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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

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Greening the Mansion

The "Greening the Mansion" program was initiated by First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer in 2007. It is an ongoing project at the Executive Mansion to reduce energy usage, transition the building to clean, renewable energy resources, and develop sustainable practices in maintaining the grounds and operations. “Greening the Mansion” honors historic preservation guidelines consistent with the Executive Mansion’s status as an historic landmark. It also serves as a model for all New York homeowners as it promotes healthy buildings and environmental sustainability, while cutting the Mansion’s electrical energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent.

The greening initiative was spearheaded by the Executive Chamber and the New York State Office of General Services, working with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). On April 23, 2009, the Executive Mansion was awarded LEED Gold Certification, the first by an existing building in New York State.

On May 1, 2008, First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson unveiled the first installation of solar panels at the Mansion, a significant step toward reducing energy consumption and pollution. The photovoltaic panels were placed on the Rockefeller Pool House and produce 3.5 kilowatts of energy. Highlights of the plan also include:

  • Ecologically Sound Maintenance Practices -- non-toxic cleaning products, organic pest control, mulching lawnmowers that recycle grass clippings in place, extensive recycling, and composting.
  • Green Equipment -- hybrid electric vehicles, electric lawn mowers and lawn maintenance equipment which reduce gasoline emissions.
  • Local and Organic Food Policy -- purchasing New York-grown, and preferably organic, produce to the greatest extent possible. The Mansion also purchases from a local food co-op, and joined a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), which allows consumers to buy a share in a farm and receive fresh local organic produce when it is harvested.

Michelle Paige Paterson stated, "Decades from now, I hope that historians will look back on our time and determine that it was a turning point when we made crucial choices to build greener, healthier buildings to reduce our energy consumption, address global warming, and improve the health of all. I hope that 'Greening the Mansion' will have played a role in this effort."

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