Country-City Sustainability Connections Grow through New York’s Use of Biodiesel & Biobased Products

May 2013 - Battery Park & Harlem Applebee’s Recognized

See images from the event

New York, NY – New York City’s sustainability efforts are getting a boost from America’s soybean farmers and innovative manufacturers. The United Soybean Board (USB) and Empire Clean Cities are working together this week to recognize how New Yorkers are reducing dependence on foreign oil, gaining environmental benefits and creating American jobs.

“America’s soybean growers are excited to support many positive connections and products that bring benefits to New York City residents,” said Sharon Covert, an Illinois farmer and USB Customer Focus Action Team chair. “New York is a leader with biodiesel used in thousands of vehicles and buildings. Now soy-backed turf is newly installed at Battery Park and New York’s first LEED Gold certified restaurant chose soy-backed carpet. The United Soybean Board is pleased state-of-the art products, such as biodiesel, Signature Carpet and AstroTurf, use soy as a rapidly renewable ingredient for sustainability.”

Battery Park City Authority President and Chief Operating Officer Demetrious A. Boutris (at podium) spoke along with representatives of AstroTurf, United Soybean Board, Empire Clean Cities and others.          Photo credit. E. Barroso“Empire Clean Cities has long supported biodiesel and Bioheat® in New York so biobased products are a natural next step for our efforts to reduce petroleum dependency and improve the environment for all of us who live and breathe in this region,” said Executive Director Christina Ficicchia. “New York’s environmental and energy goals converge with America’s soybean farmers and the companies that are inventing exciting new uses of soybeans.”

New York’s greenhouse gas reduction strategy includes use of biodiesel and Bioheat® (biodiesel blended with heating oil). The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as well as New York Parks and Recreation use biodiesel in thousands of vehicles. The City’s B2 mandate for Bioheat® went into effect in Oct 2012.

Since 2001, USB has worked to educate federal agencies about the role of soy in thousands of biobased products, ranging from carpet backing to cleaning supplies to roof coatings, that help federal agencies meet requirements for the U.S. Department of Agriculture BioPreferred® program as well as federal executive orders. As a result, Yellowstone National Park, the Pentagon building, Smithsonian Institution and many others use biobased products.

To share how Yellowstone National Park’s sustainability programs have benefited from biobased products and biodiesel, Empire Clean Cities will feature Jim Evanoff as the keynote speaker at its 5th Annual Stakeholders Meeting held in conjunction with New York City Parks and Recreation’s 25th Annual Vehicle and Equipment Show. Evanoff will describe experiences as an early adopter of biodiesel and biobased products at America’s first National Park.

Each year, U.S. soybean growers plant about 75 million acres of soybeans, offering an abundant and rapidly renewable source of ingredients that are helping revitalize U.S. Photo credit. E. Barrosomanufacturing. Consumers win with product choices that can curb dependence on foreign oil as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Soy biobased products can also offer environmental and health benefits, such as lower VOCs, less exposure to toxic chemicals as well as irritation from odors, and more.

May 28-30 marks USB’s first biobased products outreach in New York City. Covert and USB Oil Action Team Chair Lewis Bainbridge, a South Dakota soybean grower, will join Empire Clean Cities representatives at iconic Battery Park and an environmentally progressive Applebee’s Restaurant in Harlem. Empire Clean Cities will present an award to leaders at both locations recognizing their foresight and leadership in incorporating the use of biobased products. The USB representatives will also visit installation of a new AstroTurf field at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The Harlem Applebee’s is the first LEED Gold restaurant in New York--soy-backed carpet contributed to achievement of that designation.  The restaurant installed Signature Crypton Carpet’s Yellowstone Collection, which contains a soy-based backing system from Universal Textile Technologies (UTT). The company combines soybean oil with recycled bottles collected at Yellowstone National Park, providing both environmental and energy security benefits. Learn more about the sustainable carpet here.Photo credit. E. Barroso

Battery Park
Perched on the southern tip of Manhattan just two blocks from the nearly completed One World Trade Center, New York City’s Battery Park completed the installation of three new soy-backed AstroTurf® fields in April 2013. AstroTurf’s unique fiber coating is made with soy-based polymers that displace a portion of the traditional petroleum-based polymers. The 83,000 square foot field was installed after Superstorm Sandy destroyed the original artificial surface installed just one year earlier.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Flushing Meadows Corona Park is best known as the site of two World's Fairs. The largest park in Queens, it offers numerous recreational facilities – including AstroTurf baseball and soccer fields.  Like those in Battery Park, these fields also contain a soy-based polymer that replaces a portion of the petroleum in the turf.

“There are many opportunities for greater use of biobased products and biodiesel in New York and we look forward to forging a strong partnership with both public and private sectors,” Covert said.
Please visit – for detailed information about soy-based products. For more information about biodiesel, go to

The 69 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit
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