Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc., New Jersey's largest real estate development company, has signed an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cut energy and water use and to take other steps to reduce the environmental impacts of its retail and commercial properties across the state. Buildings are responsible for close to half of the nation's greenhouse gas pollution. Under the agreement, signed on March 11, Hartz will take steps to promote sustainability in its operations.
"Constructing and operating buildings more sustainably are becoming standard business practices, and developers like Hartz Mountain are seeing that protecting the environment is also good for their economic bottom line," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. "This agreement with Hartz Mountain illustrates EPA's commitment to help rebuild America's economy while protecting public health and the environment." Under the new agreement between EPA and Hartz Mountain Industries, Hartz will:
- Join EPA's Energy Star and Waste Wise programs, which respectively provide strategies and tools for minimizing energy use and waste production while increasing recycling rates.
- Cut water use by utilizing low-flow plumbing fixtures, including low flow toilets, automatic faucet controls, low-flow showerheads and waterless urinals in new construction. Hartz will also follow EPA's GreenScapes guidelines to minimize water use in landscaping.
- Maximize recycling and reuse of municipal solid waste, construction waste and debris, and consider the feasibility of composting food waste either on-site or at an off-site location.
- Follow EPA's Clean Construction USA program to cooperatively promote and implement measures to reduce emissions from vehicles and other internal combustion engines used in construction and operation of Hartz facilities, with a focus on diesel engine emissions reductions.
- Implement idling reduction measures in its own fleet, and encourage its service vendors, contractors and staff to do the same.
- Require that heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment meet EPA Energy Star or similar performance guidelines; ban the use of chlorofluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons for newly purchased air conditioning units; use energy management systems to maximize the operating efficiencies of heating and cooling systems; use energy-saving lighting, including motion-sensitive switches, and fluorescent lighting.
- Seek the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver, or higher, certification for its headquarters building in Secaucus and its Sheraton Suites project in Weehawken.
- Meet LEED standards in constructing the Edison Towne Square project in Edison, N.J.
- Consider solar energy on both its buildings, and on brownfield sites. Hartz already has more than 3.5 megawatts of solar panels installed at its properties, which prevent the equivalent of more than 25 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
Hartz will submit a status report to EPA annually, and EPA will use the report to determine the environmental benefits associated with Hartz's activities. Over the years, EPA reached has similar agreements with the New York Jets and New York Giants for the New Meadowlands Stadium, the New York Mets for Citi Field stadium, the Destiny USA mall project in Syracuse, N.Y., the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, Rutgers University for several of its campuses across New Jersey, Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J., Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J., St. John's University in Queens, N.Y., Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, N.J, and Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook, N.Y.
[Note: For more information on EPA green construction and operations agreements, visit https://www.epa.gov/region02/greenteam/.]