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In addition, Earth Day menus at the Getty cafes feature "low-carbon" meals for staff and guests, with education on how to change your diet to cool the planet

April 22, 2008

LOS ANGELES—The Getty Center celebrates Earth day today by unveiling its new Silver-level LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environment Design) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and a “low-carbon” menu in its cafes that helps guests make food choices that minimize climate change.

In 2005, the Getty Center became the first facility in the country to be awarded LEED certification for an existing building, earning its Bronze certification in the first days of the formal LEED program.  The Getty earned its new, higher Silver Certification this month by increasing its efforts to minimize waste and energy use beyond the 2005 levels.  Administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is the nation’s most widely recognized and accepted green building rating system.

The Getty’s efforts have resulted in a 33 percent reduction in water use for irrigation and a 10 percent reduction in energy use since 2001, for a total savings of $500,000 a year.  Those savings were achieved by measures including:

• A herd of goats comes to the Center each spring to clear brush and reduce fire danger on the hillside.  The Getty recycles an additional 357 tons of green waste that the goats don’t eat!

• Carpool/vanpool programs and extensive alternative transportation incentives reduce employee trips.  Last year, the J. Paul Getty Trust was nationally recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation as one of the “Best Workplaces for Commuters” for providing excellent commuter benefits to staff.

• The Getty recycles 148 tons of general waste and 47 tons of construction waste; in all, the Getty recycles half its total waste.

• Staff uses high-recycled content paper products; Getty kitchen pantries are stocked with reusable glass and china, rather than disposable cups and plates.

• The design of the Getty Center maximizes the use of natural light. 

• Thousands of incandescent lamps have been replaced with compact fluorescent lamps that use nearly 80 percent less electricity; exit signs were updated with LED lamps that have a long life and use little energy.

• Lighting schedules were reduced in buildings when no staff or visitors were present; lighting on the lower levels of the parking structure are timed to coincide with the later arrival of cars on the lower levels

• The Getty Center uses efficient irrigation techniques and more drought tolerant plants

• Air filtration systems remove high levels of particulate inside the buildings

• Underground parking reduces heat islands on site.

• Green roofs on parking garages and offices reduce heat on both the surfaces and in the buildings below.

• Maintenance personnel receive 24 hours of training annually, and use low-impact cleaning and pest management practices.

• The Getty Center limits sound levels, to reduce noise pollution; outdoor lighting is shielded to minimize light pollution in the night sky.

“Getty Center staff, contractors, and volunteers have created an environment that holds both art and nature in reverence,” says Jim Wood, the Getty Trust’s President and CEO.  “I am very proud of the enthusiasm and commitment everyone has brought to this effort.”

To strengthen the Getty’s efforts, Getty Center employees recently formed “Green Getty,” an active group dedicated to sharing ideas on furthering environmental efforts both at work and at home.  Thanks to participants, further energy savings on site have been identified and implemented. The group also schedules prominent speakers on sustainability and recently launched a book club – the first book is the environmental classic Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.

Bon Appétit Management Company, which provides food service at both the Getty Center and the Getty Villa, gives Getty staff and visitors more opportunities to minimize their carbon footprint with the new Low Carbon Diet program.  Bon Appétit recently introduced menu choices that minimize the greenhouse gas emissions from producing, processing, packaging, and shipping the food we eat.  Signs in the cafe educate diners about changes they can make in their own diets that help reduce climate change.

Having earned Silver certification at the Center, the Getty has also launched a campaign to earn LEED certification for the Getty Villa in Malibu, which was originally built in 1974 and reopened in 2006 after an extensive remodeling (a building must be open for two years to qualify for LEED certification as an existing building).  The Villa already features many of the systems in place at the Getty Center, including green roofs, underground parking, recycling programs, and more.  In addition, the Villa maintains legally protected habitats for monarch butterflies and protects native trees and seasonal nesting sites for raptors.

“We are well on our way to earning certification at the Villa,” said Wood, “and we are committed to creating an environment at the Getty that is healthy for staff, visitors, and the planet.”

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Julie Jaskol
Getty Communications

About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

Sign up for e-Getty at to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit our event calendar for a complete calendar of public programs.

Visiting the Getty Center: The Getty Center is open Tuesday through Friday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed Monday and major holidays. Admission to the Getty Center is always free. Parking is $15 per car, but free after 5pm on Saturdays and for evening events throughout the week. No reservation is required for parking or general admission. Reservations are required for event seating and groups of 15 or more. Please call 310-440-7300 (English or Spanish) for reservations and information. The TTY line for callers who are deaf or hearing impaired is 310-440-7305. The Getty Center is at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California.