Press Release

Pace University Awarded $1.48 Million to Reduce Carbon Emissions

November 21, 2023
View of One Pace Plaza in Manhattan

Renovation of One Pace Plaza in Lower Manhattan Was One Out of 15 Innovative Projects Selected Throughout New York State

Pace University was recently awarded $1,486,720 from New York State as part of the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Carbon Challenge. This competitive program provides funding to large energy users such as manufacturers, universities, and health care facilities in New York State to implement clean energy projects that reduce carbon emissions.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced that more than $29 million has been awarded through the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) throughout New York State. Pace’s renovation of One Pace Plaza was one out of 15 projects selected that will reduce carbon emissions and greenhouses gases.

“We know that historically underserved communities are often most impacted by climate change and pollution,” said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. “In New York, we’re righting the wrongs of the past by investing in projects that will reduce carbon emissions in communities statewide, especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods. This is how we build cleaner, more equitable communities for New Yorkers across the state.”

The announcement supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050 and ensure 35% with a goal of 40% of clean energy investments directly benefit disadvantaged communities. The projects were selected by NYSERDA to participate in the Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development or C&I Carbon Challenge programs and will advance community and economic development across New York State.

“These innovative retrofit and new construction projects are at the forefront of lowering emissions from buildings while revitalizing communities, including those that have been historically marginalized,” said Doreen M. Harris, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “These investments demonstrate how local, regional, and state resources can come together to meet a cross-section of climate, energy efficiency and economic development goals while providing for a greener future for residents and businesses alike.”

Pace University is reimagining One Pace Plaza in New York City via beneficial electrification and energy efficiency that will reduce total electricity consumption. It’s part of a campus transformation that will include new academic spaces, a modernized residence hall, and a new state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center that will serve its performing and creative arts programs that are part of the Sands College of Performing Arts.

Ryan McEnany, director of energy & resiliency at Pace University where he oversees the University’s Energy Conservation Program, prepares and manages the energy budget, identifies and implements sustainability initiatives across each campus, and meets with students to help achieve their vision of sustainability for Pace University. These efforts have resulted in a 20% reduction in energy costs and a 26% reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. McEnany played an important role in Pace’s efforts to secure this funding opportunity.

“We are extremely grateful to be selected for the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Carbon Challenge award,” said McEnany. “It is our goal to showcase Pace University’s commitment to sustainability nationally and to continue to reduce our carbon emissions, especially through the implementation of this project that will utilize beneficial electrification of our heating system.”

In recent years, Pace has a long history of supporting programs to further sustainability throughout its campuses. In 2007, Pace became a charter member of the NYC Carbon Challenge, which supports urban-based climate resiliency programs and corporations. In addition, Pace University was the first University to sign the US Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge, a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% within 10 years. To help achieve this goal, Pace partnered with Cenergistic, a national energy conservation company, to reduce emissions across facilities.

Since the beginning of the partnership, Pace has cut energy use 18 percent. Energy reductions from the program equate to the equivalent of planting 328,339 trees, avoiding carbon emissions produced by the average car driving approximately 36 million miles or the energy use of 7,663 houses in a year. In April, the US Department of Energy recognized this effort by awarding Pace University a Better Practice Award at their annual Better Buildings Summit.

“Thank you to NYSERDA for awarding Pace University with the Carbon Challenge grant,” said Ibi Yolas, vice president of facilities and capital projects. “This grant will enable the university to use industry best decarbonization practices to combat climate change and prepare for a carbon free future.”

The grant submission was led by Pace University’s Grants Strategy Group, formed earlier this year with participation from the Public Affairs team, The Office of Research, Facilities and Capital Projects, Provost’s Office, and representatives from the colleges to set a strategic vision and identify state and federal funding opportunities for Pace.

"By bringing stakeholders from across the university together, we've been able to identify and apply for public grants that support the amazing work done here at Pace," said Jerry McKinstry, assistant vice president for Public Affairs and founder of the Grants Strategy Group. "I'm incredibly grateful for the time and effort that this group has dedicated so far, and eager for us to pursue other opportunities that support the university’s mission."

About Pace University

Since 1906, Pace University has been transforming the lives of its diverse students—academically, professionally, and socioeconomically. With campuses in New York City and Westchester County, Pace offers bachelor, master, and doctoral degree programs to 13,600 students in its College of Health Professions, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Lubin School of Business, Sands College of Performing Arts, School of Education, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.


NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit NYSERDA or follow NYSERDA on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

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