Sustainability on the WTC Campus
April is Earth Month, which is always a major initiative for the Port Authority of NY & NJ, and the World Trade Center is no exception. The WTC campus was built with sustainability in mind and achieved LEED certification for all of its buildings, which is a globally recognized standard for sustainable design.
On the WTC campus, there are several events activations this month, as well as ongoing sustainability efforts that occur throughout the year, to further promote the PA’s commitment to environmental initiatives:
Energy conservation: Over 13,000 light fixtures within the campus’ front and back of house have been replaced with LED bulbs to be more energy efficient. These improvements conserve 6.4 million kilowatts of electricity and reduce the carbon footprint significantly by 4,500 metric tons annually! Read more about the project here.
Food waste reduction: As Smorgasburg has returned to campus on Fridays, a new element has been added to the all-day food festival: composting. Beginning April 14, as part of Smorgasburg’s waste reduction efforts, customers, food, and beverage vendors will be able to use the two compost stations for their compostable service ware and food scraps. An estimated six tons of compost is expected to be diverted from landfill, per year, through this initiative!
Sustainable transportation options: In partnership with Bike New York, bike education classes are held on campus throughout the year. The WTC always promotes methods of sustainable transportation, such as biking, walking, and using the many public transit options on campus. Bike maps and docking stations on campus are available here.
Education and awareness events:
There will be a range of events to raise awareness about sustainability and environmental issues throughout the month. These events are free and open to the public:
- Bike New York and Recycle-A-Bicycle – On April 15, from 10am to 12pm, Bike New York will hold a kid’s bike education class on Fulton Street. Recycle-A-Bicycle, a branch within Bike New York, will be there as well offering free bike repairs. The program will occur once a month through November. Registration is required for the classes, RSVP here.
- Rock Your Love for the Earth – On April 21, from noon to 2pm, join us for a rock painting event on North Oculus Plaza to transform ordinary rocks into beautiful works of art with sustainable paint. Materials will be provided, and participants can keep their rocks or donate them to a display in Liberty Park for a few weeks following the event.
- Oculus Lighting – Every year on Earth Day (April 22), WTC turns off the Oculus’ vanity lights as an energy conservation effort to bring awareness to energy consumption.
Learn more about our events here.
Bird migration incident mitigation: Every spring and fall, the migration path of thousands of birds crosses through the WTC campus.
To mitigate bird collisions, the Port Authority worked with the American Bird Conservancy, NYC Audubon, and local volunteers in 2021 to develop and implement a strategy to help birds to better see the clear glass railings in the PA-managed green space of Liberty Park. A Feather Friendly pattern of small white dots was installed on the completed sections of glass railing in the park and has helped birds avoid the glass and reduce incidents in PA-managed areas. The PA has also been helping to rescue dazed or injured birds that it finds at the WTC by putting them in a cardboard box and transporting them to the Wild Bird Fund -- often with the help of the NYC Audubon’s volunteer transport network in New York City.
Overall, the World Trade Center's Earth Month efforts showcase its commitment to sustainability for its visitors and tenants. By hosting educational and awareness events, promoting sustainable transportation, reducing food waste, and more, the WTC is setting an example for how iconic destinations can support sustainability during Earth Month and throughout the year.