Business View Magazine | June 2019

263 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 BVM: Can you give us an overview of the city’s sustainability and climate action initiatives? Mayor Bhalla: “The impetus for us to address the threat of climate change, coastal flooding, and a number of other environmental initiatives stem from Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Those were catastrophic events for Hoboken and we’ve developed a number of initiatives to make the City more resilient and sustainable for future generations; so it doesn’t have to go through a continuous cycle of destruction and rebuilding. Completing the Rebuild By Design flood risk reduction project is a major goal within the next five years. It’s a $230 million grant from the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection that will protect Hoboken and portions of the neighboring municipalities of Weehawken and Jersey City. This project will serve as a national model for how coastal communities can develop comprehensive water management strategies that address complex risk. Completion is slated for 2022, and is a major priority of our administration. “As of April 2019, we are also among the first cities in New Jersey to purchase all of our energy for municipal facilities from 100 percent renewable resources. We intend to roll out a similar program for residents. Last year, we were using only 18 percent of energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, and now we’ve jumped to 100 percent. It’s a substantial increase when you measure the progress. We have widespread support from the community, perhaps because it saves money. The purpose is to utilize clean energy, and we have cost savings of about 18 percent. We’re also proud to be the first LEED Gold city in New Jersey and Silver-certified by Sustainable Jersey, and we’re pursuing a Gold Star in energy, which are benchmarks for some of these initiatives. “We recently adopted a Climate Action Plan with a goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, and a number of other components, such as introducing more renewable energy programs for homeowners HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY