Ernst & Young LLP has completed of a lighting retrofit project in its US headquarters in New York City. The project’s installation of energy-efficient lighting – one of New York City’s largest lighting retrofits – will cut the building’s annual energy use by approximately 2.9 million kilowatt-hours and reduce its CO2 emissions by approximately 2 million pounds.
“Reducing the carbon footprint of our office space is part of our firm-wide strategy to reduce our environmental footprint as our business grows,” said Leisha John, Ernst & Young Americas Director of Environmental Sustainability. “In fact, by the end of 2013, we plan to have a majority of our employees working in LEED and or Energy Star certified space. The completion of this lighting retrofit project in the New York office brings us one step closer to that goal, and will be part of that office’s Energy Star application.”
Located in Times Square, the approximately 650,000 useable square foot office space supports approximately 5,800 Ernst & Young LLP employees. With the large employee population, the existing traditional lighting system consumed roughly 6.2 million kilowatt-hours annually. The new lighting system reduces the firm’s annual lighting energy use by 54%, and has improved the facility’s quality of light. Additionally, the project will reduce the firm’s lighting-related energy and maintenance costs by more than 50%, saving the firm $1M annually.
“In addition to reducing our energy footprint, green technologies like LED help us to reduce our operating expenses, which is a best practice for any company,” said John. “This project is the result of the collaboration between several infrastructure groups within Ernst & Young LLP, particularly the Facilities and Real Estate teams, and the Climate Change and Sustainability Services professionals, who advise clients on sustainability practices.”
Ernst & Young LLP contracted JAS consulting to manage Philips Lightolier Energy Service Group and One Lux Studio for the project. The team designed customized LED fixtures, assessed lighting control systems and coordinated with the local labor union so that the installation of lighting systems throughout the building’s open office areas, private offices, conference rooms and common areas was smooth.
The lighting retrofit project is one component of a number of energy conservation strategies that will help reduce the environmental impact, particularly as it grows. The Ernst & Young organization primarily focuses on whether the majority of the buildings it occupies are energy efficient. For example, the firm’s goal is to have 50% of Ernst & Young LLP employees in LEED certified spaces by 2013. Moreover, the firm is making efforts to more efficiently use its office space by offering shared workspaces, which reduces the firm’s physical space requirements.
Additionally, Ernst & Young is reducing energy consumption at its global data center located in New Jersey. In 2011, the organization earned the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star rating. It was the first accounting and professional services organization to receive this recognition. The greening of this center included installing more energy efficient IT systems such as blade technology, virtualization (VM) and, improving the design of equipment layout (cold aisle containment) for increased air flow and HVAC optimization. These changes have resulted in realized savings of approximately 1.5 million kilowatt-hours per year which reduced our Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) from 2.0 down to 1.52.
Learn more information about Ernst & Young’s sustainability efforts.