With the presentation of a brass plaque at Needham’s Powers Hall on Friday, October 12 at 9 a.m., Green Needham Collaborative is wrapping up its Needham 1,000 energy reduction campaign. The plaque honors the Town of Needham for its sustainability accomplishments and lists 32 local businesses, organizations, and schools which have shown an outstanding commitment to cutting energy use. The public is welcome to attend the ceremony.
After the presentation, the plaque will be placed in the display case on the first floor of Town Hall. Honorees are included on the plaque for their success at reducing their building’s energy use or for their efforts to get members or employees to take Green Needham’s 10% Energy Challenge. The Challenge is an on-line tool which enables users to make a personal plan to lower their carbon footprint. Nearly 900 local households have taken the Challenge, pledging to implement energy-saving actions that would keep over 7 million pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere each year.
“We want to give public recognition to the exciting accomplishments of the many local organizations which have taken steps to reduce energy use,” said Needham 1,000 coordinator Jim Glickman. “Local residents are often unaware of the cutting edge efforts that are going on in our own town.”
The plaque honors those efforts. Olin College of Engineering has reduced annual energy consumption by 42 percent over the last 6 years, avoiding $2 million in energy costs. First Parish in Needham is one of the first Houses of Worship in the country to receive an Energy Star rating because of their low energy use. The success of the 10% Energy Challenge campaign depended on Houses of Worship, clubs and businesses to promote the program.
New energy technology has also found a home in Needham. North Hill installed a co-generator, which generates electricity and uses the waste heat to heat water for the main kitchen and the laundry facility. The Town of Needham’s Public Services Administration Building uses geothermal technology, a non-fossil fuel-based source of heating and cooling.
“We’ve had tremendous community support for our efforts,” said Michael Greis, chair of the Green Needham Collaborative. “In addition to the efforts of the Town, Needham clubs, Houses of Worship, schools, local institutions, realty companies and other businesses have come together to help build a more sustainable future for Needham.”