Helping area businesses and organizations reduce their environmental impacts and operating costs through education, collaboration and technical assistance.


The Devens Eco-Efficiency Center hosts periodic workshops that are open to members and the public.  The sessions are free for members.  Check back here regularly for the next workshop.



Below is a resource library of past educational workshops and training sessions.  If there is a topic you are interested in learning more about, contact us.


Workshop Resource Library

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*Click here to view a PDF file of a portion of this slide presentation




Lean and Clean Manufacturing

Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) representatives facilitated this special half day workshop that enabled attendees to learn how to improve the efficiency of their operations as well as reduce their ecological footprint. Mock production lines in a clock manufacturing company provided a setting to demonstrate how small changes in operational and organizational processes can yield more efficient outcomes.  Exercises addressed inventory maintenance, material flow, floor layout, and other key components of an operation.  EPA NE, who helped organize the event, provided CDs with a “Lean and the Environment” toolkit and training modules for additional self-paced training and MEP distributed information on how to schedule onsite evaluations and trainings.

Responding to Climate Change Concerns Students from the Francis W. Parker Charter School in Devens were inspirational presenters for this challenging topic. They began with an overview of how our daily activities are affecting the earth’s climate and what “business as usual” could mean for our future. Then they switched gears to highlight steps that businesses and individuals can take to decrease their carbon footprint.  These actions required little or no cost and in many cases would result in cost savings. One student used an on-line carbon calculator to demonstrate how emissions would be decreased by changing a light bulb and lowering the thermostat. Another shared examples of how much pollution could be avoided by driving less and eliminating unnecessary idling. When attendees shared what changes they were going to make as a result of what they had learned, the students responded with “You guys rock!”  What more inspiration do you need?

Energy Efficiency: A Real Turn On!

Alan Mulak, who has more than 30 years of experience in the field of energy conservation and engineering, reviewed the fundamentals of energy efficiency, the value of bench-marking building performance, and how to improve a facility’s energy efficiency. Mulak referred to project examples to demonstrate the typical cost-savings and quick pay-back period associated with upgrades and investments.  Participants learned about motion and heat sensors, LED exit signs, variable speed motors, infrared heat, and energy management systems.  Paul Mallet, president of Northern Energy, also contributed to the session by reviewing various lighting technologies, their most appropriate uses, and related efficiency gains.  All of the products highlighted can lower utility bills, improve operating conditions, and decrease the pollution associated with energy production!

Recycling is in!

Employees of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) led this session, which focused on the state’s waste bans and the key components of an effective recycling program.  A representative from one of EcoStar’s member businesses, Jeff Schwarz from Image Software Services, Inc., shared how their recycling program cut the company’s waste management costs in half.  Participants also learned about the newly launched EcoStar Exchange website where members can post re-usable items and materials that other businesses may have a purpose for.  This tool provides a forum for members to keep re-usable items out of the waste stream and save money.  The site can also be used to organize joint purchasing and training initiatives, so businesses can acquire products and services at a group rate, resulting in cost-savings and reduced deliveries.

*Recycle—Reuse—Save! - September 2007

This workshop focused on waste reduction strategies to promote efficiency, decrease disposal costs, and keep materials out of the landfill.  This session highlighted alternative methods to manage waste streams, including the EcoStar Exchange; NEW services available at the Devens DPW to recycle electronics, metals, bulky items, Styrofoam, and more.  Members were given the opportunity to obtain 2 FREE 96-gallon totes— helping to eliminate current rental fees and strengthen recycling efforts to collect paper, bottles and cans.  After the session, members took a tour of the new Devens Recycling Center.  This construction and demolition waste recycling facility can handle up to 1,500 tons of asphalt, brick, concrete, wood, etc., per day and is the largest facility of its kind in the U.S.

The Great Exchange! - November 2007

This innovative workshop brought together a number of member businesses to explore partnership opportunities to gain efficiencies, reduce operational costs, reduce and re-direct waste material flows, as well as joint purchasing and joint service opportunities.  The event was a great success, with a total of 32 people participating from over 20 local businesses and organizations.  Offers and requests included packaging materials, towels, wood waste, mixed PET plastics, OSHA training and storage space.  Learn more about the Great Exchange!. 

Campaigning for Energy Conservation—February 2008

This workshop reviewed the basics of no cost opportunities to decrease utility bills and provided participants with and overview of the components of a successful conservation campaign to assist in engaging employees in "power down" strategies.  Workshop participants also learned about how EcoStar can assist organizations in developing their internal campaign.  For more information on this workshop and the wealth of resources presented, click here.

Green Building and the Bottom Line: the business case for sustainable building design — June 2008

This workshop was held at Fidelity Bank’s new headquarters which was designed and constructed using the New Buildings Institute’s “Advanced Buildings Benchmark” rating system.  Participants discussed the benefits of sustainable building design and how it affects the triple-bottom line (economy, environment, social) and learned about Fidelity’s decision to “go green” and the results to-date.  The workshop closed with an interactive tour of the building.  Click here for to view select slides.

Tour of Evergreen Solar — Sept. 2009

24 EcoStar members got a chance to tour the new 180MW Solar photovoltaic panel manufacturing facility at Devens.  Evergreen Solar's state of the art manufacturing facility was an exciting opportunity to learn how solar panels are made. The facility is three football fields long, so there was a lot to see.  Participants learned how this growing technology works first-hand from the Environmental Health and Safety Director for Evergreen—Wayne Wirtanen..  Click here for to view select slides from the presentation.

Building O&M Best Practices — Nov. 2009

Energy Consultant Alan Mulak facilitated a comprehensive two-hour workshop for building managers and facility engineers.  The presentation included a review of money-saving practices, including reactive and preventative maintenance, building commissioning and tune-up, strategies for boilers, steam traps, chillers, air compressors, lighting and more.  Click here for to view select slides from the presentation.  Attendees also received a list of recommended valuable resources available on the internet.  Click here to view the list.

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Composting for Commercial Food Service Providers—April 2012

The Devens Eco-Efficiency Center, in partnership with the Center for EcoTechnology, hosted a workshop on composting and its cost/benefits, how you can start your own composting program, and some of the tools and resources available to assist you in your efforts.  The workshop included a tour of the Hilton’s Great American Grill Restaurant kitchen to see a composting program “in action.”.  Click here for to view select slides from the presentation.  Go to our new COMPOSTING webpage for more details.