Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Greening of Hospitality Industry
Hilton New York Takes Its Sustainability Initiatives To New Heights With Installation Of Green Roof And Cogeneration System

Just in Time for Earth Week, Manhattan’s Largest Hotel Took a Bold Step in Reducing Its Carbon Footprint With Innovative New Green Space and Energy Efficient Cogeneration System

As Hilton New York prepared to play host during Earth Week to sustainability experts and advocates from across the corporate world for the Sustainable Operations Summit ( which was held in April, Manhattan’s largest hotel announced the completion of a new green roof system and the installation of a Cogeneration (Combined Heat & Power) System, both designed to reduce the hotel’s overall carbon footprint. To help promote awareness of the hotel’s sustainability efforts, all guests staying at Hilton New York will be provided with room keycards that depict an image of the new green roof.

“Hilton New York is dedicated to growing our sustainability initiatives and leading the hospitality industry in reducing waste and conserving energy,” stated Mark Lauer, general manager of Hilton New York. “We are proud of both the green roof and cogeneration system installation process, and look forward to assessing and sharing how the project continues to expand and benefit the surrounding area in the coming years.”

The 16,000-sq. ft. green roof system was installed by Xero Flor America and is located on the hotel’s fifth floor rooftop setback on the building’s West 53rd Street side. The system represents a major investment by Hilton New York to benefit efforts in carbon capture, energy conservation, and reduction of the Urban Heat Island effect.

Hilton New York’s green roof supports local farming industries and plays host to locally grown plants harvested from an upstate New York farm. The foliage and roots of those plants naturally absorb airborne pollutants, which in turn prevents large quantities of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. Additionally, the vegetated rooftop deflects solar radiation and reduces the thermal load, reducing the energy previously expended in cooling the property. All together, these benefits aid in the reduction of the Urban Heat Island effect – or increased temperatures in midtown Manhattan due to concentrated cityscapes and a lack of vegetation.

The installation of a highly-efficient, environmentally-friendly Cogeneration system also situated on the hotel’s 5th floor roof setback, will provide in excess of 50 percent of the hotel’s electrical power and over 40 percent of its steam consumption for heating and hot water requirements. As the largest hotel in New York City with 1,981 rooms, Hilton New York consumes over 23 million kW hours of electricity per year. The Cogeneration system is expected to be fully operational by summer 2012.

Based on well-proven technology, this 1,750kW Cogeneration system uses clean and efficient natural gas to produce electricity and hot water for the hotel. The system will consist of seven 250kW energy modules manufactured by SDP Energy, Inc., a California-based leader in green and reliable on-site energy systems.

At 1,750kW, this will be the largest Cogeneration system to be installed at a New York City hotel. Once operational by early summer 2012, the system will reduce the Hilton New York’s carbon footprint by in more than 30 percent, the Co2 reduction into the atmosphere will be over 10,000 metric tons per year equal to removing more than 6,000 mid-sized sedans from the roads.

Hilton New York has worked to build a strong track record of green practices and has subsequently emerged as an industry leader in environmentally-friendly practices. Other programs include the use of UTC Power® fuel cell technology, which is a cleaner method of providing electric power and hot water to the property. As a result of these practices and others, Hilton New York has earned a 4 Green Keys Rating (out of a possible 5) from theGreen Key Eco-Rating Program.

This Green Key Global program is a graduated rating systems designed to recognize hotels, motels and resorts that are committed to improving their environmental and fiscal performance. According to the Green Key Global program, Hilton New York is described as, “A hotel that has shown national industry leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through wide ranging policies and practices. Mature programs that involve management, employees, guests and the public have shown substantial and measurable results.”

In 2007, Hilton New York installed a PureCell® system, which provides electric power and hot water throughout the hotel’s 1,981 rooms, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week without combustion. Since its implementation, the cell has produced approximately 1.75M kilowatts per year of electricity for a total of nearly 3.5M kilowatt hours to date. That equates to approximately six percent of the hotel’s consumption. In October 2009, the Avenue of the Americas Association awarded Hilton New York with the “Green Street” Award in recognition of its environmentally-friendly energy fuel cell.

Hilton New York uses LightStay, Hilton Worldwide’s proprietary system, to analyze, report and help the company improve its sustainability performance on property – the first and only major multi-brand hospitality company to make sustainability measurement and corrective action a brand standard at each of our 3,800 hotels. Additionally, through strategic partnerships such as Global Soap Project and Good360, the Hilton New York engages guests and maximizes operational efficiencies including waste and costs across their portfolio. Hilton Worldwide is committed to reducing energy, carbon and waste by 20%; and water by 10% by 2014 and became the first in the industry to achieve ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications -- certifying the company’s entire system globally and achieving one of the largest volume certifications of commercial buildings in history.

The 1,981-room Hilton New York, located in the heart of midtown Manhattan on Avenue of the Americas between West 53rd and West 54th streets, is a sophisticated international hotel that appeals to both savvy business and leisure travelers. The hotel is within a short walking distance of Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, the Museum of Modern Art and Carnegie Hall, and is just a few blocks away from Times Square, Broadway theaters and the renowned Fifth Avenue shopping district. Hilton New York features extensive facilities that can accommodate large conferences and conventions, smaller meetings and elegant banquets. For more information and details about Hilton New York’s sustainability efforts, please visit the hotel’s website at