UMass System Recognized for Environmental Leadership

UMass Amherst Combined Heating and Power plant.
UMass Amherst Combined Heating and Power plant.

The UMass system, representing the five UMass campuses, was honored for leadership in promoting and implementing clean energy and environmental initiatives at the 10th annual Leading by Example Awards ceremony on Dec. 8 at the State House.

Noted in the award was the UMass Amherst Combined Heating and Power plant and a similar plant at UMass Medical School in Worcester. They are two of the five largest clean-burning natural gas combined heat and power systems in Massachusetts.

Overall, the UMass system was recognized for effective collaboration through the system-wide UMass Sustainability Council and collective sustainability progress.

System-wide achievements include a 14 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions despite a 35 percent growth in building square footage since 2004; the construction of 18 LEED Certified buildings since 2010; and the publication of an annual sustainability report with details on energy and environmental progress.

Leading by Example Awards also went to the Soldier’s Home in Holyoke, the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Electric Vehicle Incentive Program, Springfield Technical Community College, the towns of Winchester and Needham and two individuals: Matt Coogan, a planner in Gloucester and Essex, and Julia Wolfe, director of environmental purchasing at the Operational Services Division.