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For Release: Friday, May 16, 2014

New York State Releases Sustainability Progress Report

State Agencies are Becoming Greener, Implementing Programs to Protect Our Environment and Conserve Our Natural Resources

A new report released today demonstrates that New York State agencies have made significant progress to achieve a sustainable environment by reducing the amount of paper used and waste generated, improving their recycling rates, and lowering energy consumption and the use of toxic chemicals in agency operations.

Highlights of the "Second Progress Report on State Green Procurement and Agency Sustainability," which summarizes agency performance between state fiscal years 2008-09 and 2011-12, include:

  • A reduction in paper use of 43 percent, saving the state $11.1 million over four years.
  • A 35 percent reduction in waste generated.
  • An average recycling rate of 56 percent.
  • A 27 percentage point increase in the purchase of 100-percent recycled content copy paper.
  • The virtual elimination of bottled water purchases.

The report is available at: OGS Executive Order 4 web page.

State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens said, "State agencies are actively working to promote sustainability and environmental quality, including implementing better management practices to reduce waste and energy consumption. Governor Cuomo has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to protecting and enhancing our environment, and state government is becoming a green leader."

State Office of General Services (OGS) Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, "Overall, New York's experience has shown that sustainable practices do not cost more. They can even save significant amounts of money, especially in the areas of energy use and waste reduction."

Overall, 85 percent of reporting state agencies now use green cleaning products, 80 percent have implemented policies to reduce energy use, and 79 percent have an office supply reuse program. New York experience has shown that implementing sustainable practices do not cost more and many times can actually save money.

Claire L. Barnett, executive director, Healthy Schools Network, Inc., said, "This is a state report of national significance. The agencies are saving money while reducing the environment and health impacts of their purchasing. Every school seeking cost-effective greener, healthier products should be calling for better access and information."

Richard Bernhauer, founder and CEO of Product Research Co., Inc. and ProCare Copier Systems, in Binghamton, said, "My company has been re-manufacturing multi-function office equipment for more than 23 years. State procurement of low-cost, high quality re-manufactured goods and other green products helps to protect the environment and bring jobs to upstate New York. I commend Governor Cuomo for his support of this important green initiative."

Programs to reduce waste and improve energy efficiency in State operations are part of a larger strategy to protect our land, air and water. New York is a leader in promoting renewable energy, combating climate change by reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, protecting open space, and enhancing water quality in all regions of the state.

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