Brooklyn Navy Yard honored for green efforts

Urban industrial park’s recycling program can benchmark green and economic improvements

Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp.

Anahita Williamson, center, director of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, presents Andrew H. Kimball, right, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp., and Sara Garretson, president of the Industrial Technology Assistance Corp., with the institute’s Advancement in Cleaner Production Award for creating an eco-industrial recycling model that has made a significant environmental and economic impact in North Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. (BNYDC), the not-for-profit corporation that manages the 300-acre industrial park, is being recognized by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) for a campus-wide solid waste and recycling program that has generated positive environmental and economic benefits for the Yard and its 330 tenants.

The industrial park that spans Brooklyn’s Flushing Avenue earned NYSP2I’s Advancement in Cleaner Production Award for creating an eco-industrial model that has made a significant environmental and economic impact in North Brooklyn. These include:

  • Reducing waste-handling costs for tenants by an average of 27 percent
  • Eliminating 1,600 tons of waste going to area landfills
  • Reducing carting traffic by 90 percent resulting in a reduced carbon footprint

BNYDC received the award after successfully implementing the recommendations of the Industrial Technology Assistance Corp. (ITAC), which assessed and recommended an integrated strategy to address the industrial park’s growing waste-management challenges. ITAC guided the initial implementation of the pilot program and will continue to manage the expansion of the program throughout the Yard as well. ITAC, one of NYSP2I’s partner Regional Technology Development Centers, is a not-for-profit consulting and training organization dedicated to growing New York City manufacturing and technology companies. NYSP2I, which is managed and operated at Rochester Institute of Technology, presented the award to BNYDC during a ceremony at the Yard’s Building 3, the site of the pilot program.

“All of us here at the Navy Yard are proud to be recognized by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute for our environmental efforts,” says Andrew H. Kimball, president and CEO of BNYDC. “Many of our tenants were struggling with similar waste-management issues. By creating a campus-wide sustainability model, we were able to reduce costs significantly and keep a consistently cleaner, greener Yard.”

In addition to the many benefits achieved through its recycling program, BNYDC was recognized for several recent sustainability initiatives, including storm water management efforts such as the creation of city’s largest rooftop farm; infrastructure upgrades with roadwork that includes permeable asphalt and bioswales; and retrofits to its aging building stock.

The Navy Yard also was acknowledged for its use of green technologies during recent renovations and maintenance, including the installation of Energy Star roofs and energy-efficient windows and lighting. BNYDC sources many of its products and services locally, using its own tenant base. This includes the installation of more than 90 solar/wind-powered street lamps designed by Navy Yard tenant Duggal Energy Solutions.

“We see the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s project as a pilot methodology for assisting many small manufacturing firms through one program initiative,” says Sara Garretson, ITAC’s president. “This is a model for addressing similar issues in other industrial parks.”

State Sen. Daniel L. Squadron (D-Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan) believes the Navy Yard award is well deserved.

“The Brooklyn Navy Yard has again and again proven that success stories exist even in the most difficult times,” Squadron says. “The Navy Yard is simultaneously preserving a key part of Brooklyn history, while setting the bar for innovation, collaboration, and community benefit—and is doing in a way that not only protects but serves our environment. Congratulations on this much-deserved award!”

Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D-North Brooklyn) added the award is another example of the Navy Yard’s innovation.

“The Brooklyn Navy Yard continues to be the most impressive Urban Industrial Development Park in the nation,” Lentol says. “The Navy Yard has been consistently forward thinking—incorporating good governance policies, good neighbor and good economic policies in every aspect of its administration on behalf of tenants. It is important we award the Navy Yard for its good work—in this specific case—to show others that pollution-prevention practices can be implemented in industrial settings and they can work. If we can do it in Brooklyn, New York City, then it can be done everywhere.”

“The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute is extremely pleased to recognize the Brooklyn Navy Yard for its leadership in environmental and sustainability activities,” says Anahita Williamson, director of NYSP2I. “Today, the Navy Yard has emerged as an extraordinary industrial park, serving the surrounding community as a major innovator in green manufacturing technology.”

NYSP2I provides comprehensive and integrated programming in technology research, development, training and education aimed at promoting sustainability across New York state. Partners include Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University at Buffalo, and New York’s 10 Regional Technology Development Centers. The institute is funded through the Environmental Protection Fund and managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

NYSP2I promotes cost-effective pollution-prevention techniques that aid businesses in reducing manufacturing costs, reducing energy and water usage, decreasing toxics and hazardous substances and decreasing overall waste streams—allowing companies to remain competitive in today’s challenging global economy.

To learn more visit the NYSP2I website.

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