April 21, 2022


President Bill Clinton, Governor Kathy Hochul, and Mayor Eric Adams visited the Empire State Building to announce the new, free, online resource to implement successful net zero retrofits of existing commercial buildings

ESRT announces the Empire State Building Playbook

NEW YORK (April 21, 2022) – Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESRT), joined by President Bill Clinton, Governor Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams, and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) President and CEO Doreen Harris, announced today at the Empire State Building the publication of the new Empire Building Playbook: An Owner’s Guide to Low Carbon Retrofits. Co-developed with NYSERDA and supported by other NYC-based landlords and the Clinton Global Initiative, the innovative guide outlines the step-by-step process for existing commercial buildings to develop a pathway to carbon reduction with proven returns on investment.

“The free, online Playbook charts a path for landlords, tenants, and service providers to reduce greenhouse gases and related carbon associated with the operations of buildings, achieve the goals of New York State, and comply with Local Law 97,” said Anthony E. Malkin, chairman, president, and CEO of ESRT.  “ESRT will use the Playbook to compete for tenants and protect and create value for our shareholders. We maintain our industry leadership position with proven paybacks on actions taken towards a more sustainable future. The Playbook demonstrates the case of how to achieve 75 to 90 percent emissions reductions with a payback of four to eight years through a combination of building system upgrades with a renewably sourced grid.” 

ESRT’s Dana Robbins Schneider, SVP, director of energy, sustainability, and Sustainability led ESRT’s development of the playbook with major funding from NYSERDA as did the Durst Organization, Hudson Square Properties, and Vornado Realty Trust. The work shows how to codify test, refine, and verify the in-building projects. Beyond the Empire State Building, the Playbook contains case studies for retrofit analyses done by each of these partners, which includes One Bryant Park, 100 Avenue of the Americas, and One Penn Plaza. ESRT partnered with the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative to drive leadership in action toward climate resilience and a carbon neutral future.

“If you believe New York should have more jobs, if you believe that we should avoid the worst consequences of climate change, if you don’t want to see the rising waters flood the south end of Manhattan, do this,”said President Bill Clinton. “Give people the dignity of work, create new businesses, and clean the air. We know, now, we don’t have any excuse. Our grandchildren are depending on it.”

The Playbook will continue to be updated in real time with additional case studies, technologies, and best practices as the state’s Empire Building Challenge partners complete their decarbonization plans and implement the work. To celebrate the launch of this critical guide, the Empire State Building will sparkle in green the night of April 21 beginning at sunset.

“NYSERDA was honored to work with Empire State Realty Trust and some of the state’s leading real estate owners to develop the Empire Building Playbook, a resource that demonstrates to building owners that New York makes it possible to decarbonize challenging high-rise buildings and if we can do it here in the Empire State, we can do it anywhere,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris. “As Governor Hochul continues to prioritize economy-wide carbon neutrality in our fight against climate change, public-private partnerships like this bring forth replicable and scalable decarbonization solutions that foster healthier and cleaner places to live and work while building the clean energy economy in New York State.”

The Playbook process – with a projected timeline of three to six months – sets forth a series of steps, from the assembly of a team and delegation of responsibilities to technical analysis, development of energy and financial models, and economic analysis. The business case is confirmed in the last step, where energy and maintenance costs, implications of LL97 fines, refined capital and implementation costs and incentives are established.

“With our foundation in the groundbreaking, deep energy retrofit at the Empire State Building, our mission is to energy efficiency and decarbonization more affordable and therefore accessible to more businesses that make New York State great,” said Ms. Schneider.  “This work is globally scalable. Our portfolio investments have already reduced energy consumption and emissions, created environments focused on health and wellness of our building occupants, and reduced operating expenses for both ESRT and our tenants at accessible rents. The Empire State Building leads the industry as we build upon the last decade’s 54 percent reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions and target carbon neutrality by 2030.”

Designed for all levels of technical understanding, the full Empire Building Playbook is available online at nyserda.ny.gov/ebcplaybook. Details on New York State’s Empire Building Challenge, the $50 million state initiative that supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to reduce 85 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, can be found online.

For more information about ESRT’s sustainability achievements and future targets, please visit esrtreit.com/sustainability/.

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About Empire State Realty Trust
Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESRT) is a NYC-focused REIT that owns and manages a well-positioned property portfolio of office, retail and multifamily assets in Manhattan and the greater New York metropolitan area. Owner of the Empire State Building, the World’s Most Famous Building, ESRT also owns and operates its iconic, newly reimagined Observatory Experience. The company is a leader in healthy buildings, energy efficiency, and indoor environmental quality, and has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per square foot of any publicly traded REIT portfolio in New York City. As of Dec. 31, 2021, ESRT’s portfolio is comprised of approximately 9.4 million rentable square feet of office space, 700,000 rentable square feet of retail space and 625 units across two multifamily properties. More information about Empire State Realty Trust can be found at esrtreit.com and by following ESRT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.  

Forward-Looking Statements

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Empire State Realty Trust    
Brock Talbot