Press Releases

Mayor Bloomberg joins building owners, union leader to launch green buildings program

Labor-management program to train 1,000 building supers

Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Realty Advisory Board President Jim Berg and 32BJ President Mike Fishman today in launching an ambitious green buildings program to train one thousand superintendents and resident managers in one year in the latest energy efficient practices. The launch of One Year, One Thousand Green Supers, which took place at a downtown apartment building, was attended by Jeff Brodsky, President of Related Management, and James O’Connor, President of Douglas Elliman, two of the first companies to have their employees participate in this labor-management green buildings program.

“By working together, 32BJ and New York’s building owners have put into place a smart, practical and effective way to help make the Big Apple green,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “One Year, One Thousand Green Supers provides a low-cost way to make our buildings more energy and cost efficient, and our environment cleaner, all while saving our city millions of dollars.” “With 77 percent of our city’s greenhouse gas emissions generated by buildings, we must all work together to protect the environment,” said Mike Fishman.

“Making the Big Apple green starts with recognizing the vital role of building service workers.” One Year, One Thousand Green Supers, which is approved by the U.S. Green Building Council and the Building Performance Institute, is part of the Thomas Shortman Training Fund. The program is a 40 hour class that provides building service workers with the latest, state-of-the-art practices in energy efficient operations. The curriculum trains workers to identify and address wasted energy, create a green operating plan and perform cost-benefit analysis for building owners and managers.

“With most building service workers employed at RABOLR buildings and represented by 32BJ, this labor-management partnership is uniquely positioned to give tens of thousands of workers the skills they need to cut waste and costs at buildings across the city,” said James Berg, President of the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations (RABOLR) – which represents building owners and managers in New York City. Energy savings from buildings is the lowest-cost method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. In addition, greener buildings could save the New York real estate industry as much as $230 million a year in operating expenses. “Investments in green training are investments in our collective future and a win-win for property owners,” said Jeffrey Brodsky, President of Related Management.

“Related is thrilled to participate in 32BJ’s green training program and helping to make a tangible difference in reducing our energy usage and ‘greening’ our real estate portfolio while also reducing operating expenses. Our building staff are the best and the brightest in the industry, and this new training curriculum will go a long way to ensure that we pursue all avenues to reduce our impact on the environment. We look forward to continuing to work with 32BJ to expand their green training programs reach and impact.”

With a growing demand for greener buildings, smarter management practices could reduce energy use in buildings by twenty to forty percent, according to a report from the Department of Energy. “One Thousand Green Supers provides us with a low-cost green solution to satisfy our clients while lowering operating costs and helping to protect the environment,” said James O’Connor, President of Douglas Elliman.

“REBNY applauds the Thomas Shortman Training Fund for its One Year, One Thousand Green Supers program,” said Steven Spinola, Executive Director of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). “Training supers in energy efficiency is good for our buildings, for the occupants of these buildings and for our city.” The One Year, One Thousand Supers curriculum combines classes and field exercises with elective courses, including renewable technologies, green roofs and water reuse.

“Resident owners will benefit from greener operations by saving tens of thousands of dollars in yearly operating costs at their building,” said Mary Ann Rothman, Executive Director of the Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums. “What really makes a building efficient are the people running it,” said Patrick Long, 32BJ member and a Resident Manager at Related owned building in Manhattan. “If we are going to make buildings more energy efficient, workers need to understand green technologies and practices, learn new skills and maintain complex equipment.”

To date, supers and resident managers from 40 different buildings have completed the pilot program. Thomas Shortman Training Fund expects to train some 300 building service workers by the end of the year. “By learning how to air seal a building, improve heating and air conditioning performance and reduce overall energy use in a building’s common areas, graduates can achieve substantial savings at their buildings,” said Linda Nelson, Director of the Thomas Shortman Training Fund. The third and final pilot class of building service workers in the program is set to graduate next week.

One Year, One Thousand Green Supers is a program of the Thomas Shortman Training Fund – a labor management partnership that offers training to more than 80,000 32BJ union members working in the property services industry. The Fund’s programs provide 150,000 hours of industry, academic, and computer courses at over 20 locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations (RABOLR) is a multi-employer association serving the real estate industry in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Connecticut and Northern New Jersey. With more than 110,000 members in eight states, including 70,000 in New York, 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country.