William Ulfelder And Sheldon Silver

Environmentalists, policy makers, elected officials, corporate leaders and VIPs turned out for the New York League of Conservation Voters “Celebrating a Greener Skyline” cocktail party held at a private club in Midtown Manhattan. With a program kicked off by Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch, the evening’s keynote speaker was New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has led the fight to make the state a national leader in energy efficiency and sustainability. Among his many 2009 accomplishments, Speaker Silver sponsored the Green Jobs/Green New York Act, which will dramatically scale up efforts to boost energy efficiency in the built environment. Lt. Governor Ravitch noted in his remarks, “We can’t afford to walk away from our commitment to the environment”. He went on to praise Speaker Silver for the 40+ pieces of environmental legislation he championed and lauded the Durst Organization for their commitment to green building. NYLCV presented our 2009 Greener Skyline Award to The Durst Organization. In presenting the award to Douglas Durst, NYLCV Chairman Robert Hallman singled out the company’s leadership in green building; The Durst Organization planned and designed the nation’s first “green” skyscraper as well as the first LEED platinum-certified skyscraper. Energy efficiency plays a key role in fighting climate change; in New York City, buildings account for nearly 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. “Through four generations, The Durst Organization has put environmental responsibility at the heart of their business,” said Robert Hallman, NYLCV’s chairman. “We are proud to honor The Durst Organization as our 2009 Greener Skyline Awardee”. It is not only the political and business communities that praise the enlightened approach of the Durst Organization in recognizing that sustainability and green construction is not only good for the planet but as they have proved good sound business, leading conservation proponents joined in the salute. Awards attendee a third generation conservationist William Ulfelder, Director, The Nature Conservancy in New York said of honor to the Durst Family,” I applaud the NYLCV for its choice of The Durst Organization for the 2009 Greener Skyline Award. Like Speaker Silver, Durst has contributed enormously towards the state's sustainability efforts, and in presenting this award to Durst, NYLCV honors this industry leader's tremendous contributions to the green building movement”. For over a hundred years, the Durst Family has been on the cutting edge in New York going back to its first property on 34th Street owned by family patriarch Joseph Durst. In accepting the award, Douglas Durst quipped, ”I am humbled to be up here following two giants and I’ll be modest like Donald Trump”. But very seriously thanked the NYLCV “ for this recognition of my family’s hard work”. Prime among their many accomplishments is the construction of the new Bank of America building the world's most environmentally responsible high-rise office building, a 2.1 million square foot, 52-story crystalline skyscraper located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park is the headquarters of Bank of America’s operations in New York City, and houses its global corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management and consumer and commercial banking businesses. Located on the west side of Sixth Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Street, the high-rise office tower opened in 2008 and is expected to be completed early in 2010.The Durst Family has won kudos also for their efforts to green the rooftops of the city installing gardens atop many of their commercial and residential all designed to help clean the air of deadly carbon emissions. NYLCV is a non-partisan, policy making and political action organization that works to make environmental protection a top priority with elected officials, decision-makers and the voters by evaluating incumbent performance and endorsing and electing environmental leaders to office in New York State. NYCLV differs from other environmental groups because as it educates candidates about key issues the public is concerned about; evaluates the performance of elected officials and seeks to endorse and elect the most capable candidate for local, state and federal office.