Sustainability at NRDC
NRDC’s mission is to safeguard the earth. The Workplace Strategy team exemplifies that mission through green building leadership and sustainable operations.
NRDC provides an exemplary workplace that fosters a collaborative and inclusive culture, ensures the health of our staff and the resiliency of our spaces, and executes leading sustainability practices.
NRDC is committed to leading the green building industry through action.
We consider the planet, people, and profit to guide our decision making as we manage the daily operation of our offices and oversee capital projects. Ultimately, this work provides a space where our staff take on the important responsibility of tackling today’s most urgent sustainability issues.
Walking the Talk
In all of our offices, we strive to reduce resource consumption and increase resource production. Since 2012, we have achieved:
Workplace Strategy Team Mission
By prioritizing the planet and people, we foster a collaborative and inclusive workplace, inspiring our community to strive for a sustainable future.
Sustainability is at the core of all our capital projects and operations. We use a sustainability framework that examines environmental, social, and economic impact to guide decision making and measure success. We do this by establishing best practices for procurement, design and construction, waste management, and leveraging leading standards for building design and waste management.
Internally, we work to minimize and neutralize adverse environmental and social impacts while seeking rejuvenating solutions we can apply operationally. For example, all our offices are designed with nontoxic, low-waste products to decrease our environmental footprint while increasing occupant health and well-being. Externally, we aim to share best practices and create positive impacts within communities and global markets. For example, we are transparent with our operations—open-sourcing our guidelines, standards, and performance allows other organizations to learn from our strategies and scale sustainable solutions.
We strive to maintain healthy and productive working environments that meet rigorous green building standards. We execute projects, like installing automatic dimming lighting systems and low-flow plumbing fixtures as well as implementing comprehensive waste stations, to drive our desired outcomes.
Our visions, highlighted in our Sustainable Operations Plan, represent NRDC’s ideals and serve as a guide for choosing current and future courses of action.
- Eliminate Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Increase Water Efficiency
- Achieve Zero Waste
- Design for Healthy Buildings and People
- Increase Education and Engagement
For nearly 40 years, NRDC has been leading the charge on green building adoption, successfully moving the industry forward.
Across our global operations, NRDC leverages widely respected sustainable building standards to ensure we are at the cutting edge of sustainable building practices. These standards drive progress towards our visions.
As of 2018, NRDC operates seven offices globally and cumulatively comprise more than 140,000 square feet.
The Bozeman, Montana, office has diverted 72 percent of our waste from the landfill due to recycling and vermicomposting as of 2019.
Click on each date to learn more.
Environmental Metrics Progress
Our staff utilizes emerging technologies, and cutting-edge resource efficiency and waste diversion strategies.
Tons of CO2e
Portion of Total Energy
|Waste to Landfill
|Waste and Recycling
% Diverted from Landfill
NRDC in the News
Our commitment to sustainability has been recognized by leading groups in the industry.
Honoring the Best
CoreNet Global News
Sorting Out Our Recycling
Spectrum News In Focus
NRDC aligns with organizations that share our mission to protect and restore our natural environment. We work side-by-side with our partners and are committed to transparency to help others reduce their footprint.
Approach to Partnerships
The Workplace Strategy team is meticulous in reviewing and deciding who to engage with for large and small endeavors alike, from the design teams working on our construction projects to selecting the vendors that provide our office services and supplies.
To address our environmental impact, social responsibility, and financial stability we develop partnerships. Collaborating with leaders in the field helps our organization progress more quickly towards our visions.
1988 - U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
USGBC developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system with assistance from NRDC. NRDC office space in New York, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Chicago,
2013 - BuildingOS
Real-time energy and water software monitoring in the New York, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Chicago, Beijing, and Washington, D.C., offices.
2014 - Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF)
NRDC purchases water restoration certificates from BEF to offset facilities’ water usage.
2016 - International Living Future Institute (ILFI)
ILFI created the Living Building Challenge, an international sustainable building certification program. NRDC offices in San Francisco and Chicago have achieved this certification.
2018 - TerraCycle
TerraCycle boxes provide a recycling option for items not typically accepted by municipal recycling and are available in all NRDC offices.
2018 - American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY)
NRDC was recognized as a participant of the AIA’s Zero Waste Challenge event, which helps reduce office waste generation and increase recycling.
2018 - Institute for Market Transformation (IMT)
IMT recognized NRDC as a Green Lease Leader for the organization’s forward-thinking and high-performance real estate portfolio.
2018 - World Green Building Council (WGBC)
NRDC has made the WGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, which challenges the organization to reach net zero operating emissions by 2030 and to advocate for all buildings to be net zero
2018 - Agendi
Agendi has verified NRDC’s annual carbon footprint and facilitated the organization’s carbon offset purchases in order to receive CO2-Neutral certification.
2018 - Red2Green
NRDC utilizes and provides additions to Red2Green’s software platform and comprehensive product library helping to ensure all spaces, including NRDC’s own, contain environmentally friendly, nontoxic
2019 - The Green Seal
The Green Seal Green Office Partnership Program is designed to guide offices to become more sustainable. NRDC has utilized this partnership to increase the use of products that contain no harmful