The Waldorf-Astoria, The Peninsula, The Pierre, The Grand Hyatt, and the Westin at Times Square may usually be in fierce competition with each other for New York’s tourist dollars, but they just all agreed to work together for a very important cause–curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
The owners of sixteen New York City hotels, including the Dream downtown, Hudson Hotel, and the InterContinental, have agreed to cut greenhouse gases from their buildings by 30 percent or more in the next decade. The collaboration is part of a campaign by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to expand the NYC Carbon Challenge program, meant to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 (and hopefully help slow the climate change that could leave much of the city underwater.)
"If some of New York's most iconic hotels can significantly reduce their carbon footprint, anyone can," the mayor said in a statement. It’s a move that could lead to significant reduction in greenhouse gasses by one of the nation’s top tourist attractions–New York City had 56.5 million visitors in 2014. If the program is successful, it could reduce emissions by over 32,000 metric tons and result in an estimated $25 million in energy cost savings.
"As the nation's number one big city destination, the hotels are showing the rest of the world that our city is committed to reducing our carbon emissions and fighting climate change," Herve Houdre, general manager of the InterContinental New York Barclay, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Touting their environmental efforts is not just a good PR move by the hotels, either. Taking part in the program could not only earn them more eco-conscious travelers, but could also cut costs associated with reducing energy waste, according to Donna De Costanzo of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "The private sector plays an important role in meeting the City's climate change goals, and the Challenge demonstrates how taking steps to reduce emissions makes good economic, as well as environmental sense, for all," Costanzo said in a statement.
Other hotels taking part in the NYC Carbon Challenge, include 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, 1 Hotel Central Park, Crowne Plaza Times Square, Grand Hyatt New York, Hotel Pennsylvania, Loews Regency Hotel, Lotte New York Palace, InterContinental New York Times Square, and the Roger Smith Hotel.