AJC became the first Jewish organization to receive LEED gold certification for our headquarters building in 2011, and since then we have made further strides towards energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Over the last three years we have not only upheld our commitment to LEED efforts, but have also dramatically improved the efficiencies of our headquarters building, leading to significant reduction in resource consumption, waste production and cost. We accomplished this through a variety of building-system modifications and shifts in building management strategies, with the goal of enhancing occupant comfort, environmental consciousness and organizational cost savings.
- As part of our commitment to LEED, we clean our building with non-toxic Green Seal-certified products and approved equipment. By improving our indoor air quality, we ensure the safety and health of employees and tenants, and reduce our environmental impact.
- AJC NY has shown its commitment to conservation on both the front end, through a green purchasing policy, and the back end with a strict waste-management policy. When purchasing office supplies and other durable goods, we select options made with recycled and renewable materials, reducing our strain on the Earth's limited resources. Our recycling program has recycled over 50% of our waste each year, cutting our contribution to landfills in half.
- With help from our engineering consultants, the EME Group, we are now working on a transition to LED lighting, and modifying our HVAC systems to reduce energy usage and increase occupant comfort throughout the building. After achieving annual energy reductions of about 50,000kWh per year, AJC has earned a partnership with NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) for further energy reduction efforts. As part of this cost-sharing program, EME will perform an energy audit to further evaluate our building's systems and make suggestions for other areas of improvement.
- Our participation in the Energy Curtailment Specialists demand response program during particularly hot days, when the New York City grid is especially strained, has not only reduced our own consumption, but also helped avoid citywide brownouts and blackouts.
- Water consumption has also steadily declined thanks to improvements in toilet and sink fixtures throughout the building. In 2012, the AJC headquarters used 20,000 gallons less water than in 2010.
- These improvements have been confirmed by the ENERGYSTAR score that AJC has received this year—82, as compared to 76 just three years ago. The ENERGYSTAR score is based on a compilation of data that measures the building's power, steam and water usage against other buildings of comparable size and age.
- A recent addition to our LEED efforts is a new building-occupant education program, in which the Facilities Department selects a different LEED topic each month and introduces it to employees. This program helps occupants understand the important concepts LEED addresses so that they are more aware of AJC's efforts. Employees, then, become more conscious of the consequences of their behavior and decisions, effectively contributing on an individual level to the large-scale energy goals of the organization.