PlaNYC 2030: The Mayor’s Sustainability Plan to keep New York Competitive

November 2007 Volume V, Number 6

Speakers:
Laurie Kerr, Senior Policy Advisor for New York City’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability
Elizabeth C. Girardi Schoen, Senior Director, Environment, Health & Safety, Strategic Partnerships & Planning, Pfizer Inc. and a member of the Mayor’s Sustainability Advisory Board

I. Network Presentation
Key Findings
Perspectives

II. What’s New

III. The Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future
The Concept of the Network
Contact Information
Sponsorship Opportunities

I. Network Presentation

Thank you to everyone who attended the WNSF’s November luncheon panel on November 20, 2007. The event was over-subscribed and we appreciate the enthusiastic response. We would like to give a special “thank you” to our host Pfizer. Pfizer provided space and luncheon at their building in New York City. The panel provided valuable insight into how the City and Pfizer are advancing sustainability with the long term goal of keeping New York and Pfizer competitive.

Key Findings

  • To view more information on the Mayor’s sustainability plan, please visit http://www.plannyc.com
  • Main issue facing New York today is population growth.
  • New York’s sustainability plan must include land, transportation, air, energy, water, and climate change.
  • Land goals include creating residences for almost a million more New Yorkers, while making housing more affordable and sustainable, ensuring people are within 10 minutes walking distance of a park and creating new brown fields.
  • Two water goals are: to develop back up systems for our aging water network and open 90% of NYC water ways for recreation.
  • NYC’s goal is to achieve the cleanest air quality in America.
  • A major challenge is to bridge the 30 billion dollar funding gap for required for renovations.
  • The Congestion Pricing Plan will use the money collected from increased fares to help fund improvements to transportation and congestion. The revenue from the congestion plan along with an unprecedented City commitment that the State will be asked to match, will help fund the SMART Financing Authority.
  • To stabilize demand of energy NYC will target the largest buildings and property owners through incentives, update the codes to ensure that the building stock becomes increasingly efficient, and change the City Charter to require that 10% of the NYC energy bill is devoted to retrofitting City buildings to improve their efficiency.
  • NYC plans to reduce global warming emissions by 30% over the next ten years.

Perspectives

Moderator: Ann Goodman, Executive Director, WNSF.
Speakers: Laurie Kerr & Liz Girardi Schoen

Laurie Kerr addressed the Mayor’s Sustainability Plan indicating that the impetus for the plan was the estimated million more people residing in New York by 2030. Along with people, this growth will bring enormous benefits, including: 750,000 jobs, millions more tourist, and billions of dollars in new revenue. However, if this growth goes unchecked, it could undermine all the achievements made thus far. If we don’t take action today the effects could be paralyzing. The infrastructure will be strained beyond its limits. The main problems and goals pertaining to land, transportation, air, water, energy, and climate control are:

  • Land is our most limited resource; therefore NYC has to be smart about how the issue is approached. Land goals are: to create home for almost a million more New Yorkers, while making housing more affordable and sustainable; ensure people are within 10 minutes walking distance to a park; and create new brown fields.
  • New York City has 680 miles of water front and needs to make sure water supply to the City is clean and reliable and back up systems exist.
  • Most of small rivers are fairly polluted and they want to clean up 90% of them. NYC needs to invest more than 10 billion in sewage systems.
  • The goal is to achieve the cleanest air quality in America. In some neighborhoods, asthma rates are nearly four times the national average. The goal is to eliminate 3,000 tons of soot out of the air every year.
  • Every form of energy consumption is rising dramatically and the city’s total energy bill will increase by 3 billion by 2015. To stabilize demand, NYC will: target our largest buildings and property owners through incentives, update the codes to ensure that NYC building stock becomes increasingly efficient, and change the City Charter to require that 10% of the NYC energy bill is spent retrofitting City buildings to improve their efficiency.
  • NYC plans to reduce global warming emissions by 30% over the next ten years. To accomplish that they work to increase efficiency in city buildings, increase efficiency of electricity grid, and encourage the use of more efficient transportation (particularly the business sector) such as subways and regional lines.

Liz Girardi Schoen addressed her dual roles at Pfizer and as a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Board. At Pfizer, she is responsible for enhancing internal and external partnerships related to EHS and for strategic planning. Liz is also engaged in other strategic activities such as Corporate Citizenship. Partnering with external organizations includes influencing environmental policy where appropriate for Pfizer. It is also important to keep in mind that green buildings are great opportunity for businesses and are encouraged by Pfizer and the City. Liz has served on the Advisory Board to the Mayor on PLANYC, supporting the City by contributing time and expertise in the areas of organization planning and program development, energy, climate change, green buildings and waste management.

Founded in New York City in 1849, Pfizer has a special attachment to the City, so PLANYC is of natural concern for the company. Pfizer’s environmental efforts include advancing energy efficiency and greener building policy and practice – while reducing overall environmental impact of operations. Supporting NYC in its effort to encourage sustainability more broadly is helpful to business, particularly given the institutional and political issues that can get in the way of advancing environmental responsibility. For example, Pfizer occupies several buildings in Manhattan, some of which it owns, some of which it leases. In leased buildings, a company’s energy conservation programs may not offer direct business benefit, mainly because the rent includes energy costs, which aren’t automatically cut when energy use goes down. This is a business ‘disincentive’ in tenant-owner relationships. Working with NYC, business can help to raise awareness of such stumbling blocks to environmental responsibility and advance sustainability throughout the City.

II. What’s New

Executive Director Ann Goodman spoke on behalf of WNSF in Beijing, China in fall 2007 at two conferences, one hosted by the Center for International Business Ethics and the second presented by the China Association of Women Entrepreneurs. Both talks focused on the role of women in helping business achieve social responsibility and sustainability.

III. The Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future

The Concept of the Network

WNSF provides a forum for business and professional women to congregate, reflect, and act on the converging issues of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. Through meetings and simple electronic support tools, the Network aims to facilitate the exchange of experiences and best practices on these vital workplace issues. By creating a new network of executive women, the Network seeks to improve responsible practices in workplaces; sensitize corporate culture more generally to issues of sustainability and social responsibility; and encourage a public commitment locally, nationally, and internationally to sustainability principles.

The Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future is a 501c3 organization. Gifts are tax deductible.

For more information, please contact:

Ann Goodman, Executive Director
Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future
Please direct inquiries to: info@wnsf.org

This issue of Net Notes was written by Omalola Taiwo.

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