WRSE wins Mayor Menino’s 2009 Green Residential Leadership Award

April 16 press release following Awards Ceremony

Visit the Boston Green Awards site

WRSE wins Green Residential Leadership Award

WRSE Steering Committee members with Mayor Menino, left to right: Ray Porfilio, Rickie Harvey, Parker Porfilio, Gretchen O'Neill, and Karen Sauer. (Photo courtesy City of Boston)

Office of the Mayor
Thomas M. Menino

Mayor’s Third Annual Green Awards celebrate Boston’s sustainable leaders

Awards honor residents, businesses, and bike-friendly businesses for helping to “green” the City

Mayor Thomas M. Menino today honored numerous residents and businesses for their commitment to promoting environmentally sustainable practices in the City of Boston during the Third Annual Mayor’s Green Awards. The awards ceremony was hosted by the Boston Children’s Museum, which received a 2008 Green Award and has been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council with LEED Gold Certification for incorporating many elements of green design. For the second consecutive year, the Mayor’s Green Awards included a separate category for bike-friendly businesses in Boston. In total, the awards honored 3 residential leaders, 11 businesses, 4 hotels, and 33 bike-friendly businesses, including 2 that received special recognition.

“The breadth of the winners in all categories is only surpassed by the range of actions you are taking to mitigate climate change,” Mayor Menino said. “Whether they promote healthy and sustainable food sources, provide great eco-tourism options, use renewable energy and green cleaning products, or recycle, today’s winners demonstrate that we can all do our part to continue to make Boston more sustainable.”

The Mayor’s Green Residential Awards recognize residents and residential organizations in Boston that are committed to sustainable living. Winners in this category demonstrate exemplary sustainable practices in their community and in their homes. 2009 Green Residential Award winners include:

Leadership Award: West Roxbury Saves Energy – West Roxbury

West Roxbury Saves Energy is a community based organization committed to promoting ways that individuals can easily save money and protect the environment. Their website, www.westroxburysavesenergy.org, provides excellent information, including 10 easy actions that will save money and energy.

Waste Reduction Award: Joseph Porcelli and Dan Goldsbury – Jamaica Plain

Joseph and Dan’s passion for the environment and their community led them to establish The Mug Project. They have reached out to individuals and organizations to reduce waste by using reusable mugs instead of single-serve beverage containers. Their commitment to this issue has not wavered, as they have spread the word throughout Boston to help people realize how much unnecessary waste is generated by using single-serve containers.

Green Home Conservation Award: Walter Hope and Jeff Doretti – Charlestown

Walter and Jeff live on a 50’ boat at a marina in Charlestown, giving them a unique perspective on the environment. They have incorporated green cleaning methods both inside and outside of their boat, including laundry, dishes and the boat wash. The boat is powered by ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and utilizes recycled oil. Lighting is provided by LED and florescent lighting, and Walter and Jeff recycle, of course!

Green Business Awards were given to 11 businesses and 4 hotels that demonstrated extraordinary performance related to sustainable environmental practices. 2009 winners of the Mayor’s Green Business Awards include:

Lights Out Boston – Downtown business

Lights out Boston (LOB) is a partnership between the City of Boston, large property owners, and Mass Audubon to turn off architectural and non-essential, internal lighting at night during the bird migratory seasons. LOB can reduce the amount of electricity that a building uses for lighting, and the associated electricity costs, by up to 25%. The program also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide, associated with the production of electricity. Buildings committed to this program save money, reduce the risks of climate change, and protect wildlife.

Boston Green Building – Allston

Allston-based Boston Green Building is a new residential construction company focused on using sustainable and green alternatives to conventional construction development. Their own building features recycled materials, renewable energy generation, and a rainwater collection system.

Boston Sand & Gravel – Charlestown

A local company with a maintenance garage in Charlestown, Boston Sand & Gravel recently completed an energy efficiency retrofit that reduced energy consumption by 81%. The company worked with Nexamp, Inc. to identify and implement a clean energy plan to reduce energy use. This reduction was achieved by installing more energy efficient lighting and the state’s first 100kW+ solar energy system on the facility’s roof.

City Feed and Supply – Jamaica Plain

City Feed and Supply is a local sustainable grocery and retail shop in Jamaica Plaint that reflects and serves the needs of the neighborhood that sustains it. The store thrives on being a pedestrian market in a dense urban area with nearby public transportation. City Feed provides healthy food from local producers and works to build and maintain relationships with its employees, customers and vendors to better the local community.

Equal Exchange Café – Bulfinch Triangle

Equal Exchange has been a leader in the fair trade movement with chocolate and coffee producers, and now offers a long list of organic and locally sourced foods. They recently opened their first major retail location in the Bullfinch Triangle near North Station. The café employed low-impact construction methods, and the company is committed to recycling and composting, as well as using green cleaning products.

Hostelling International – Fenway

Hostelling International’s Boston office in Fenway has committed itself to a series of green initiatives, including the purchase of fair trade coffee, eliminating paper products in the kitchen, and offering “in-room” recycling to guests, in addition to using low-flow water fixtures. The hostel shares these initiatives with over 30,000 guests annually.

Katsiroubas Bros. – Newmarket Square

This family-owned wholesale fruit and produce distributor in Newmarket Square is a member of the Sustainable Business Leader program. By implementing the findings of a company energy audit, Katsiroubas Bros. have dramatically reduced their energy use, saving over $13,000 per year. The business has reduced its carbon emissions by eliminating two truck runs per day, while also shifting its fleet to idle-free vehicles with automatic shutoff capacities.

Nitsch Engineering – Leather District

Located in the Leather District, Nitsch has been leading the engineering community in sustainable practices for over 10 years. As a member of the Sustainable Business Leader Program, Nitsch Engineering has been aggressively greening its own office as well by eliminating the use of paper and plastic in the kitchen, upgrading its lighting system, and working with the property’s landlord to embrace building-specific green practices. The company’s goal is to become carbon-neutral.

OMBE – Back Bay

OMBE is a health center in Back Bay that synergizes Eastern and Western medical techniques. Also a member of the Sustainable Business Leader program, the company has created a healthy environment for its customers by using green cleaning products, implementing a rigorous recycling program, and promoting energy-neutral policies.

Studio G Architects – Jamaica Plain

Located in Jamaica Plain, Studio G Architects promotes the use of sustainable design in its work and at its office. The company helps clients maximize natural light, minimize water use, build with recycled materials, and be as energy efficient as possible. Studio G highlights this commitment at its office, a transit oriented location in a historic building, by taking a leading role in getting building tenants to recycle.

As part of the Green Business Awards, Mayor Menino also gave special recognition to Dan Ruben of Boston Green Tourism for his continued work to green hotels and promote environmentally sustainable practices among businesses. The hotels that received recognition included the Colonnade Hotel in Back Bay, the Eliot Hotel in Back Bay, the Hyatt Regency in the Financial District, and the Westin Copley in Back Bay. Urban AdvenTours, a downtown waterfront business offering guided bicycle tours of Boston as well as bike rentals also received special recognition as a green tourism business.

For a second year in a row, Mayor Menino honored bike-friendly businesses in Boston in a separate award category. These businesses have adopted practices that make bicycling more accessible for costumers and employees. 33 businesses received recognition for being bike-friendly, while 2 businesses received special recognition as part of the Green Bike-friendly Business Awards. Special recognition went to:

Most Improved over 2008: Urban AdvenTours – Downtown Waterfront

Urban AdvenTours nearly doubled its bike-friendly score since the 2008 Green Awards. Improvements since 2008 include opening a storefront in the heart of the tourist district, which makes bikes accessible for tourists, offering a guaranteed ride home program that uses a bio-fuel bus, and plans to generate a map of bike tours for visitors to Boston.

Most Bike Friendly Business: Landry’s Bicycles – Allston

Landry’s total of 19 points on a scale of 20 for bike-friendliness exemplifies why they were recognized as the most bike-friendly business in Boston for 2009. Landry’s also made history earlier this month by being the first bike shop to host an official hearing for the Boston City Council.

Both Landry’s and Urban AdvenTours were among just a handful of Nationally Recognized Bike Businesses by the League of American Bicyclists.