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Getting to Carbon Net Zero Overview

The Paris Agreement of 2015, signed by 196 countries, brought new focus to decreasing global greenhouse gas (GHG) levels and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. Most of the world has committed to help stave off the worst effects of climate change by cutting GHG emissions in half by 2030 and hitting net zero emissions by 2050.


Locally, in New York, several efforts are underway to achieve the Paris targets. At the State level, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) establishes a target for a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 and empowers a collection of experts to put plans to realize these goals. In New York City, significant legislation has been adopted to curtail emissions from buildings, where the building sector accounts for a large percentage of GHG emissions due to our robust public transit network.


For this reason, the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is facilitating a PropTech Challenge to identify companies that can help reduce GHG emissions from the building sector – including both owner and tenant – and realize the goals of net zero buildings.


Presented by the REBNY Technology Committee in partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Commercial Observer, this challenge is designed to showcase innovative PropTech solutions that can help building owners achieve meaningful emissions reductions in their properties.


To focus potential participants, the challenge focuses on four categories.

  1. Carbon Measurement, Validation, Reporting, & Accounting

    • measuring, proving, and reporting on buildings’ energy and carbon profiles

  2. Building & Tenant – Energy Management & Optimization

    • optimizing base building and tenant energy use

  3. Energy Storage

    • incorporating energy storage systems that are safe, effective, and resilient

  4. Embodied Carbon & Carbon Capture

    • reducing environmental impacts associated with buildings’ materials, construction, and end of life processes

Towards this end we invite you and your company to respond to our problem sets, describing how you can help New York City property owners and tenants achieve emissions reductions goals leading the way to net zero buildings.

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