Announces $2.5 Million in Carbon Offset Contracts
And Begins Push for Customer Initiatives
The Port Authority today took a significant step towards the agency's sustainability targets by announcing the selection of two carbon brokerage teams that will identify high-quality and regionally generated carbon offsets for the agency's purchase. With this announcement, the agency furthers its initiative to become carbon neutral in its operations by 2010.
To achieve the carbon-neutral goal, the Port Authority will purchase carbon offsets in 2009 and 2010. The carbon offsets must meet rigorous quality standards and at least 75 percent of the offsets must be generated in the region. The agency also will give tenants and customers the ability to purchase carbon offsets through a new Web site, and will conduct education and outreach programs.
To assist with these efforts, the agency's Board of Commissioners today authorized the award of five contracts, totaling $2.5 million, for broker and related services and for professional advisory services related to the carbon market. Contracts were awarded to CantorCO2, L.P./Native Energy/Weston Solutions and Blue Source LLC/Henningson and Durham & Richardson Architecture and Engineering, P.C. for broker and related services. Contracts also were awarded to Stockholm Environment Institute-US; The Climate Trust; and E.H. Pechan & Associates, Inc. for professional advisory services related to carbon offsets.
Cantor CO2 performed its first voluntary market transaction in 1998 and holds the record for the largest transaction in the carbon market. Blue Source has developed the largest portfolio of voluntary assets in North America and has provided related services to Fortune 500 companies, such as Tyson Foods and International Paper.
Today's announcement is part of the Board's broad sustainability policy, which includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, through a combination of capital investments, operational changes, and carbon offsets; promoting sustainability among tenants and customers; and adapting facilities to handle future climate changes.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "In recent years, we've demonstrated our commitment to sustainability by overhauling our Capital Plan to include over $8 billion in mass transit improvements, on-dock rail systems, and energy-efficient lighting at our bridges and tunnels. Today's action is another step in becoming environmentally responsible stewards in the region, and confirms our position at the vanguard of public agencies - in the region and across the nation - in taking steps to preserve and protect the environment."
Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, "Our goal to be carbon neutral by 2010 is a bold challenge, but one that we strongly embrace. It's good for the environment and, importantly, it's good for the regional economy because our program will make smart investments in clean-tech jobs throughout New York and New Jersey."
A component of the public outreach will involve a new Web site that will allow drivers and airline passengers to buy credits to offset carbon emissions they create. A prototype page from the Web site was unveiled at today's meeting http://www.panynj.gov/ppt/carbon_footprint_calc.ppt
. It will be activated in early 2009.
The carbon neutrality program is just one of several steps taken by the Port Authority to reduce environmental impacts, including:
- Installing energy efficient LED lighting at the Holland Tunnel and the George Washington Bridge, as part of a program to equip all of the agency's bridges and tunnels with energy-efficient lighting;
- Building the world's first geothermal-powered building at an airport at John F. Kennedy International Airport;
- Investing $60 million, $30 million each in New York and New Jersey, to buy and preserve environmentally sensitive land for public use;
- Requiring construction vehicles to use ultra-low sulfur diesel fuels and particulate filters at the World Trade Center construction site;
- Building 1 World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower, which will be the most environmentally sustainable project of its size in the world; and
- Committing to making Stewart International Airport the nation's first carbon-negative airport.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Candace McAdams or Steve Coleman, 212 435-7777The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.