of the readily accepted items generated in the hospitality industry include but not limited to:

  • Office and art supplies
  • Furniture and appliances
  • Glass and building products
  • Books, media and electronics
  • Housewares containers and packaging
  • Textiles and clothing

For surplus food, in addition to City Harvest, numerous other food pantries and missions accept and pick up food from restaurants and hotels.  Search and connect here to reduce food waste and reduce your hauling costs.https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/donate/giveandfind/residents/vendorslist.shtml

Its easy to set up an account and start donating, saving money and helping the needy: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/donate/index.shtml

Universal Waste

The Universal Waste Rule (UWR), 6 NYCRR Part 374-3, has been in effect in New York state since January 6, 2000. Due to mercury and other hazardous waste components, lamps, batteries and electronics have been regulated and required to be removed by a licensed, registered recycler. https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/99942.html

The NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act (PDF, 39 KB), requires manufacturers to provide free and convenient recycling of electronic including individuals and businesses.  Many office supply and electronics chains offer this service as well as collect toner and ink cartridges throughout the city.

Universal Waste Transporter treats and recycles Universal Waste keeping toxic chemicals out of the landfills and prevents them from seeping into our water systems.

Commercial Organics Program

DSNY states that food scraps and other organic waste make up more than one-third of all commercial waste in New York City. Diverting this material from landfills to use for soil-enhancing compost, is a significant part of the City’s Zero Waste 2030 goal.

Since July 19, 2016, food establishments, hotels and arenas have been required to source separate food waste for removal by a licensed carter. As of August 15, 2018, DSNY is expanding the current commercial organics program to a wider range of city businesses now including: http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dsny/docs/commercial-organics-notice-english.pdf

  • All properties and food service establishments in hotels with 150 or more rooms
  • Food service establishments with a floor area of at least 15,000 square feet.
  • Food service establishments that are part of a chain of 100 or more locations.
  • Food manufacturers and stores with a floor area of at least 25,000 square feet.
  • Arenas and stadiums with a seating capacity of at least 15,000 people
  • Food wholesalers with a floor area of at least 20,000 square feet.

There are two options for organic food waste collection and disposal.  A private, licensed waste carter can be contracted to remove all collected food waste at the property.  A bio-digester available for installation from several manufacturers can process the food waste on site and turn it into water approved by DEP and DSNY to travel down the drain. Participating in a food donation program is also a great way to support the city food donation systems, reduce waste and costs of food disposal.