Javits Center 2021 Sustainability Report

Page 1

A Better Neighbor S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T 2 0 2 1



























2 0 2 1 S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T


From the CEO Sustainability at the Javits Center isn’t just a program — it’s a part of every aspect of our operations, weaved into the cultural fabric of our organization. Our employees work diligently to consider the environmental impact of their day-to-day work and search for ways to repurpose materials and reduce waste. As a New York icon with one of the largest footprints of any building in the five boroughs, a commitment to sustainability means a commitment to our community and our neighbors, those with wings and those without. As a result, our sustainability efforts have evolved and expanded in the past two years — despite the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the events industry. This is our third bi-annual report where we outline our recent accomplishments and the new goals we hope to achieve in the coming months and years. However, one goal has remained constant throughout the years — becoming a better neighbor on Manhattan’s West Side. As we have improved our sustainability, we have engaged with our community in more ways than we ever imagined. We have worked side-by-side with local scientists to study our wildlife rooftop habitat, coordinated with non-profit organizations to distribute donated furniture and educated local students on the importance of green building. With our historic expansion project now completed, we will be exploring new avenues with our rooftop farm, our rooftop solar panels and a transformer building designed to power the entire convention center — even during a potential blackout. We are proud of our most recent successes, and we are eager to share our findings to inspire others to follow a similar path. As our city, state and country continue to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, sustainability has never been more important as a means to preserve our society, conserve natural resources and improve the well-being of the human race. Thank you for reading. Sincerely,

ALAN STEEL President and CEO



Javits Center President and CEO Alan Steel provides a building tour to then-Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul in September 2020.

Credit: Albert Vecerka/Esto



Introduction Despite the challenges related to COVID-19, the Javits Center has continued to explore new ways to reduce its impact on the community and increase the efficiency of its operations. From our new truck marshaling facility to new waste diversion policies, our employees are committed to working with our business partners, vendors and clients to increase the sustainability of our convention center and serve as an inspiration to others. Our sustainability program grew out of the success of a building-wide renovation from 2009 to 2014 where we installed one of the country’s largest green roofs. Today, we are continuing to push the boundaries of what it means to be sustainable. We have maintained a wildlife habitat on our rooftop and found new ways to drive down our energy consumption. With the successful completion of our expansion project, we now have a oneacre rooftop farm where we intend to grow up to 40,000 pounds of produce a year that will be incorporated into the meals we serve our customers. We have developed a Sustainable Event Guide to help organizers green their events and continued to facilitate the donation of materials to non-profit organizations throughout New York City. During the operation of our COVID-19 field hospital and vaccination center, we distributed jars of honey harvested from our rooftop bee hives to patients and medical staff, demonstrating our appreciation for their work and reinforcing our position as a beacon of hope for so many New Yorkers. We have created a new Sustainability Policy that focuses on 10 goals:

1 2 3 4 5

Engaging Employees. We are committed to engaging and educating our employees about their role in the sustainability program to ensure the success of our facility’s vision. Clean and Efficient Energy. We will continue to track our energy consumption and will use that data for clean and efficient energy programs that work toward the goals outlined in New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, BuildSmart NY and New York State Executive Orders. Reducing Waste. We are working with event producers on refining operations that reduce and divert waste. Our goals are to maintain a 50% rate of waste diversion by 2022 and then build towards 80% by 2024. Conserving Water. We are committed to tracking our water usage and using that data for conservation efforts including water efficient fixtures and equipment. Improving Air Quality. We value facility operations that provide healthy indoor quality for our employees, our visitors and our neighbors.

6 7

Maintaining Health and Wellness. We aim for facility operations that maintain health and wellness for our employees and visitors. Purchasing Power. We intend to purchase goods and services that are environmentally conscious. We are committed to a green supply chain and partnerships with suppliers that offer goods and services at or above industry standard and at a competitive cost.


Being a Better Neighbor. We strive to be a model of sustainability with initiatives that benefit New York City and New York State.


Sharing Our Success. We are committed to sharing our policies and to inform, educate and promote our sustainable initiatives.


Serving as a Leader. We strive to develop operations that demonstrate best practices for venues and green buildings in sustainability, climate action and resiliency.

By the Numbers 35

Number of Bird Species Identified on the Green Roof Since 2014


Number of Acres of Our New Rooftop Farm


Number of Trucks to be Housed at One Time and Off Nearby Streets

$631,762.74 Energy Cost Savings in Summer 2020


Pounds of Produce to be Grown Annually on The Farm


Percentage of Construction Waste Diverted During Expansion


Number of Consecutive Days the Javits Center Can Power Itself


Megawatts of Energy to be Generated by Our Rooftop Solar Array

Thank you to our sustainability partners who have helped us conceive, design, construct, maintain, improve, study and advance our goals to improve the quality of life for our community.

2 0 2 1 S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T


Leading the Way In April 2020, the Javits Center achieved platinum level certification under the Events Industry Council’s (EIC) Sustainable Event Standards (SES). This is the highest level of certification in EIC SES and is based on criteria for organizational management, climate action, air quality, community, energy management, marketing, communications, supply chain management, waste management and water conservation. The Javits Center is committed to upholding these standards to the highest level and will continue to innovate and demonstrate exemplary performance as we partner with event producers and operate our facility. In September 2020, the Javits Center achieved GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation. This accreditation is provided by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association. The Javits Center GBAC STAR™ program ensures a clean, safe and healthy environment for employees, customers and stakeholders through policies and practices that minimize and control risks associated with COVID-19. The Javits Center GBAC STAR™ program aims to use proper cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting procedures that follow recommendations and guidelines from reputable agencies with industry and subject matter expertise such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We have worked with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to source green cleaning products that meet Executive Order 4 specifications and are effective against the COVID-19 virus.

The Javits Center will continue to maintain and improve efforts to ensure best practices that align with or exceed industry standards. This includes transparent communication about policies and procedures to all stakeholders. As these new policies and procedures are implemented, we will not lose sight of our commitments to sustainability and will continue to progress initiatives in line with the Sustainability Policy.



2 0 2 1 S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T


Building a Farm In May 2021, a historic expansion of the Javits Center was completed, allowing the organization to raise the standard of sustainability among event venues throughout the United States. Led by the New York Convention Center Development Corporation and its president, Robin Stout, as well as contractors Lendlease and Turner and architectural firm, TVS, the expansion project added a total of 1.2 million square feet of state-of-the-art event space, including a one-acre rooftop farm — one of the largest in the City. The Farm, as it’s known, will generate up to 40,000 pounds of produce a year, and these crops will be directed to the convention center’s kitchens where the produce will be incorporated into customer meals served throughout the year — creating a true and unparalleled roof-to-table experience. In addition to The Farm, the rooftop includes an orchard — the largest in the world — a meadow, a shade garden and several ornamental planters with a focus on pollinator friendly and native plants. There’s also an all-season greenhouse to ensure the rooftop plantings can grow throughout the year. With all of these additions, the entire expansion project has achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Brooklyn Grange, a leader in rooftop farming and sustainable urban landscaping, will manage and operate The Farm. Brooklyn Grange also is working in close collaboration with Cultivated, the Javits Center’s dining and hospitality team, to determine a seasonal crop plan for our guests and the local community. This collaboration, and The Farm itself, provides an opportunity for the Javits Center to expand its number of annual visitors and to continue serving as a leader in sustainable urban development. Other highlights of the expansion include: • DIVERTED WASTE. 75% or more of all construction waste was diverted from landfills for reuse, and all construction materials were chosen with sustainable characteristics including high recycled content, locally sourced and sustainably harvested wood.

• WATER EFFICIENCY. Two underground cisterns will capture and treat rainwater to be used for irrigation on the roof, reducing the need for potable water for irrigation by at least 50%. Lowflow fixtures will reduce potable water use by at least 35%;

• SOLAR ENERGY. More than 3,000 solar panels will be installed on the rooftop of the existing and expanded rooftops of the Javits Center, making it the largest rooftop solar farm in Manhattan. It will generate 1.61 MW of solar energy, which includes 3.5 MW of battery storage, providing the convention center with more than 2 gigawatt hours per year of clean generated electricity;

• INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY. The HVAC system includes CO2 sensors in all common spaces to adjust ventilation rates based on occupancy. All multi-occupancy spaces that are regularly occupied will have shared lighting controls that occupants can adjust, and at least 90% of individual regularly occupied spaces will have lighting controls. Materials and finishes selected are low in volatile organic compounds for healthy indoor air.

Directly underneath the expansion rooftop is a four-level truck marshaling facility that will also contribute to the convention center’s sustainability efforts. The facility can house 200 trucks at any one time, relocating more than 20,000 event-related trucks off local streets each year. That will translate into a significant reduction in area congestion and pollution while helping to accelerate the Javits Center’s event operations.

2 0 2 1 S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T


Conserving in a Crisis Energy Management The Javits Center continues to be enrolled in three Demand Response (DR) programs: the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) Special Case Resource Program, the Con Edison Commercial Resource Systems Release Program (CSRP) and the Con Edison Distribution Load Relief Program (DLRP). Demand Response (DR) is the voluntary act of reducing consumption from the grid during periods of high electrical demand. As a building in Midtown West, decreasing consumption at the Javits Center ultimately reduces strain on the highly used 42nd Street grid. DR events are triggered by days of high demand such as summer cooling degree days when consumers use air conditioning. Users enrolled in DR programs are compensated for every kWh reduced below their predetermined enrollment goal. The Javits Center has a footprint of 3.3 million square feet, so a small reduction in electrical consumption can have a large impact on relieving the grid while providing significant cost savings for the facility. JAVITS CENTER DEMAND RESPONSE RESULTS Year

kWh reduction

Cost Savings

Summer 2019



Winter 2019



Summer 2020



Winter 2020



Engineers and facilities management staff have access to a centralized dashboard to monitor real-time energy consumption metrics. This information is controlled through the Building Management System (BMS), which monitors and controls many aspects of the building’s fixed assets. During a DR event, engineers follow a sequence of operations to shed electrical load and respond to the DR directive from the three programs.

As part of the new 1.2-million square foot building expansion, the Javits Center now has its own microgrid. The microgrid includes three new generators that run on diesel fuel oil, which serve to decrease reliance on the grid during any event that may trigger an electrical shutdown or a sudden loss of power. The microgrid is a key element to making the Javits Center more resilient to any disasters and can provide the facility with energy to be off grid for up to six consecutive days. A new Power Management System (PMS) has been interfaced with the current BMS to offer monitoring and controllability of electrical equipment. An automatic load shedding program has been introduced to seamlessly sequence electrical reduction measures for DR programs.

2 0 2 1 S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T


Equipment Upgrade The Javits Center’s mechanical and electrical rooms (MERs) are the backbone of all secondary utilities distribution for the facility. These dedicated spaces are occupied by heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, cooling towers, smoke exhaust fans, plumbing lift stations, pumping equipment and secondary electrical power distribution substations. The equipment primarily supports all event function spaces, meeting rooms, expo halls, kitchens, back of house supporting spaces, administrative offices, security systems, IT infrastructure and interior and exterior lighting. Much of this equipment had reached their life expectancy, with several units completing the end of their life cycle after about 30 years of use. In 2017, the Javits Center began a project to begin upgrading the MERs and replacing equipment in phases. Phase one includes two of the seven


Tons of construction and demolition metal was recycled during phase one of the expansion project



MERs. Extensive design and engineering as well as demolition have been completed. MER equipment in these two rooms were fully installed at the end of April 2021, at which time commissioning of the new equipment commenced. The design for the MERs has included new energy efficient equipment that will reduce energy consumption and support initiatives under Executive Order 88 and New York State’s Build Smart 2025 targets for increased energy efficiency. The new equipment will support the Javits Center’s operations for another 30 years of future use. As with any renovation or construction project, the Javits Center worked with contractors to ensure proper waste management of construction and demolition (C&D) materials. From phase one of the project, 97% of C&D was recycled including 62.15 tons of metal, 2.54 tons of wood, 0.74 tons of cardboard/mixed paper and 0.85 tons of sheetrock.

Refrigerant Management Plan The Javits Center has a robust standard operating procedure to manage refrigerants used in equipment such as chillers, package units and self-contained coolers and freezers. The program complies with applicable laws and regulations, maximizes refrigerant supplies, continues service of existing equipment, reduces emissions and increases recovery and

recycling of refrigerants. The management plan designates a refrigerant manager, organizes detailed inventory and records, mandates technician certification, prioritizes recovery and recycling and regulates reporting for issues such as accidental venting and leaks.

Auditing Energy In 2015, the Javits Center conducted an energy audit through an external provider to determine Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) that could be implemented in capital improvement projects. Of the 16 ECMs, eight were identified to be implemented based on their impact potential and return of investment. These measures included water upgrades, retro-commission of rooftop units (RTUs), optimizing RTU sequences, staging RTUs based on space demand, installing fan and pump variable frequency drive (VFD) and related controls, installing high-speed overhead doors and replacing air handling units. Several of these ECMs have now been completed with a few still in progress. Following the installation of several new energy initiatives including the microgrid, solar farm and energy efficient lighting, the Javits Center plans to conduct another energy audit by 2023. This will allow for both the tracking of implemented ECMs as well as recently constructed projects related to energy conservation. The energy audit will also allow the Javits Center to continue working toward the overall energy efficiency target of 11 trillion British thermal units (TBtu) of building site energy savings by December 31, 2025, outlined in the New York State BuildSmart 2025 program. The Javits Center continues to lead by example with innovative and impactful projects to meet this energy efficiency target through greenhouse gas emissions reductions as well as improved efficiency measures.

2 0 2 1 S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T


Power of Solar Construction of a rooftop solar farm will begin in early 2022 on the Javits Center’s 6.75-acre green roof, as well as two rooftop spaces on the 1.2 million square-foot building expansion. With more than 3,000 solar panels, this will be Manhattan’s largest rooftop solar farm to date. The solar farm will provide 1.61 MW of solar energy for the facility which includes 3.5 MW of battery storage. For perspective, 1 MW can power about 1,000 homes. The green roof will include 738 kW of solar photovoltaic (PV) using a custom, unique canopy design installed over 34 existing rooftop units used for heating and cooling the building. The intention behind the canopystyle design was to minimize any disruption from shade on the green roof. A 710 kW monolithic canopy system exists over the new rooftop infrastructure with 881 kW solar PV on the northeast building expansion and 171 kW using a ballasted system on the lower roof level. More than 50 clean energy jobs were estimated to have been generated from the solar project. The solar farm will provide the convention center with more than 2 gigawatt hours per year of clean generated electricity. An estimated 2,017,400 kWh of onsite renewable electricity will be generated in the first year of operation. The Javits Center solar farm is an important project to help meet the aggressive targets outlined in the nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act). The Javits Center is helping to lead the way to aid the State in a path toward economy-wide carbon neutrality — with these Climate Act targets: • 85% Reduction in GHG Emissions by 2050

• 3,000 MW of Energy Storage by 2030

• 100% Zero-emission Electricity by 2040

• 6,000 MW of Solar by 2025

• 70% Renewable Energy by 2030

• 22 Million Tons of Carbon Reduction through Energy Efficiency and Electrification

• 9,000 MW of Offshore Wind by 2035 Energy from the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is integrated into the building’s Power Management System (PMS). The PMS includes an innovative microgrid controller to integrate assets and optimize dispatch between the solar PV, BESS and existing diesel generators. The microgrid is also integrated into the New York Energy Manager (NYEM) system for data monitoring and forecast analysis. The BESS will allow excess generation to be stored for use during times of peak power demand and will be the first battery storage system to participate in the Con Edison Demand Response program. This project was developed by Siemens and exists as a back-to-back purchase power agreement (BBPPA). The first PPA is between Siemens and the New York Power Authority (NYPA), and the second is between NYPA and the Javits Center. Stipulated through the BBPPA, Siemens owns and operates the arrays and NYPA purchases the power from Siemens. As the Javits Center’s current electric utility provider, NYPA then sells the solar power to the Javits Center at a predetermined rate.

2 0 2 1 S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T




Final System Specifications

Other highlights include:

• 1,618 kW solar PV + 3,500 Kwdc / 10,378 MwhDC battery storage

• Stormwater design will reduce runoff by 25% and remove 80% of total suspended solids from water

• 738 kW solar PV on green roof and “Welcome Plaza”

• Roof and site hardscapes have light-colored materials that comply with the Solar Reflectance Index to reduce urban heat-island effect

• Consists of 34 individual canopies installed over existing RTUs • 881 kW solar PV on northeast extension

• Waste management will include sorting and collection of paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and metal recyclables

• 710 kW monolithic canopy system over new rooftop infrastructure

• Signage will be provided at all entrances to indicate smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of entryway

• 171 kW ballasted system on lower roof level

• Interior lighting will comply with the light trespass requirements to reduce nighttime light pollution and spillover effects

• 2,017,400 kWh onsite renewable electricity generated Year 1 of operation

• Exterior lights will meet backlight, uplight and glare requirements Energy Conservation. The implementation of high-performance glazing systems, demand control ventilation, high efficiency DX units, air-side economizer, reduced lighting power densities and low flow fixtures has helped to reduce the energy use from a baseline of 111 kBtu/ft2/yr to 95 kBtu/ft2/yr, resulting in an energy cost savings of 12%.

2 0 2 1 S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T


The Green Roof The green roof wildlife community continues to develop and teem with birds, bats and thousands of arthropods including moths, butterflies and native bees. New York City Audubon remains the principal researching body conducting biodiversity studies on the Javits Center green roof. In 2019, NYC Audubon’s counted 152 herring gull nests and 142 herring gulls were banded.

A total of 35 bird species have been observed using the green roof between 2014 and 2020. New bird species discovered on the green roof since 2019 include the Chipping Sparrow, Purple Finch, Gray Catbird and Cooper’s Hawk. Ants are the most abundant type of arthropods on the green roof. Nineteen native bee species have been identified on the green roof since 2014. One noteworthy native bee found on the green roof is the Gotham Sweat Bee since it was first discovered in New York City in 2011. In 2019, moth and butterfly surveys were piloted for the first time. Monarch, Cabbage White, American Lady, Painted Lady, Black Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, American Copper, Red Admiral and Viceroy butterflies were all observed on or flying over the green roof.

Bird Species Observed on the Javits Center Green Roof:



American Crow


Eastern Bluebird




American Goldfinch


Eastern Kingbird


Palm Warbler


American Kestrel


Eastern Phoebe


Peregrine Falcon


Barn Swallow


European Starling


Purple Finch


Brown-headed Cowbird


Fish Crow


Red-tailed Hawk


Canada Goose


Gray Catbird


Ring-billed Gull


Chipping Sparrow


Great Black-backed Gull


Rock Pigeon


Common Grackle


Herring Gull


Swamp Sparrow


Common Raven


House Finch


White-throated Sparrow


Cooper’s Hawk


House Sparrow


Ruby-crowned Kinglet


Dark-eyed Junco


Mourning Dove


Hermit Thrush


Double-crested Cormorant


Northern Mockingbird


Honeybees There are five beehives on the Javits Center’s green roof. Each colony can contain anywhere from 10,000 to 80,000 honeybees. In 2019, the bees produced about 120 pounds of honey for bottling into what we like to call Jacob’s Honey. More than 1,000 1.5-ounce jars were bottled by Javits Center employees, and these jars were distributed to clients, stakeholders and community members. Honey also has been used for meals during some catered events. For the first time in 2019, we produced 1,000 containers of lip balm using Jacob’s Honey, beeswax and olive oil. In 2020, the Javits Center became a field hospital to help support the efforts of New York State and New York City in the pandemic. Due to limited access, the hives were moved to Brentwood, Long Island, to be closer to the beekeepers. The honeybees produced about 260 pounds of honey for bottling in the 2020 season. When the Javits Center served as a vaccination center in 2021, jars of honey were given to medical workers as a token of appreciation for their efforts.

2 0 2 1 S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T


Diverting Waste As an industry, meetings and events can make meaningful changes in sustainability and overall waste diversion because of our ability to gather and educate all stakeholders involved with event management, including venues, show organizers, exhibitors, attendees and food and beverage providers. With help from industry standards like ISO 20121, the Events Industry Council Sustainable Event Standards, and TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Zero Waste Guidelines, we are well equipped to change the culture around waste to improve diversion and move to zero waste and circular events. As a hub for international attendance, the Javits Center is uniquely positioned to set the stage for waste management strategies that will serve as best practices for the industry. As a venue in New York City, our primary challenges for increased diversion rates are centered around show scale and footprint, city congestion, rapid turnover rate for event space and space constraints on loading docks. Nevertheless, the Javits Center has developed creative solutions for tackling these issues, and the new truck marshaling facility will help to mitigate many of these challenges.

A New Waste Diversion Policy The Javits Center has created a new Waste Diversion Policy with aggressive targets. This includes a goal of maintaining a 50% diversion rate by 2022 and building towards an 80% diversion rate by 2024. A diversion rate is calculated by the tonnage of materials diverted away from the landfill divided by the total tonnage of materials. Achieving these goals for increased diversion is no easy feat. In order to improve diversion efforts, the Javits Center will: • Prioritize the sorting and collection of largest recycling waste streams such as cardboard • Redesign collection methods and routes • Improve employee training • Expand waste tracking

• Invest in more efficient equipment such as balers • Enact policies aligned with waste diversion efforts • Engage with event managers and exhibitors • Require a waste management plan from event producers

2 0 2 1 S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T



Working with Event Producers

Waste Management Planning

To better assist event managers, exhibitors and attendees, we developed the Sustainable Event Guide — a step-by-step resource on how to incorporate the concept of sustainability into events hosted at the Javits Center. The guide includes impactful suggestions that can be used to develop a strategic plan for event sustainability. We also offer a Sustainability Report Card that can be requested with post-event data including waste, energy, and donation metrics. We know that gathering data about an event can lead to improvements over time, so event planners can request the Sustainability Report Card to use as a baseline or to develop a sustainability report with best practices and future opportunities.

As the Javits Center continues to implement waste diversion initiatives, we have found that planning ahead in collaboration with event producers is crucial to the success of our waste management practices. As such, the Javits Center will be requiring an Event Waste Management Plan from event producers. Developing a waste management plan is an important step of the event planning process and will help to identify what kinds of waste an event will generate, the estimated tonnage of that waste and how event managers plan to partner with the Javits Center to collect and remove that waste. The waste management plan will also help make the cleaning process more efficient and ensure proper waste diversion initiatives are organized well in advance.

In an effort to reduce waste streams that are most detrimental to the environment, we are working to enact a policy to phase out polystyrene core signage, also known as foam core signage, and will not permit the material to be disposed by the facility in 2022. Event organizers could use polystyrene core signage that is reused by the organization annually, but all foam core signage would need to be taken out of the facility during the move-out. This material never breaks down in the landfill, is associated with numerous ecological hazards and is one of the easiest materials to replace with more sustainable options. This policy came as a group effort with 14 other convention centers to phase out foam core signage across the venue, operations and events. General contractors like Freeman and GES have made significant efforts to offer sustainable alternatives to foam core signage like corrugated cardboard core signage, which is often comparable in price. They also have similar goals for phasing out foam core entirely from production. The Javits Center will also be exploring the phase out of exhibitor booths made from foam core.

The Javits Center has developed a guide with waste management strategies and a template for building out the Event Waste Management Plan. Part of this guide identifies how waste from the move-in and move-out periods are generally characterized by different waste streams compared to when the event is open to attendees. Ultimately, employing zero waste strategies will be valuable as event managers develop the Event Waste Management Plan. Strategies are focused on reduction, reuse and recycling efforts, food and beverage, sorting and collection, tackling common and unique trade show waste streams and tracking and reporting.


The Event Waste Management Plan uses a 90-60-30-day approach to communicating the plan with Javits Center Event Solutions managers as well as the Sustainability team.

Sustainable Catering Cultivated has delivered world-class hospitality that is welcoming and inclusive while focused on sustainability. Here are some of the recent highlights:

TOTAL FOOD UTILIZATION Total Food Utilization refers to using the whole ingredient and minimizing food waste from food preparation. Order history is carefully tracked to maximize purchasing decisions, which also reduces food waste in the long run. In the event where there is excess produce, or even with ugly produce, Cultivated chefs employ these foods in picklings, purees, soups and baked goods.

SKIP THE STRAW Strawless lids allow consumers to sip their drinks without a straw.

DONATIONS AND FOOD RESCUE Perishable produce, leftover food, bulk items and excess prepped food are rescued and donated to local community partners. Organizations such as Rethink Food, City Harvest and New York Common Pantry help to facilitate the distribution of such foods to those in need. Food rescue is identified according to proper health and safety standards.

WATER COOLERS Offices and team meals employ water coolers to encourage the use of reusable water bottles.

WASTE MANAGEMENT All kitchens sort waste into various streams to optimize waste diversion. Streams include compost, plastic, metal, glass, cardboard/paper and landfill.

GREASE RECYCLING The grease recycling program filters fryer oil to maximize usage and streamlines the changeover of spent oil with new oil. The process includes two types of portable machines that help with filtration, collection and transportation of grease between kitchens and the loading dock. The vendor hauls spent grease in the loading dock machine to be recycled into biodiesel. The smart system tracks volumes and automatically records data through a built-in cellular portal.

WASTE TRACKING Metrics are integral to benchmarking, tracking diversion rates and making improvements over time. Data is also made available to events in the Sustainability Report Card.

FARMSHELF Two hydroponic indoor Farmshelf units were installed in our Level 1 Food Court as a precursor to the completion of our rooftop farm. These units grew herbs, edible flowers and greens that were harvested and used by Cultivated chefs for catered meals.

COMPOSTABLE VESSELS Several vessels include biodegradable options such as sugarcane plates and bamboo cutleries. Compostable vessels are also offered by default in several retail and catered locations.


Connecting with Our Community Repurposing Materials Our innovative program to repurpose event materials, JavitsCares, has continued to achieve success — even during the pandemic — thanks to our dedicated employees and the non-profit volunteers willing to coordinate their pick up and distribution. Under the program, Javits Center teams work closely with event managers and exhibitors to identify, collect and stage a wide range of items donated or left behind by exhibiting companies at the conclusion of the move-out period. These items such as furniture, household products and construction materials are often purchased for a one-time use, and the JavitsCares program redirects these items to nonprofit organizations throughout the New York region. We have cultivated strong partnerships with local organizations like Materials for the Arts, Big Reuse, Housing Works and Hour Children. By the end of 2019,



more than 2,000 items were donated to our partners who helped distribute them to schools, hospitals and cultural institutions. Similarly, our food and beverage provider, Cultivated, has helped us create a food rescue program, which has donated several metric tons of food to local organizations who work to tackle food insecurity in New York City. In the wake of the pandemic, hundreds of items used in the operation of the field hospital and the vaccination center have been repurposed and donated to non-profit organizations. For example, hundreds of floor lamps — used to identify open registration tables for New Yorkers with vaccination appointments — were donated, along with beverage dispensers, clothing and tables.

Javits Juniors We’ve continued to reach out to our communities through various programs, including Javits Juniors, our educational effort to teach school children about the importance of sustainable building and the events industry. As part of this program, green roof tours focused on several educational topics such as STEM, nature photography and urban ecology. Javits Center and Cultivated staff also participated in career days and provided guest lectures for high school students at the nearby Food & Finance High School. In 2020, the Javits Juniors program continued through remote learning workshops and lectures on the green roof and Javits Center sustainability initiatives.

Employee Engagement In 2019, the Javits Center initiated a program for improved employee engagement in sustainability programs. Team Green is a diverse group of Javits Center team members whose mission is to facilitate the organization’s sustainability initiatives through positive messages and innovative solutions. Team Green aims to empower the Javits Center community with the knowledge and tools to be environmental leaders. The team meets quarterly and is comprised of administrative and labor staff. Since 2019, Team Green led efforts on bottling honey from the bee hives on the green roof, developing a honey-infused lip balm and implementing a new waste management program for employee offices, trade shops and break rooms.

Net Zero Carbon Events On September 2, 2021, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) announced the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative, which is hosted by the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) and supported by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This initiative builds on the global push to net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 as the climate crisis continues to affect people, ecosystems and economies around the world. The Javits Center joined hundreds of organizations in signing the net zero GHGs by 2050 pledge ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, in Glasgow.

2 0 2 1 S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T



President and Chief Executive Officer

BRADLEY SICILIANO Chief Operating Officer


Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing


Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Labor Solutions


Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President, Facilities Management


Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer


Senior Vice President, Chief Communications Officer



Vice President, Technology Solutions


Vice President, Guest Experience


Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary


Vice President, Set-Up and Event Solutions

Vice President, Security and Safety Solutions








J O S E P H E . S P I N N AT O




EDITORS : Jacqueline Tran, Energy and Sustainability Manager Tony Sclafani, Senior Vice President, Chief Communications Officer Report Design by Reit, reitdesign.com



Printed on Recyclable Paper

Beyond the Green For our organization, sustainability means more than the energy saved or waste diverted. It represents an ideal that’s much greater than any particular number on a spreadsheet. It signifies our approach to discovering new ways to support our community by exploring — and re-exploring — how to reduce our overall impact and refine our operations. It’s a cherished philosophy that’s not rooted in the past, but rather the opportunities of the future – in order to unlock our potential as an environmental and community leader. The sustainable achievements outlined in this report — and previous reports — have transformed the way New Yorkers view the Javits Center, and being viewed as a force for good has boosted our staff morale, created more opportunities for our employees and business partners and inspired others to follow our lead. Elected officials have cited our work as they have proposed environmental friendly legislation, scientists have published their innovative findings on our rooftop and community members of all ages have reached out to learn how to apply our work to their own buildings. Since 2014, the Javits Center has operated one of the most robust sustainability programs of any building in New York State. With our expansion now complete, we will be employing new concepts and pushing the boundaries of sustainability — creating a path for future initiatives. Please join us on this exciting journey.

2 0 2 1 S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y R E P O R T


J AV I T S C E N T E R . C O M