Tuesday, August 22, 2018

Contact: Catherine Tenuta, SBS Press Secretary-, 212-618-8768


Over 1.5 Million Square Feet of Energy-Saving Reflective Rooftop Installations Tallied this Year

Over 9.2 Million Square Feet Installed Since 2009

New York – NYC Department of Small Business Services Commissioner (SBS) Gregg Bishop today announced that a City sustainability initiative has exceeded its annual goal months ahead of schedule. The initiative, called NYC °CoolRoofs, has tallied installation of 1.5 million square feet of energy-saving, reflective rooftops during calendar year 2018, exceeding its annual goal of 1 million square feet. By installing a white, reflective coating on buildings, NYC °CoolRoofs reduces building energy consumption and internal building temperatures during the hot summer months. The initiative also provides local jobseekers with training and paid work experience coating these rooftops. Since the initiative launched in 2009, over 9.2 million square feet of New York City rooftops have been coated.

NYC °CoolRoofs is a partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, and Sustainable South Bronx, a division of The HOPE Program. It is a key component of Cool Neighborhoods NYC, the city’s strategy to help keep New Yorkers safe during extreme heat and protect against the worst impacts of rising temperatures from climate change. NYC °CoolRoofs also supports New York City’s goal to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050 (80 x 50), as outlined in Mayor de Blasio’s One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City.

“Mayor de Blasio has laid out ambitious plans to build both a greener city and a greener workforce,” said J. Phillip Thompson, NYC Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. "The success of programs like NYC CoolRoofs shows that a green economy is an economy that lifts up New Yorkers."

“New York City leads the way as a national model in the fight against climate change and our program is proof that sustainability can benefit a city as a whole,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Surpassing our annual goal for the NYC °CoolRoofs program this far in advance is testament to the City’s commitment to building a more sustainable city for New Yorkers.”

“Reflective roofs keep buildings cooler and clusters of them help to reduce local temperatures in our neighborhoods,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency. “Improvements under the NYC °CoolRoofs program are already paying dividends to New Yorkers across the city, and especially families living in heat-vulnerable areas. We look forward to working with even more building owners and non-profit, affordable housing, and community partners to help keep our city cool and New Yorkers safe and healthy during the hot summer months.”

“The NYC °CoolRoofs program is hitting key goals in our climate fight ahead of schedule while creating jobs for New Yorkers” said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. That’s what success looks like as we fight for a stronger, more sustainable New York City that reflects our values (and the sun) at the same time.”

“It is well documented that New York City's most vulnerable neighborhoods suffer from disproportionate environmental burdens and high unemployment rates. NYC °CoolRoofs addresses these challenges simultaneously,” said Toby Sheppard Bloch, Chief Venture Officer, The HOPE Program and Sustainable South Bronx. “We applaud the City's leadership on these issues and we are proud to work hand-in-hand with the Department of Small Business Services to make New York City more sustainable.”

About NYC °CoolRoofs

NYC °CoolRoofs treats roofs with a specialized coating material that allows the roofs to reflect sunlight which, in turn, reduces heat absorption. This leads to an overall cooler building during the summer months. Installations are provided at no-cost to nonprofits, affordable housing, select cooperatively-owned housing, and select organizations providing public, cultural, or community services. Privately-owned buildings can receive installations at minimal cost. By installing a cool roof, buildings can gain the following:

  • Lower air conditioning costs by 10% to 30%;
  • Up to 30% reduction in internal building temperatures during the summer; And
  • Increased longevity of roof and building cooling equipment.

The initiative provides opportunity for jobseeking New Yorkers to gain experience. Through the ten-week initiative, participants will receive training, 300 hours of paid work experience, and the opportunity to obtain industry-relevant certifications, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 30-hour (OSHA 30) safety certification. Successful graduates will be connected to employment opportunities upon completion of the program.

More information on NYC °CoolRoofs can be found at

About the Department of Small Business Services (SBS)

SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information, visit, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About The HOPE Program and Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx)

HOPE and SSBx empower New Yorkers to build sustainable futures through comprehensive training, jobs, advancement and lifelong career support. Together, these two nonprofits five training tacks which prepare individuals for careers in green construction and maintenance, the food sector or general industries. HOPE and SSBx serve over 450 New Yorkers each year, with offices in Brooklyn and the Bronx, and have earned praise as one of the most effective workforce development providers in the field. To learn more, please visit