'Building' Sustainability for Buildings


The Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development was pleased to host John Mandyck, the CEO of Urban Green Council as part of the Spring 2020 Speaker Series.

With a mission to transform buildings for a more sustainable future in New York City and around the world, the Urban Green Council researches and educates on policy solutions to enhance the sustainability of buildings.

Mandyck has extensive experience in improving the sustainability of buildings. For the past 25 years, he worked for United Technologies Corporation where he retired as chief sustainability officer. He was the founding chair of the corporate advisory board for the World Green Building Council, and a former board chair of Urban Green. He believes that buildings play a critical role in combating climate change and establishing a low carbon future. On average, across the United States, buildings consume 40 percent national energy. In New York City, buildings consume almost 80 percent of energy, and account for 70 percent of carbon emissions.

In 2019, New York City introduced the building emissions law, which imposes a carbon emissions cap for energy use in large buildings. The legislation currently covers 50,000 buildings in the city, which constitutes 60 percent of New York City’s building area. While the cap is expected to curtail carbon emissions of buildings significantly, there are still a number of policy concerns to improve the practicality of the legislation.

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