Beyond growing profits and sales, many Westchester businesses have made a solid commitment to operate in the “greenest” possible manner. For example, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester division was the first hospital to participate in the Westchester Green Business Challenge, a “friendly” competition open to all of the county’s 35,000 firms. The Challenge was designed by county government in partnership with The Business Council of Westchester, and culminates each year with a recognition event.
The hospital, which received an achievement award at the 2012 event, has made commitments to purchase only Energy Star-rated appliances, including computers; participate in monthly “unpower hours” when employees voluntarily unplug all non-critical fluorescent light bulbs; and replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lights. Other efforts include cleaning existing HVAC diffusers to maintain proper operations, and installing high-efficiency LED exit signs, T5 lighting fixtures and “water sense certified’ plumbing fixtures.
The same “green” spirit is evident at the Jacob Burns Film Center Media Arts Lab, where General Manager Dominick Paletta describes the eco-friendly steps incorporated into a new 27,000-square-foot research development program building. “We built an LEED [Leadership and Energy in Environmental Design] facility where now we generate 12 percent of our electricity via solar panels on our roof. There are also 30 geothermal wells under the parking lot that help heat and cool the building more efficiently.”
Paletta also stresses that the staff enjoys plenty of natural light thanks to a design that emphasizes expanded window space. “The goal was to capture the greatest possible volume of available, outside illumination,” he says.