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BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today recognized eight Massachusetts state agencies, public colleges, municipalities, and public sector individuals for their leadership in promoting clean energy and environmental initiatives with the 11th annual Leading by Example Awards. Awardees were honored for policies and programs that created significant energy and emissions reductions, renewable energy installations, water conservation, and the implementation of sustainability initiatives that reduce the environmental impacts of state and municipal operations.
The Leading by Example (LBE) program is an office of the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and coordinates clean energy and environmental opportunities at facilities owned and operated by the Commonwealth. The awards were presented at a State House ceremony by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton, DOER Commissioner Judith Judson, and Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance Commissioner Carol Gladstone.
“Massachusetts continues to make historic advances in adopting clean energy and reducing emissions because of the commitment of our partners across state and local government,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The innovations and progress made by today’s award recipients will have positive effects on the Commonwealth for generations to come.”
“Massachusetts’ colleges, universities and municipalities continually lead on energy and environmental innovation,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Our administration is committed to ensuring that the Commonwealth continues to be an example for the positive benefits of adopting clean energy and environmental practices.”
Leading by Example efforts across state government are directly resulting in energy and environmental efficiencies and savings. The Commonwealth has increased the amount of installed solar PV at state facilities from less than 100kW in 2007 to over 21MW in 2017, reduced greenhouse gas emissions 27% since 2004, reduced the use of fuel oil at state facilities by 18 million gallons or 79% since 2006, and has constructed 72 LEED certified buildings since 2006, with 61% at the two highest levels of Gold and Platinum.
“The Leading by Example program provides our partners across state government with the tools necessary to contribute to our shared goals of reducing energy costs and meeting our Global Warming Solutions Act goals,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to building up the impressive progress we’ve made as a Commonwealth towards building a cleaner, more cost-effective, and resilient energy future.”
“MassDOT appreciates the Leading by Example Award which recognizes efforts made by the Highway Division to take steps to address the most pressing environmental challenge of our generation, the reduction of greenhouse gases,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Since Governor Baker issued an Executive Order to strive for lower emissions in the transportation sector and elsewhere, we have launched initiatives to increase collaborations with municipal leaders, encourage the use of electric vehicles and promote more environmentally-friendly travel choices, including a more robust effort to incorporate all modes of travel in our road and bridge project designs.”
“We are very proud of these colleges’ efforts to help the Commonwealth meet its clean energy goals,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a very impressive accomplishment, and Roxbury Community College’s campus-wide energy project shows a dedicated commitment to good environmental practices.”
LBE Awards were presented to the Department of Fish and Game and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Highway Division in the state agency category, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Roxbury Community College in the public higher education category, the Town of Lexington’s Sustainable Lexington Committee and the Town of Sterling and Sterling Municipal Light Plant in the municipal category, and Kate Crosby of the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District and Alex Giannantonio, Cheryl Cushman and Karen Rasnick, of the state Office of Vehicle Management in the individual category.
“Today’s award winners are at the forefront of innovative energy program and project development that are resulting in reduced costs and emissions,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “State and municipal entities continue to be invaluable partners with the Commonwealth as we work to meet our clean energy objectives.”
“In partnership with DOER, DCAMM continues to make strides in reducing our energy footprint at our state buildings, and we are delighted to see some of these efforts recognized today,” said DCAMM Commissioner Carol Gladstone. “These tremendous partnerships between state agencies will ensure Massachusetts remains a leader in energy efficiency.”
“The Department of Fish and Game is proud to be recognized with the Leading by Example award for our efforts in promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy production, and conservation of water and open space,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Ron Amidon. “We are also very grateful for the technical and financial assistance provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Energy Resources that informs and supports these endeavors.”
State Agency Awardees
The Department of Fish and Game is receiving a recognition award for renewable thermal projects at several sites, collaboration with multiple state agencies to promote pollinator-friendly habitats, and for its Westborough office building with an innovative zero net energy design.
Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Highway Division is receiving a recognition award for extensive solar installations along the Mass Pike and solar canopy in Hopkinton – totaling 4.4MW, enhancing the Commonwealth’s electric vehicle charging station network with charging stations at six Mass Pike service plazas, and implementing sustainable landscaping practices requiring less mowing in highway medians.
Public Higher Education Awardees
The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is receiving a recognition award for clean energy and sustainability initiatives resulting in a 19% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions despite a 14% growth in campus square footage, expansion of onsite combined heat and power systems, and elimination of potable water for landscaping.
Roxbury Community College is receiving a recognition award for the completion of a ‘tri-level’ energy project on campus this year that includes a 937kW solar canopy, electric vehicle charging stations, geothermal wells under the parking lot, and the use of environmentally preferable cleaning products.
The Town of Lexington’s Sustainable Lexington Committee, which is a Green Community, is receiving a recognition award for a home energy assessment program that has covered 25% of the town’s homes this year, achieving 2.2MW of solar installed at the town’s closed landfill site, the recent expansion of the town’s composting facility capacity with less land, and the addition of new bicycle and pedestrian paths.
The Town of Sterling and Sterling Municipal Light Plant is receiving a recognition award for its innovative installation of the first utility-scale battery storage project in New England that serves as a model to other municipalities and utilities nationally, reducing municipal building energy use by 15%, and deploying an advanced water metering system.
Public Sector Individual Awardees
Kate Crosby, an Energy Manager for the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, is receiving an individual recognition award for extensive clean energy and sustainability initiatives resulting in a 13% electricity reduction in the last two years. Her efforts include authoring a nationally-recognized white paper on behavior-based energy conservation strategies for K-12 schools, and holding regular workshops with students studying energy.
Alex Giannantonio, Cheryl Cushman and Karen Rasnick of the Office of Vehicle Management are receiving an individual recognition award for championing fuel efficiency and fuel cost savings across the Executive Branch vehicle fleet to implement the Commonwealth’s Fuel Efficiency Standard through engaging agency partners in an extensive feedback process, collaboration, outreach, and more.
“I’m very proud that the Commonwealth has chosen to recognize Sustainable Lexington for its leadership in implementing innovative energy initiatives to promote a healthier environment for all,” said State Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington). “By transitioning to cleaner energy sources and making substantial efforts to address rising energy costs, the committee has played an integral role in ensuring that Massachusetts continues to lead in sustainability and clean energy efficiency.”
“I would like to congratulate the Town of Sterling on their receipt of this prestigious award and their ability to serve as a role model to other municipalities,” said State Representative Kimberly Ferguson (R-Holden). “I commend the Town and the Sterling Municipal Light Department on installing the state’s first utility-scale battery storage project and their commitment to sustainability and innovation.”
“We are incredibly proud of Sterling for leading the way to a more energy efficient and clean Commonwealth,” said Representative Harold Naughton, Jr. (D-Clinton). “Sterling is taking an advanced and tech savvy path toward energy conservation by installing the first utility-scale battery storage project in New England. Municipalities like Sterling are setting an example throughout the state and country and I couldn't be more proud to represent such an innovative community.”
“Today we honor MCLA for their innovative and impactful clean energy and sustainability initiatives,” said State Senator Adam Hinds (D-Pittsfield). “Their contributions to the Commonwealth are undeniably vital to helping the state reduce our energy costs, usage, and emissions, as we strive for a clean energy future. It is so important that public institutions like MCLA be recognized for their great achievements in energy and environmental affairs, to set a precedent for others to follow.”
“I applaud Roxbury Community College for implementing such an innovative and forward-thinking capital project,” said State Representative Liz Malia (D-Jamaica Plain). “Installing this tri-level energy project has promoted good-paying Massachusetts clean energy jobs, and it will facilitate significant taxpayer savings by reducing the college's energy costs.”
“I want to congratulate Roxbury Community College for the creative and innovative installations of an award-winning project that will power the institution for many years to come,” said State Representative Russell Holmes (D-Mattapan).
Currently, 185 Massachusetts cities and towns are designated as Green Communities, with 64% of the Commonwealth’s residents living in one of the designated municipalities.