DEVENS ECO-EFFICIENCY CENTER
Helping area businesses and organizations reduce their environmental impacts and operating costs through education, collaboration and technical assistance.
To promote sustainable development by integrating economic, social and environmental needs while maintaining and enhancing the natural resource base in the Devens area.
EcoStar was launched in 2005 to enable businesses and organizations in the Devens (MA) area to gain eco-efficiencies by pursuing strategies that improve environmental and economic performances. This environmental achievement and branding program provides educational forums and technical assistance, as well as networking and partnering opportunities that result in pollution prevention initiatives, such as waste and toxics use reduction, water and energy efficiency, recycling, and purchasing of environmentally preferable products.
EcoStar, Devens and the Eco-Industrial Park Concept:
Building on the redevelopment successes at Devens, the EcoStar program evolved from the Devens Industrial Ecology Project—a project that connects and improves relationships among companies in Devens, improves economic development for the region, and helps preserves existing natural resources for generations to come. The Applying Industrial Ecology to Devens report summarizes research undertaken by the Industrial Ecology Project's lead agency, the Devens Enterprise Commission, to learn about industrial ecology and how it can help businesses perform more efficiently and meet the reuse goal of a sustainable redevelopment of Devens.
Businesses in eco-industrial park settings work together to share information, knowledge and resources to optimize resource efficiency as well as reduce environmental impacts. The EcoStar program facilitates these types of opportunities.
EcoStar members are a community network of businesses, organizations, and citizens guided by a common vision of integrating economic, social and environmental needs that collectively seek to:
· Build co-operative long-term partnerships to conserve resources, eliminate waste and reduce pollution;
· Commit to the continuous improvement of processes, products, and business practices through innovative approaches to improved environmental performance;
· Protect the ecological integrity and biodiversity of the area through environmental stewardship;
· Strengthen accountability beyond legal requirements to include product, service and land stewardship as well as more open communication and responsiveness to all stakeholders;
· Work together and assist one another to raise environmental awareness, establish a high set of environmental standards, and share efforts with other businesses, organizations and residents in the local community;
· Become a mentor and model of sustainable industrial ecology, working in synergy with the environment.
For additional information on the Eco-Industrial Park concept click here.
EcoStar at a Glance:
· Voluntary – non-regulatory and non-prescriptive, pro-business and pro-environment;
· Monthly workshops, quarterly roundtables, recycling and energy conservation assistance
· A conduit for education, information exchange, and technical assistance;
· Businesses can meet 15 of 25 performance “Standards” to earn EcoStar Achiever status;
· Recognizes businesses for outstanding environmentally sound performance practices.
Goals of the Program:
· Advance sustainable business practices;
· Promote continuous improvement and innovation;
· Enable ecological and economical efficiencies;
· Advance environmental stewardship;
· Strengthen accountability;
· Facilitate partnerships;
· Serve the local community;
· Be a model.
Benefits of becoming an EcoStar Member:
· Copy of the EcoStar Action Guide that describes approaches to improve performance;
· Allows members to identify and set relevant goals for sustainability;
· Free registration for monthly training workshops and technical assistance;
· Business to business networking and linkages within the Devens area;
· Access to EcoStar Exchange – an on-line tool for redirecting, securing and/or reusing items;
· Public recognition and rights to the EcoStar logo for branding advantages for Achievers;
· Cost-savings from improved efficiencies (e.g., energy and waste management cost savings);
· Improved health and safety of employees and community.
Member: Join the program and support EcoStar in concept;
Participant: Members who attend workshops, and actively work to meet standards;
Achiever: Participants who have incorporated and documented 15 standards, undergone review and have been recognized publicly as EcoStar Achiever.
Results to date:
A major benefit of the EcoStar program for businesses is the networking and information sharing provided which can increase efficiency, reduce costs and minimize environmental impacts. The following are some examples of how current participants are meeting sustainability goals and improving their operations and business through the EcoStar program:
Energy Efficiency and Conservation (Standard 10): In 2005, Southern Container Corporation invited two interns from Worcester Polytechnic Institute to evaluate and develop recommendations to increase boiler efficiency. These recommendations have been implemented and are conserving energy. In addition, the Devens Department of Public Works has incorporated several energy efficiency strategies into the design of their new facility, including efficient lighting and a radiant heating system in the garage work areas. The efforts qualified for a significant rebate from Keyspan.
Material Reuse (Standard 13): Eglomise Designs, Inc., a leading provider of commemorative gifts for colleges and universities, is always striving to salvage and reuse materials. Packing materials received in deliveries are reused in shipments to customers. Unusable stationery and excess cardboard are donated to schools for art classes and imperfect parts are sold for craft use. This reuse of materials minimizes the amount of waste sent to the landfill and also saves the company money. Their commemorative clocks use waste glass from their mirrors as a counterweight, instead of lead. This reuses what was previously a waste material and eliminates the need for lead in the product.
Recycling (Standard 14): Image Software Services, Inc. (ISS) has implemented a recycling program that has reduced their waste considerably. Prior to implementation, ISS had a 30 cubic-yard dumpster and compactor. Recycling has allowed ISS to eliminate the compactor and decrease their dumpster size to a 4 cubic-yard dumpster. This has resulted in significant cost savings for ISS as they have eliminated the rental fee for the compactor and reduced their dumpster fee by using a smaller size. Re-use of packing materials has further reduced their waste and also provided cost savings.
Water Conservation (Standard 9): Devens Development LLC, has integrated water conservation measures into the design of their facilities. Most notably, roof run-off will be collected on-site in a cistern and used for irrigation of landscaping and lawns. The Devens Department of Public Works has incorporated a water reclamation system into the design of the department’s new vehicle wash-down station. This system collects and reuses rinse water for vehicle washing.
For more on the EcoStar Standards and what member organizations are doing to become more sustainable click here. For specific inquiries, contact Dona Neely, Director of the Devens Eco-Efficiency Center.
Devens Eco-Efficiency Center
33 Andrews Parkway
Devens, Massachusetts, USA 01434
Phone: 978.772.8831 x3304 Fax: 978.772.1529
The Devens Eco-Efficiency Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, established in 2007. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.