New York City Eco Friendliness Stats

New York City is a diverse landscape of immensely different cultures and attitudes toward conservation. While there are some instances where these attitudes conflict, the reality is that by and large there is a certain measure of cohesiveness between New Yorkers when it comes to the environment. It is also important to note that New York City is a relatively small place in the grand scheme of things, and therefore it's not so very surprising that this shared awareness is so commonly held. In fact, there are a number of ways in which businesses in New York far surpass the rest of the country in environmental health and sustainability.

In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, New York City, including the Midtown area, has a starkly lower rate of emissions per capita. The rate is officially 7.1 metric tons for each person in the city, which is almost one quarter of the overall United States average of 24.5 tons of carbon. This equates to a very small influence from New York City has on the overall greenhouse gasses produced by the United States, with New York accounting for around 1% of the total emissions of the United States. These statistics are due to a number of factors.

For starters, the average New Yorker uses roughly one quarter of the electricity that the average citizen of the United States uses in a year. Smaller apartment sizes and more accessible public institutions are regarded as some of the major proponents of this statistic. Greater access to environmentally conscious products that use less energy or renewable energy sources is also a possible impact. Also, the government of New York City is required by new laws to purchase only the most energy-efficient products whenever offices go under renovations, and whenever equipment needs to be changed out in city offices.

New York City is also one of the largest purchasers of alternative energy vehicles in the world. The city bus fleet is partially run on compressed natural gas, which produces a minimum of emissions during operation. Also, approximately 2000 hybrid taxis operate within the city, and this is much higher than any other city in the world.

Transportation in general is a major influence on the sustainability of New York City. According to national census data, roughly 75% of people in New York City do not own an automobile. This is much higher than the overall national average of 8%. With a highly-developed and sophisticated public transit system, it is more economical and simple to take the bus or subway to nearly any destination in the city. New Yorkers even take public transit on shopping errands, with only 6% of all shopping trips involving the use of a car in some way. According to national statistics, around one third of all users of mass transit in the United States live in New York City or its suburbs.

Despite these very high numbers of mass transit use, and very low numbers of emissions attributed to New Yorkers, New York City has some of the most toxic air in the country. It is number 17 in a list of 25 of the most ozone-polluted cities in the country, and it is recognized as a high-risk for year-round particulate pollution.

New York City is also at the forefront in the development of "green building" concepts. According to the United States Green Building Council, more than 3000 green buildings have been constructed within the city limits over the course of ten years. A large part of this success has been driven by tax and other financial incentives to build green and efficient. As of 2005, the city requires all new buildings that will cost more than $2 million to be LEED certified.

Environmentally friendly businesses looking for office space or executive suites can find comprehensive listings of offices for lease in Chelsea, the East Village, Garment District, Midtown, Midtown East, Murray Hill, Theater District, TribecaWall Street on this site.