04 Dec

WIN! New York State Bans PFAS in Food Packaging

PFAS poisoning explainedNew York State has now adopted the strongest PFAS in Food Packaging ban. This nation-leading move is a win for New Yorkers and the US in general. It demonstrates that we can summon the political will to overcome corporate interests and take the bold measures required to protect our citizens.

Our current health crisis underscores the importance of this action. There is a growing body of research showing that PFAS poisoning can weaken the immune system and undermine resistance to infections such as COVID-19. According to the CDC, “PFAS exposure may reduce antibody responses to vaccines.” Our business community is ready to pivot to safer alternatives, and we already have PFAS-free food packaging produced right here in New York State.

Big thanks to Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy and Senator Brad Hoylman for their leadership on this bill (S8817/A4739B), and to Governor Cuomo for signing it. Congratulations for taking this important step in reducing our consumption of PFAS.

07 Feb

WIN: Governor Cuomo Signs Child Safe Products Act Into Law

Child Safe Products Act signed into law

Albany, NY — February 7, 2020: Governor Cuomo signed the Child Safe Products Act (S.501-B Kaminsky / A. 6296-A Englebright) into law.  The move marks the fulfillment of a decade-long campaign by a broad, diverse coalition of environmental health advocates, health-impacted groups, sustainable businesses, environmental justice leaders, health care providers, child care providers, parent groups and many others. The law will require manufacturers to disclose chemicals of concern in children’s products and restrict the most toxic, while authorizing the State to add chemicals to disclose and restrict by regulation. The bill passed 53-9 in the Senate and 100-23 in the Assembly on April 30, 2019 as part of a first-ever bicameral Earth Day package.

“The New York Sustainable Business Council represents thousands of businesses committed to the triple bottom line of social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and economic prosperity,” said Bob Rossi, Director, New York Sustainable Business Council.  “The Child Safe Products Act cuts across all three tenets. It not only protects our most vulnerable and reduces environmental contamination, it will strengthen our economy. Smarter chemical regulations will drive green tech innovation. Chemical disclosure will allow our retailers to meet the growing demand for non-toxic products. Plus, the children we aim to protect are our future workforce. We thank Governor Cuomo and the leaders in our legislature for seeing this bill through.”

“Passing the Child Safe Products Act is a major step forward for protecting children’s health and it makes good business sense.  It protects shareholders, workers, and companies’ brand names, while restoring consumer confidence in product safety. This legislation will drive innovation and lead to greater profits and job growth for responsible New York State businesses. Our businesses are proud to stand in appreciation of the Governor and the New York State legislature for passing this historic legislation,” said David Levine, President, American Sustainable Business Council.

ASBC and NYSBC want to thank all the businesses that joined us in helping to support this important bill.  We also want to thank our coalition partners in the Just Green Partnership for their leadership.  See the coalition’s full press release here.


13 Jul

WIN: Business Leaders Applaud Denial of Permit for Seneca Lake Gas Storage

Contact: Bob Rossi, (607) 592-2222, bob@nyssbc.org

Business Leaders Applaud Denial of Permit for Seneca Lake Gas Storage

ALBANY, NY – In response to the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s denial of a draft permit for a proposed storage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the salt caverns along Seneca Lake, the New York Sustainable Business Council released a statement applauding the action. The following may be attributed Bob Rossi, Executive Director:

“Business coalitions are proving critical in challenging the on-going incursions of the fossil fuel industry in New York.  The Finger Lakes Wine Business Coalition and Gas Free Seneca Business Coalition made a strong business case for rejecting the LPG proposal, which threatened the heart of the Finger Lakes wine and tourism industries.  We applaud the grassroots organizations, municipalities, and business leaders who stood strong these past years to defend the Finger Lakes. We thank Governor Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Seggos for denying this permit and continuing to lead the transition from fossil fuels to renewables while protecting the people, environment, and economy of New York State.”

The business opposition to this LPG storage proposal dates back to 2015 including this letter to Governor Cuomo signed by business coalitions across the state.

The New York Sustainable Business Council (NYSBC) NewYorkSBC.org is an alliance of business organizations and businesses committed to advancing a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy in the state. The organization promotes strategies and policies designed to build strong local economies, prioritize investment and innovation in clean technologies from green chemistry to renewable energy, and advance the development of sustainable communities in New York State.

American Sustainable Business Council www.asbcouncil.org advocates for policy change and informs business owners, policymakers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, sustainable economy. Through its national member network it represents more than 250,000 businesses and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors.


25 Apr

What’s in your Cleaning Products?

For more information contact: Bobbi Wilding, CHNY, 518-708-3875, bobbi@cleanhealthyny.org                                                               


New reporting requirements for cleaning product makers will inform public about ingredients, potential hazards

(Albany) Advocates lauded the release for public comment of a new format companies must use to disclose ingredients in cleaning products made for home and commercial use. Under a law passed in 1971, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has the authority to require disclosure of ingredients. This action is the first time such companies will be required to divulge just what their products are made of. In his release, the Governor reiterated his commitment to assess this program as a model for disclosures for other products.

“Laws that are not enforced are not worth the paper they’re written on,” said Deborah Goldberg, an attorney at Earthjustice.  “We are delighted to see the Governor exercise his long-standing authority to protect New Yorkers’ health by requiring disclosure of ingredients in household cleaning products.”

With today’s release, the DEC is directing manufacturers to report on their websites all ingredients – including in fragrances and dyes, as well as known contaminants or impurities. They must also inform the public if any of these ingredients is identified as causing or contributing to a host of diseases, such as cancer, learning and developmental disabilities, reproductive harm, asthma, and allergies. It also requires disclosing potential harm to the environment.

“Clean and Healthy New York celebrates New York’s important action to require cleaning product makers to reveal what’s in their products.  For the first time, companies will also tell consumers about health hazards an ingredient may pose. This gives New Yorkers – and all Americans – freedom to choose safer, healthier products, and gives manufacturers a strong incentive to make products without harmful chemicals,” said Kathy Curtis, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York. “We applaud Governor Cuomo’s repeated commitment to use this as a model for other consumer products. Now more than ever, New York must lead.”

“Studies have shown that toxic chemicals from cleaning products can be found in urine, breast milk, and blood – including the umbilical cord blood of newborns. Women need to know what chemicals they are being exposed to in order to make important decisions that may impact their health. We applaud Governor Cuomo for standing up for women’s health,” said Jamie McConnell, Director of Programs and Policy at Women’s Voices for the Earth.

“Full disclosure of all ingredients in cleaning products sold in NYS is a valuable new tool to accompany the state’s highly regarded green procurement program,” said Claire Barnett, Executive Director of Healthy Schools Network. “We congratulate the State on this action.”

“Love Canal is infamous in New York’s history because it exposed low income communities and communities of color to harmful toxic chemicals that negatively impacted the health of so many New Yorkers. Today, Governor Cuomo sent a clear signal for all in our country to see that in the new New York all communities will be protected, regardless of race or income, from harmful toxic chemicals whether they are in the products we use to clean our homes or in the dry cleaners cleaning our clothes. These new regulations couldn’t have come at a better time because of Donald Trump’s proposals to cut all funding to the U.S. EPA, especially its Office of Environmental Justice. WE ACT for Environmental Justice applauds Governor Cuomo’s leadership to protect vulnerable communities,” said Cecil Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director and Director of Policy Initiatives for WE ACT for Environmental Justice.

This action by the Department of Environmental Conservation was spurred by Earthjustice’s legal efforts, on behalf of New York-based organizations, to have cleaning product companies comply with regulatory language developed in the 1970s. Numerous companies requested clarity on the form and extent of the required reporting. This form gives that direction.

The public can comment on the form for reporting through June 14th.  The statement from the NYS DEC and the form with guidance can be viewed at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/109021.html


23 May

Clean Jobs New York Report

clean jobs logos


PRESS CONTACTS: Pat Mitchell, pmitchell@hastingsgroup.com, 703-276-3266; or Jeff Benzak, jeff@e2.org; 202-513-6248. Study: Clean Energy Employs 85,000 New Yorkers

Four out of Five N.Y. Clean Energy Workers – or 69,000 – Work in Energy Efficiency; Renewable Energy Employs 12,400; Data Searchable by County and Legislative District

NEW YORK (May 5, 2016) – More than 85,000 New Yorkers work in the clean energy industry at 7,500 business establishments across all 62 counties, according to a comprehensive new analysis unveiled this week by the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, the New York State Sustainable Business Council and New Yorkers for Clean Power.

The report – “Clean Jobs New York,” available here – is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics information and new data from the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as a comprehensive survey of hundreds of businesses across the state.

“Tens of thousands of New Yorkers make clean energy a big and growing part of our state’s economy,” said Ron Kamen, CEO of Rhinebeck, N.Y.-based clean energy developer EarthKind Energy Inc. and a director of E2’s New York Chapter. “Clean energy now employs as many New Yorkers as some of the most prominent sectors in our economy. With the right policies, we can continue to create jobs in our state, while also helping our environment.”

The report was released Monday in Manhattan at the Solar One Green Energy Education Center as part of the launch of New Yorkers for Clean Power, a new campaign to rapidly shift to a clean energy economy in New York.

“This new campaign is bringing together organizations, businesses, municipalities, and communities to implement clean energy, clean vehicles and create good jobs for New Yorkers,” said Renee Vogelsang, campaign coordinator for New Yorkers for Clean Power.

The Clean Jobs New York analysis was done for the groups by BW Research Partnership and includes detailed jobs data down to the county, metropolitan area, congressional and state legislative district levels – making it the most comprehensive tally of clean energy jobs ever in New York. More details are available at the searchable BW Energy Employment Index website developed for the groups.

Based on responses from employers surveyed by BW Research, clean energy jobs are projected to grow by more than 6 percent over this year – substantially greater than the overall state and national economic growth rate.

“New York is a regional and national clean energy jobs leader with plenty of room for growth,” said Philip Jordan, vice president and principal at BW Research Partnership. “In speaking with employers from all over the state, our researchers repeatedly heard that enthusiasm for adding more clean energy jobs is high.”

According to the Clean Jobs New York study, energy efficiency is by far the state’s largest clean energy employer, with more than 69,000 New Yorkers working in areas such as high-efficiency lighting, Energy Star appliance manufacturing and high-efficiency HVAC services to reduce wasted energy in homes, schools and businesses.

More than 12,400 New Yorkers work in renewable energy, the study found. The state’s top renewables sector was solar, with more than 10,600 jobs.

“We know New York’s clean energy industry is thriving, and today’s numbers are exciting to see,” said Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York. “And when the state doubles the amount of electricity generated under the new 50 percent Clean Energy Standard, these economic benefits and jobs will grow even more. New job opportunities will come from renewable energy, like wind, solar, and fuel cells, and energy efficiency. We see a bright future for New York’s strengthening clean energy economy.”

The report shows that state energy efficiency and renewable standards, federal tax incentives and other policies have helped drive exponential growth in clean energy jobs in recent years.

To keep these jobs growing, lawmakers should continue to support the policies that are driving the clean energy sector, according to the groups behind the report. These policies range from the international climate agreement reached in Paris and the federal Clean Power Plan, to state and regional clean energy goals in New York like Gov. Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative and the state’s plan to get 50 percent of its energy from renewables.

“To maintain the growth in clean energy jobs and economic opportunities, our state leaders must continue their leadership in revolutionizing New York’s energy policy and limiting investments in fossil fuel infrastructure that would lock us in for decades to come,” said Laura Ornstein, director of the NYS Sustainable Business Council.

Additional report findings include:

  • There are clean energy jobs in every county in New York. Taking a closer look at metro areas, New York City has 57,400 residents working in clean energy, followed by Troy-Schenectady-Albany (nearly 5,000 jobs) and the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area (more than 4,000).
  • About 650 New Yorkers work in the advanced vehicle industry, 77 percent of whom work on electric vehicles. Strength in this industry is due in part to new fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles and trucks.
  • More New Yorkers work in clean energy than work in investment banking, and clean energy is nearly as big as the state’s building construction industry, according to data from the New York State Department of Labor.

The report includes case studies of a clean energy consulting firm in Albany that employs 120 people, a wind farm near Ithaca that will power 5,000 homes and a 27-year-old Ithaca company with Syracuse roots that employs 45 people.

 To speak with clean energy business leaders in your area, please contact E2 press secretary Jeff Benzak at 202-513-6248 or jeff@e2.org. For more information on the New Yorkers for Clean Power campaign, please contact Renee Vogelsang at renee@cleanpowerny.org or 315-380-2708.

In addition to Clean Jobs New York, E2 and its partners have conducted in-depth clean energy jobs studies in numerous other states. We recently released www.CleanJobsMidwest.com, which maps clean energy jobs in 12 Midwestern states, and Clean Jobs America, which shows more than 2.5 million clean energy jobs across the country.


 Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.

 New York Sustainable Business Council (NYSSBC) is an alliance of business organizations and businesses committed to advancing a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy in the state. The organization promotes strategies and policies designed to build strong local economies, prioritizes investment and innovation in clean technologies from green chem­istry to renewable energy sources, and advances the development of sustainable communi­ties in New York State.

The Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY) is an alliance of private clean energy companies and non-profit public interest organizations, dedicated to promoting clean energy, energy efficiency, a healthy environment, and a strong economy for the Empire State. Our members include companies focusing on wind energy, solar power, and hydro­power, fuel cells, biogas, and biomass. ACE NY is New York’s premier advocate for the rapid adoption of clean energy alternatives and energy conservation. We are an active participant in public education and outreach efforts, legislative and regulatory affairs, and the oversight of electricity markets.

New Yorkers for Clean Power is a statewide campaign to rapidly shift to a clean energy economy. Through education, advocacy and organizing, the campaign engages the public, local governments and businesses to advance a range of renewable energy, efficiency and clean transportation solutions.