The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has recertified its LEED Gold status for AJC's headquarters, recognizing the global advocacy organization's continuing commitment to protect the environment and lead by example.
In June 2011, AJC became the first national Jewish organization to achieve LEED certification for its headquarters. The prestigious distinction was particularly significant, given the multi-year process of transforming the AJC building, built in 1959, into an environmentally friendly, energy-efficient office building in New York City.
"Retrofitting our New York headquarters was not a simple task by any stretch of the imagination, but all the investments have yielded enduring positive results and impact," said AJC CEO David Harris. "Today, on Earth Day, we recommit to do whatever we can to safeguard our precious environment and celebrate our LEED Gold recertification."
The original certification required a major overhaul of plumbing, light fixtures, elevators, air conditioning and heating systems, and implementing rigorous recycling and green cleaning programs.
The recertification of AJC's LEED Gold green building status was based on the submission to the USGBC of detailed documentation representing AJC's continued commitment to maintaining sustainable practices for the past five years. In renewing AJC's LEED Gold certification, the USGBC acknowledged AJC policies favoring energy efficiency, sustainable purchasing, green cleaning and waste reduction.
Among the notable achievements over the past five years were:
- Using low flow plumbing fixtures reduced water use by nearly 40 percent from standard plumbing fixtures.
- 60 percent of daily waste is recycled, 100 percent of electronic waste is recycled, and nearly 100 percent of durable waste, such as office furniture, is recycled, donated, or reused.
- More than 75 percent of office supplies purchased are made of recycled materials.
- 100 percent of recently purchased furniture meets environmental sustainability standards.
- Light bulbs with low or no mercury are used throughout the building.
- Most electronics purchased are energy efficient.
- 75 percent of the cleaning materials used in the building are certified green products, and 90 percent of the cleaning equipment meets sustainable criteria.
In sum, according to the USGBC, AJC headquarters operates in the top 75th percentile for energy efficiency, when compared to equivalent buildings.