Citi Strikes Gold with New ‘Green’ Office Tower
New York – Today Citi announced that it has reached a significant milestone in its “green” building program by earning a Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the first time. The prestigious designation from the U.S. Green Building Council was awarded in a ceremony today at Citi’s newly constructed, 15-story skyscraper at Two Court Square, Queens, New York. The office tower, which opened in August, is home for 1,500 employees.
Citi has committed to achieving environmental certification globally (LEED in the United States) for the construction of all new office buildings and operations centers and evaluation of existing larger facilities. This is a critical part of Citi’s pledge to embed eco-friendly practices into its everyday business and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 10% by 2011 at its more than 14,500 facilities worldwide. Citi also expects to open LEED-certified retail branches in 2007.
“By taking this step, Citi demonstrates its leadership in sustainability and as an early adopter, Citi is making it easier for others to follow,” said Russell Unger, Executive Director, New York Chapter, U.S. Green Building Council. “This is a major accomplishment for Citi and helps build momentum for green building in New York.”
The building’s eco-friendly features include:
* Purchase of certified green wind power that will provide 100% of the building’s energy load for the next five years. This is equal to 38,500 MWH of energy use, resulting in zero carbon footprint.
* Avoidance of 768 tons of carbon dioxide emissions through the use of high-performance window glazing; energy-efficient lighting and air-conditioning systems; lighting controls; and office occupancy sensors.
* Workstations, carpeting and furniture made from recycled materials and/or through eco friendly manufacturing processes.
* Views to the outside for 90% of cubicles, offices and conference rooms.
* Approximately 90% (4,590 tons) of structural steel contains post-consumer recycled content.
* Conserving two million gallons of water per year through efficient plumbing fixtures and a storm-water recycling system that captures rain water in a retention tank for use in cooling towers and for all site irrigation.
* An indoor bicycle rack for employees.
* During construction, more than 90% of the waste was recycled and diverted from landfills.
Citi Gives to the Local Community
During the ceremony, with water from the building’s innovative rain water collection system, Citi officials, Unger, and New York elected officials, symbolically watered eight evergreen trees that will be donated to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in Queens for replanting in Queensbridge Park.
Citi also announced that it has partnered with RelightNY and the New York City Housing Authority to donate 9,672 energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs to the residents of Queensbridge South Houses.
Citi unveiled a new enterprise-wide initiative as part of its commitment to integrate eco-friendly practices into its everyday business. Citi’s new Sustainable IT program engages its global technology organization to focus on issues of power management, paper and travel substitution, as well as responsible asset management. The program kicked off a three-week collection drive today, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence and the Verizon Wireless HopeLine® program, asking area employees to donate no-longer-used wireless phones and hand-held devices. During Citi’s Global Community Day on Nov. 17, the wireless equipment will be cleansed of data and sent for refurbishment or recycling in an environmentally sound manner. Proceeds will benefit area agencies that combat domestic violence.
“At Citi, we are banking on green. For us, it is an important part of being a responsible corporate citizen,” said Pam Flaherty, Director of Corporate Citizenship and President and CEO of the Citigroup Foundation. “Our approach is to embed sustainable business practices throughout our operations all over the world.”
What is LEED?
LEED certification is the benchmark for “green building” in the U.S. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
In May, Citi announced a $50 billion commitment over the next 10 years to address global climate change, including $10 billion toward real estate. The company has also partnered with the Clinton Climate Initiative, a project of the Clinton Foundation, to retrofit older buildings and reduce energy usage. Citi committed $1 billion and will provide expertise and financing for the first generation of projects in this landmark program.
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