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Earlier this month, 8 Massachusetts state agencies, public colleges, municipalities, and public sector individuals were recognized at the State House for their leadership in promoting and implementing clean energy and environmental initiatives at the 10th Annual Leading by Example Awards Ceremony.

State officials celebrated a wide array of programs and efforts undertaken by this year’s award recipients, ranging from greenhouse gas emission reductions, energy efficiency, to water conservation efforts across state and municipal entities – reducing environmental impacts of state and municipal governments.

It was an impressive set of award recipients, all collectively advancing clean energy and sustainability in Massachusetts. Here are the 2016 LBE Award recipients:

State Agency Awardees

Providing healthcare to MA veterans, the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, was recognized for implementing numerous energy efficiency efforts across its campus to reduce environmental impacts, energy, and costs. This includes installing efficient LED lights that improve light-quality for residents, upgrading to high-efficiency pumps, and converting to ‘cool’ white roofs. Through these and other measures, the facility has managed to reduce energy use by some 40% since 2004. Additionally, to advance future efficiency efforts, the Soldiers’ Home also reinvests Demand Response revenue into energy efficiency upgrades.


(L-R) Commissioner Judson, DVS Secretary Ureña, Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Superintendent Bennett Walsh, HSH staff John Fydenkevez, DCAMM Commissioner Gladstone.

Advancing the adoption of electric vehicles and the installation of charging stations at public entities and workplaces, MassDEP’s Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP), was recognized for being key to the Bay State’s alternative transportation progress. Since 2013, MassEVIP has awarded over $2 million in grants for public fleet vehicles at state agencies, campuses, and municipalities, as well as Workplace Charging grants to more than 130 MA employers, supporting 330 EV charging stations, or two-thirds of overall EV charging stations statewide.

Public Higher Education Awardees

Springfield Technical Community College was recognized for actively advancing energy efficiency and sustainability on a campus of historic buildings. This includes improving insulation and windows in historic buildings, upgrading its heating system to save an estimated $200,000 a year, streamlining its shuttle route to save fuel and reduce emissions, connecting the energy-efficient renovation of a historic building to the curriculum, and requiring double-sided printing to reduce paper and save approximately $14,000 a year.


DOER Commissioner Judson (far left), DCAMM Commissioner Gladstone (front row, second from left), and UMass team

The UMass System, representing the 5 UMass campuses, was recognized for effective collaboration through the system-wide UMass Sustainability Council and collective sustainability progress. System-wide achievements include a 14% reduction in GHG emissions despite a 35% growth in building square footage since 2004, the construction of 18 LEED Certified building since 2010, the installation of two of the five largest clean-burning natural gas combined heat and power systems in MA, and the publication of an annual sustainability report with details on energy and environmental progress.

Municipal Awardees

Designated a Green Community in 2010, the Town of Winchester with 22,000 residents, was recognized for implementing energy efficiency and sustainability programs through the collective work of multiple town committees and volunteers. Dozens of projects by the Energy Management Committee have saved over $5 million since 2005, including a 24% natural gas reduction at the Public Library since 2010. The ‘Cool Winchester Senior Energy Grant Program’ helps fund weatherization improvements for residents, saving each an estimated $700 annually in heating costs.



Posters for the municipal, higher-ed, and state agency award recipients

The Town of Needham, population 30,000, was recognized for effectively implementing a range of clean energy and water conservation initiatives. This includes a 3.5 MW landfill solar PV system completed this year, generating about 27% of the Town’s public building demand and resulting in over $500,000 in annual benefits to the town. Over 100 homes have installed solar PV through Solarize Needham and robust water conservation efforts include low-flow fixtures in municipal buildings and the distribution of free water-efficiency kits for residents.


Matt Coogan, a Planner in Gloucester and Essex, was recognized for championing clean energy and energy efficiency initiatives and playing a key role in Green Communities efforts for both communities, including Essex’s recent 2015 designation. Leading efforts to implement efficiency upgrades that save hundreds of thousands of dollars annually at municipal buildings, creating an Energy Reduction Plan for the regional school district, helping Gloucester reduce GHG emissions by 35% since 2009, and leading public outreach efforts on energy issues – Matt is key to the environmental successes of both municipalities.

Julia Wolfe, Director of Environmental Purchasing at the Operational Services Division, was recognized for her accomplishments in reducing the environmental impact associated with the Commonwealth procurement of products and services. Julia’s successes include supporting OSD’s Sourcing Leads to incorporate environmentally preferable products into approximately 50 contracts, leading the multi-state Green Cleaning Products contract sourcing team that reduces environmental impacts and delivers an average 20% cost discount, and earning MA a national award for the procurement of energy-efficient and less toxic computer equipment.

Photos of  the award ceremony and all award recipients are available here.

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