Greatest Symbol of American Industry goes Green: The Empire State Building.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Apr 12, 2009
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“A new icon…of sustainability.”

“A shining example of what can be done in big cities around the world.”

empire state building green clinton rmi

Bill Clinton and folks from the Clinton Climate Initiative, Greg Fanta, (the great, late Boulder architect), RMI and others talk about how to take the Empire State Building—that gorgeous symbol of NYC, this international monument to American business—where my grandpa had an office back in the day—beyond inefficient, beyond greenwashing, and toward money-saving deep green.

A pro video, enjoyable to watch (except for cheesey 80s style inspiring background music, egad). Video:

For nearly 80 years the Empire State Building has been an icon of the New York City skyline. Built in another time of economic hardships, it was designed to symbolize America’s limitless potential. Today the Empire State Building is undergoing a major sustainability retrofit, thereby becoming a leading example of economic and environmental revitalization.


Produced by: Rocky Mountain Institute (, Johnson Controls ( and Jones Lang LaSalle (

Script: David Fribush
Camera: Stephen McGee
Editing: Jonah Bea-Taylor
Original Music Score: Caroline Penwarden
Narration: Joshua Pollock
Voice Recording and Mix Engineer: Kevin Adams

Carbon Nation’s ESB Charrette and Amory Lovins footage used by permission from the Earth School Educational Foundation, Inc.

Special Thanks to:
The Skyscraper Museum


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


One Response to “Greatest Symbol of American Industry goes Green: The Empire State Building.”

  1. colleen says:

    very interesting thanks I love seeing the Empire State Building from afar my favorite building in NY