Google’s Chelsea offices meeting the challenge in reducing its carbon footprint

The Google offices at 111 8th Ave. in Chelsea. (File photo/The Villager)

BY EMILY DAVENPORT | Google’s New York offices, in Chelsea, are making big leaps to reduce their carbon footprint a part of the NYC Carbon Challenge.

Under the challenge, which launched in 2013, entities such as universities, hospitals and other large tenets vowed to reduce their emissions by 30 percent or more over the next ten years. Google vowed to reduce their emissions 30 percent by 2023, and after achieving that goal early (reaching a 36.5 percent decrease in 2015), they increased their goal to 50 percent by 2025, which has also been met early.

In total, Google has reduced their greenhouse gas emission levels 54 percent this year, six years ahead of schedule, according to a company announcement on Sept. 26.

“Reducing emissions and reversing climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime, but Google is proud to be part of the fight and a member of the NYC Carbon Challenge,” said William Floyd, director of government affairs and public policy at Google. “In just a few years, we’ve seen what can happen with simple changes like improving windows and using light more sensibly, with a 54 percent emissions cut proof that success is possible. We are proud of the progress we’ve made so far and continue to look for more ways to reduce our carbon footprint and build more sustainable practices into everything we do.”

To reduce their emissions, Googles’s 111 Eighth Ave. building was retrofitted old steam chillers with energy efficient electric chillers, and high efficiency windows and lighting replacements were installed. Google also made sure that office spaces were built to LEED Gold minimum standards, with a focus on daylight dimming, occupancy sensors, CO2 controls as well as lighting schedules.

The tech giant has further invested large resources into radiator replacements, improved ventilation, plug load reductions and more.

The NYC Carbon Challenge is a part of a broader initiative by the City of New York to reduce carbon emissions and improve building efficiency. Over 100 participants have joined the challenge so far, including Goldman Sachs, NYU, Weill Cornell Medical College, BlackRock and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

To date, 21 participants have already met the 30 percent goal, with 18 joining Google in extending their commitment to the 50 percent reduction by 2025.

“Carbon Challenge participants are citywide leaders in fighting the climate crisis,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “We’re proud of Google and our other Carbon Challenge partners for constantly raising the bar on what NYC can do to secure our collective future.”

To learn more about Google sustainability initiatives, visit sustainability.google.

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