Government and Politics
December 15, 2022From: New York Governor Kathy Hochul
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the launch of the Green Purchasing Communities Program to recognize local governments that commit to buying sustainable products, helping to protect public health and the environment. The new program promotes leadership at the local level and builds on New York State's nation-leading green procurement program, which is accelerating the transition to a green economy by advancing the market for green goods and services.
"Through the Green Purchasing Communities Program, we're lifting up local governments across New York that are following the state's leadership on green procurement to help us reach our sustainability goals," Governor Hochul said. "By increasing the market for green products and services, this nation-leading program will continue our work to build a healthier state, a more environmentally-conscious economy, and a greener future for all New Yorkers."
The Green Purchasing Communities Program fulfills Governor Hochul's 2022 State of the State commitment to develop the nation's first State-led green purchasing program for local governments. Earlier this year, New York prepared the model green procurement language to be provided to local governments, helping update purchasing policies to reflect strong green procurement commitments.
The program, administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of General Services, provides recognition to local governments that commit to follow the State's GreenNY purchasing specifications. All local governments in New York State are eligible to participate in the program and can do so by taking two steps:
Update purchasing policies to require purchasers to follow the State's GreenNY purchasing specifications; and
Submit a copy of updated purchasing policies along with the one-page application.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, "DEC is a proud partner in New York's green purchasing program with our colleagues at the Office of General Services and we are excited to help simplify the process for local governments to join with New York State agencies in making sustainable purchasing. By choosing to put the environment and public health first, local governments can not only reduce pollution but accelerate our state's transition to a green economy."
Office of General Services Commissioner Jeanette Moy said, "Under Governor Hochul's leadership, the new Green Purchasing Communities Program is providing local governments with the opportunity to make sustainability a priority in their purchasing decisions. We at OGS join with the Department of Environmental Conservation and our other partners on the GreenNY Council in urging local governments to follow the State's lead by investing in products that support the Green economy and New York State's response to the impacts of climate change."
On January 17at 2 p.m., the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of General Services are hosting an explanatory webinar for potential applicants to provide an overview of the new Green Purchasing Communities Program. The webinar will cover background on the State's GreenNY green procurement program, how local governments can participate in the program, and the benefits of doing so. In addition, the webinar will include time for questions and answers. Those interested in attending can log on via Webex here. Learn more here.
In addition to creating the Green Purchasing Communities Program, the GreenNY Council, created by Governor Hochul's Executive Order 22, convened for the first time and approved 15 new and updated GreenNY purchasing specifications. The specifications include multiple categories of cleaning products, such as mops, brooms, waste baskets and recycling containers, and disinfectants and sanitizers, as well as clean heating and cooling equipment and passenger vehicles. The 75 agencies and authorities covered by Executive Order 22 follow the GreenNY purchasing specifications when making purchasing decisions. The GreenNY Council also gave tentative approval to one updated and one new GreenNY purchasing specification, paint and copy paper.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Doreen M. Harris said, "The Green Purchasing Communities Program helps local governments go green through purchasing guidance for products that reduce energy use and harmful emissions and complements other green activities through the State's Clean Energy Communities and Climate Smart Communities programs. As New York State continues to move away from fossil fuels, installing clean heating and cooling equipment, such as heat pumps, and enhancing clean fleets are just two options available through the procurement guidance that can create healthier spaces."
New York Power Authority Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, "New York's Green Purchasing Communities Program will make it easy for local governments to procure environmentally friendly products and services, supporting our state's growing green economy. By taking advantage of this program, municipalities can help lead the way to a cleaner, greener future."
New York State Budget Director and GreenNY Council Co-Chair Robert F. Mujica, Jr. said, "The Green Purchasing Communities Program will help New York become a greener economy and is an excellent example of how the State shares its expertise and resources with local governments in order to increase efficiency and improve the lives of all New Yorkers."
Created in 2008 and continued by Executive Order 22, New York State's green procurement program features 88 green purchasing specifications that agencies and authorities follow to ensure that State dollars are invested in products that have a lower environmental impact. These specifications help the State meet its greenhouse gas and other environmental goals by ensuring products purchased use less energy, generate less waste, and reduce exposure to hazardous substances.
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting more than 165,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2021, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.