Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Energy Efficiency
Over the past several years the Botanical Garden has been actively reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and improving its energy efficiency. To better assess the situation and needs, in 2008 the Garden conducted an inventory of its emissions, with the help of Clean Air – Cool Planet and the University of New Hampshire. By knowing the amount of emissions released and the sources of those emissions, the Garden can more effectively design and implement reduction measures.
The inventory’s resulting report details the types of emissions, how they were calculated, how they have changed over the past 10 years, and what the Garden has done and is currently doing to further reduce emissions. The Garden expects that the energy efficiency and conservation measures it has identified, some of which have already been undertaken, will help the City meet its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2017, as laid out in New York City’s PlaNYC 2030.
Working with the City and New York state, the Garden has made tremendous progress over the years in conserving energy and reducing emissions. The accomplishments include a switch from oil to natural gas in its buildings and trams, greatly reducing major pollutants such as greenhouse gases; a change to more efficient lighting fixtures, motors, and other building equipment; and the completion of energy audits to identify other important energy efficiency measures, which are now being implemented.
The Garden is also evaluating the potential to produce clean on-site energy, such as from cogeneration, to further reduce emissions. And working with the New York City Department of Sanitation and the city’s Office of Recycling Outreach and Education, the Garden has dramatically increased the recycling of paper, metal, plastic, and glass.