SL GREEN REALTY CORP. 2019 SUSTAINABILITY REPORT
Material Selection SL Green partners with qualified vendors and collaborates with tenants to reduce the demand on virgin resources and reuse durable materials during construction. At One Vanderbilt, steel rebar used throughout the building comprises 90% recycled content, and the concrete mix is com- posed of recycled byproducts including slag and fly ash. Organics Recycling Approximately 35% of New York City’s waste stream is composed of organics, including food waste and compostable products, which can be diverted from landfills. To address this waste reduction opportu- nity, we piloted a composting program at our corporate headquarters and diverted over 2,000 pounds of organics in a 6-month period. Electronic Waste In accordance with New York State’s Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act of 2010, SL Green implemented procedures to properly dispose electronic waste, including computers, keyboards, and bat- teries. We recycled over 5,000 pounds of electronic waste in 2018 through our complimentary program offered to tenants, preventing hazardous material from contaminating the waste stream.
SL Green manages waste and recycling operations across 21 million square feet, and has developed a coordinated logistics plan as part of our standard operating procedures. We partner with our tenants, employees, union stakeholders, and vendors to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills. In one year alone, we increased our recycling rate by nearly 2%, moving closer to our corporate goal of a 50% recycling rate by 2025, which is in alignment with the LEED v4 threshold.
Operational Strategies SL Green implemented a color-coordinated recycling system to streamline proce- dures and improve source separation. We have equipped our janitorial staff with double-barrel waste bins to ensure that waste streams remain sepa- rated, from initial pick-up in tenant spaces to drop-off at the loading dock. All waste storage areas in the loading dock, freight elevator landings, and back- of-house areas are distinguished with signage that illustrates the correct hauling procedures. Tenant Engagement SL Green’s Sus- tainability Team offers annual recycling trainings to over 100,000 individuals who work in buildings across our portfolio. We offer recycling walkthroughs where we help tenants identity ways to im- prove recycling rates. We also distribute educational material and sample signage to help support tenant implementation of SL Green’s recycling program.
Ongoing Education In collaboration with SEIU Local 32BJ, over 500 of SL Green’s janitorial staff are trained on proper waste collection procedures on an annual basis. All presentations are translated into a variety of languages to ensure the material is accessible for all employees. Monthly Tracking SL Green requests monthly waste reports from our haulers to monitor and measure the effective- ness of our recycling procedures. This data is benchmarked in ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager WasteTracker tool. Waste Audits In partnership with our environmental consultant, Sustainable Investment Group (SIG), SL Green’s waste stream is audited annually to identify sources of conta- mination and areas to improve recycling rates. These results are then pre- sented to Property Management and tenants to create customized corrective action plans.
Leak Detection SL Green’s engineers are responsible for visually inspecting water systems throughout our buildings to ensure they are operating under optimal conditions. We also deploy auto- matic sensors on our steam traps to notify our engineers of potential water loss. This proactive approach prevents future leaks and wasted water. Daily Monitoring Engineers review water logs daily to compare trends and identify consumption irregularities. This protocol ensures that our engineers are responding to fluctuations in system operations. Low-Flow Fixtures Our team capi- talizes on every opportunity to retrofit existing toilets, urinals, faucets, and showers with low-flow fixtures. The specifications are aligned with the LEED v4 standard of performing 20% better than code requirements. Water Tracking SL Green tracks water consumption data through ENERGY STAR’s benchmarking tool, Portfolio Manager. This data is disclosed to New York City’s Department of Buildings (DOB) to fulfill the annual reporting requirements outlined under Local Law 84 of 2009. Landscaping At SL Green, we incor- porate biophilic design into the built environment. We prioritize landscaping
that is indigenous to New York because native plants are adapted to local envi- ronmental conditions, require less water, and promote regional biodiversity. CAPTURED RAINWATER The most efficient water-saving technologies will be deployed at SL Green’s ground-up development, One Vanderbilt. This includes a water reclamation system, where rainwater will be collected, stored, and reused for our cooling towers. This reduces our demand for fresh surface water or groundwater, and is projected to save over 1 million gallons of water per year. AUTOMATED METERING The next evolution of SL Green’s water-management strategy is monitoring consumption in real time. We implemented this technology at 555 West 57th Street and 110 East 42nd Street, and plan to deploy this across five additional properties by the first quarter of 2020.
Water scarcity is a key environ- mental issue, and SL Green is leading by example through our responsible water manage- ment program. Our strategy includes installing low-flow fix- tures, encouraging responsible resource management among building operators and tenants, and monitoring consumption data across 100% of our owned and managed portfolio. Fixture upgrades decreased our water consumption by 30% across the LEED certified buildings in our Manhattan portfolio, equivalent to saving 29 million gallons of water per year.
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