Growing Green at the Statehouse
The Medical School was honored recently at the Massachusetts Statehouse with the presentation of a 2010 Leading by Example Award from the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs in recognition of the school’s successful initiatives to improve energy efficiency and sustainability on campus.
The annual awards program recognizes state entities that have made important strides in helping the commonwealth achieve an energy efficient and sustainable future. “This is a wonderful recognition of the commitment and hard work of so many people across our campus who understand the importance of seeking efficiencies and sustainability in our daily operations,” said John T. Baker, associate vice chancellor of facilities management. “From the chancellor’s office to the front-line staff, we are committed as an institution to sustainability, and we’re making progress because the entire community helps. I believe that’s at the heart of what we have achieved to date.”
The Medical School was recognized for a wide range of initiatives, including cutting the consumption of 900,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil by switching to natural gas at the campus power plant; building a new, state-of-the-art “green” data center that uses 40 percent less energy than the old data center; switching to an electronic pay stub program for 6,600 employees; instituting innovative recycling and waste reduction efforts, such as donating kitchen food waste to a local pig farmer and recycling cooking oil for biofuels; and donating surplus office furniture and equipment to local nonprofit organizations. The award announcement also praised the school’s robust annual Earth Day event that attracted more than 1,000 people this year.
“It’s been an exciting year for sustainability and Growing Green at the Medical School,” said Melissa Lucas, sustainability and energy manager, who joined Baker in accepting the award. “The real winners here are the people on our Sustainability Committee and the activists across campus who are stepping up and making better choices about how they use resources. And we all know that we still have a lot of work to do to maintain progress on our sustainability goals, so I hope this award inspires others to get involved.”
The Leading by Example Program (LBE) was established in April 2007 by Governor Deval Patrick’s Executive Order No. 484, “Leading by Example—Clean Energy and Efficient Buildings.” The order establishes ambitious energy efficiency standards and goals for the operation of state buildings to advance clean energy and efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. In addition, the LBE program promotes sustainability activities within state government, including waste reduction, water conservation, green buildings, alternative fuels, efficient transportation and recycling.