UMass Medical School received a 2010 Leading by Example Award from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs at a Statehouse ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 19, in recognition of the school’s successful initiatives to improve energy efficiency and sustainability on campus. The annual award 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, and the UMMS Growing Green program, with its website and e-newsletter “that communicates the importance of sustainability to students and staff.”
“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.” 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. Also recognized with a 2010 Leading by Example Award were the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Fire Services, and the communities of Greenfield, Mashpee, Medford and Northampton.
“This year, Governor Patrick’s Leading by Example Program is once again pleased to honor state and local governments that are setting the pace in the commonwealth’s pursuit of a clean energy future,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles. “From a small town on Cape Cod to state government's largest energy user, this year’s winners have taken steps that will continue to yield huge dividends for Massachusetts taxpayers and our environment for years to come."