Google’s New York City office is the third largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions for a building in the city and could face fines totaling more than $4 million should the company not make appropriate updates, according to a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
The tech giant’s New York City headquarters, located at 111 8th Avenue, would violate a section of Mayor de Blasio’s “Green New Deal” that requires the city’s largest buildings to cut their greenhouse gas emissions or face a severe penalty. Should Google not make updates to its Chelsea-based office by 2030, the company would face a $4.3 million fine, according to the spokesperson.
The two largest potential offenders of de Blasio’s Green New Deal are the Time Warner Center (10 Columbus Circle) and the Mount Sinai Medical Center (One Gustave Levy Place). Both buildings will face a $5.5 million fine if no changes are made by 2030, according to the spokesperson.
As a part of the Mayor’s environmental plan passed in April, the spokesperson said buildings over 25,000 square feet would be assessed each year and assigned a “greenhouse gas intensity score” — which calculates CO2 emissions per square foot. If buildings exceed the acceptable intensity score, they will face a fine which takes into account the severity of the violation and size of the building. Factors that could help improve a building’s score include updating its energy sources, replacing old windows and elevators, and enhancing its roof and facade insulation.
The mayor’s office has said buildings are responsible for 70% of emissions in New York City. De Blasio’s plan requires the cities largest buildings to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and by at least 80% by 2050.
News regarding Google’s office surfaced after de Blasio — who’s expected to run for president in 2020— held a press conference at Trump Tower on Monday in promotion of his Green New Deal, which will hold the city to accountable to emissions standards set by the Paris Climate Accord. De Blasio took the opportunity to call out President Donald Trump, who opposes the those standards on a national level.
“You’re going to see today just how much Donald Trump and the Trump Organization will owe the City of New York if they don’t get right, if they don’t fix their buildings,” de Blasio said, in part, on Monday. “Remember he’s not just a problem because of his policies in Washington, he’s a problem because his buildings are among the biggest polluters in New York City.”
The mayor said Trump would face over $2 million in fines if changes are not made to his buildings to decrease emissions. Today, Trump’s New York City properties produce the equivalent amount of greenhouse gases as 5,800 cars each year, de Blasio said.De Blasio’s team later released information about the city’s biggest offenders, which found Google to be the third highest.
A Google spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the matter.
Google bought the 111 8th Avenue property in 2010 for $1.9 billion.
For a Silicon Valley-based company — that touts a responsible supply chain, as well as “creating sustainable workplaces” — being atop de Blasio’s list for violating carbon emission standards comes as a surprise. Google’s new campus near its headquarters in Mountain View, California will use geothermal heat pumps to absorb heat from the ground in the winter and eliminate the need to heat buildings with natural gas.
Alphabet Inc. Cl A shares were trading at $1,162.26 per share on Wednesday afternoon, up $37.40 (+3.32%). Year-to-date, Alphabet Inc. - Class A (GOOGL - Get Rating) has gained 11.23%, versus a 14.49% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
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