The Port Authority took a significant step towards the agency’s sustainability targets by announcing the selection of two carbon brokerage teams that will identify high quality and regionally generated carbon offsets for the agency’s purchase.  With this announcement, the agency furthers its initiative to become carbon neutral in its operations by 2010.

To achieve the carbon-neutral goal, the Port Authority will purchase carbon offsets in 2009 and 2010. The carbon offsets must meet rigorous quality standards and at least 75% of the offsets must be generated in the region. The agency also will give tenants and customers the ability to purchase carbon offsets through a new Web site, and will conduct education and outreach programs.

To assist with these efforts, the agency’s Board of Commissioners today authorized the award of five contracts, totaling $2.5 million, for broker and related services and for professional advisory services related to the carbon market.  Contracts were awarded to CantorCO2, L.P./Native Energy/Weston Solutions and Blue Source LLC/Henningson and Durham & Richardson Architecture and Engineering, P.C. for broker and related services.  Contracts also were awarded to Stockholm Environment Institute-US; The Climate Trust; and E.H. Pechan & Associates, Inc. for professional advisory services related to carbon offsets.

Cantor CO2 performed its first voluntary market transaction in 1998 and holds the record for the largest transaction in the carbon market.  Blue Source has developed the largest portfolio of voluntary assets in North America and has provided related services to Fortune 500 companies, such as Tyson Foods and International Paper.

Today’s announcement is part of the Board’s broad sustainability policy, which includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, through a combination of capital investments, operational changes, and carbon offsets; promoting sustainability among tenants and customers; and adapting facilities to handle future climate changes.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “In recent years, we’ve demonstrated our commitment to sustainability by overhauling our Capital Plan to include over $8 billion in mass transit improvements, on-dock rail systems, and energy-efficient lighting at our bridges and tunnels. Today’s action is another step in becoming environmentally responsible stewards in the region, and confirms our position at the vanguard of public agencies – in the region and across the nation – in taking steps to preserve and protect the environment.”

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “Our goal to be carbon neutral by 2010 is a bold challenge, but one that we strongly embrace. It’s good for the environment and, importantly, it’s good for the regional economy because our program will make smart investments in clean-tech jobs throughout New York and New Jersey.”