Gov. M. Jodi Rell commended 28 Connecticut civic organizations, individuals and businesses in recognition of their environmental efforts, which garnered the state’s annual GreenCircle Awards.
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) presented the GreenCircle Awards during a ceremony at The Siemon Company, Watertown. Award winners range from a group of Milford Cub Scouts for a beach cleanup to event host, The Siemon Company, which has installed hundreds of solar panels and significantly reduced its waste to landfills. (Complete list of recipients attached)
“The GreenCircle awards program celebrates volunteer efforts, both large and small, that make a difference in this great state of Connecticut,” Governor Rell said. “It is tremendously gratifying and educational to see how reach recipient has improved our environment. I applaud their efforts and their passion for their contributions toward a cleaner, greener Connecticut.”
Since the DEP launched the GreenCircle Award Program in 1998, more than 900 schools, institutions, civic organizations, businesses and individuals have been recognized for over 1,300 projects that help preserve natural resources and protect the quality of the state’s air, water and lands.
“Today’s award ceremony recognizes volunteer efforts of many groups: businesses, who are becoming ‘greener’ every day while promoting sustainable practices that are good for the environment and their bottom line; non-profits, who have worked with their constituents to become environmentally friendly; and individuals, whose unselfish acts make a positive environmental impact in their homes, schools, and communities,” DEP Commissioner Amey Marrella said.
Over the last 12 years, GreenCircle award winners have made tremendous improvements, including eliminating:
- Water use by more than 645,000,000 gallons each year (municipal, river and/or well water);
- Air emissions by 11,500,000 pounds each year;
- Hazardous waste generation by more than 1,000,000 pounds each year (including 750+ pounds of elemental mercury);
- Spent solvents by more than 920,000 gallons each year; and
- Solid waste by more than 9,000 tons each year.
An analysis of the GreenCircle Awards shows that businesses, municipalities, civic organizations and individuals are moving towards more environmentally friendly life decisions such as:
- Business compliance with ISO 1400l Certification requirements;
- Installation of “closed loop systems” to avoid the discharge of contaminants and hazardous materials into rivers and streams;
- Increased recycling of solvents, hazardous waste, solid waste and electronic equipment;
- Major reductions in electricity consumption;
- Purchasing of “Green-E” energy; and
- Construction of more environmentally friendly buildings such as LEED certified buildings.
GreenCircle recipients are presented a certificate of commendation and recognized publicly for their efforts. For a list of GreenCircle award recipients and a description of the program, visit the DEP website at: www.dep.state.ct.us
This year’s Business/Individual GreenCircle Award Recipients are:
Efficient Lighting & Maintenance, Inc.: Efficient Lighting & Maintenance, Inc., has been helping their customers recycle spent mercury-added lamps, thermostats, batteries and ballasts containing PCBs. In 2009, they helped their customers obtain 5,712,805.404 kwh of energy savings through their energy-efficiency measures.
S&S Worldwide: S&S Worldwide held its first Annual “Clean to the Green” event in April 2009. Over 50 employees and other members of the community spent the morning walking and picking up trash in Colchester.
Branson Ultrasonics Corporation: Branson Ultrasonics Corporation contracted a third party energy auditor to identify energy conservation and electricity cost reduction opportunities in a manufacturing and office environment. Implementation of eleven audit action items resulted in an energy assessment action plan saving annually $61,300 and 418,700 kWh.
Pratt & Whitney: Pratt & Whitney’s team recognized the need to reduce the usage of liquid IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) at the East Hartford campus to meet established UTC corporate pollution prevention standards. They started this process on June 30, 2008 and by 2009 they observed a decrease of 51% in the use of liquid IPA.
J.F. Fredericks Tool Company: J. F. Fredericks Tool Company has implemented a unique recycling program for plastic inserts and tooling containers. These containers are sent to a large recycling plant that specializes in hard plastics.
Town of Farmington: In January 2009, the Town of Farmington established the Green Efforts Committee with the goals of ensuring a more environmentally friendly town, seeking cost savings, increasing public awareness and encouraging town-wide participation in “green efforts.
The Committee hired an energy consultant to assist Farmington with Performance Contracting in all town buildings. As an example, all of the lights at the Town Hall were retrofitted with more efficient lighting at no cost to the town through a specific CL&P incentive program.
Perkins + Will: Perkins + Will as a firm is a Carbon Neutral, offsetting 100% of their carbon footprint with the Chicago Climate Exchange each year. Recently, in a firm-wide recycling challenge, their Connecticut office diverted 81% of their waste from landfills over the course of one week. They have significant strength as a national organization focused on sustainable design with 45 LEED Certified Projects and 178 LEED Registered projects firm-wide.HARTFORD
City of Hartford, Department of Public Works & Energy Management: In 2008 the City of Hartford implemented a year-long incentive-based single-stream recycling pilot with 4,500 households. An interim report completed during the Fall 2008, documented a 100% plus increase in recycling rate among pilot participants. Hartford is committed to city-wide expansion, including 18,000 1-6 family households, starting September 2009. Additionally, the City of Hartford implemented a program of retro-commissioning facilities to ensure a more efficient operation.
The Hartford Courant: The Hartford Courant has consistently used newsprint for the publication of their newspaper and its alternative publications having a recycled fiber content of greater than 55% for the last three years.
Erik and Ellen Freidenfelds: Erik and Ellen Freidenfelds have installed a 10-kW solar array at their home in order to utilize solar power for energy generation, greatly reducing their dependancy on the grid. They will generate approximately 185% of their electricity needs throughout the year with this system, enabling them to send electricity back to the grid for use elsewhere.
Lynne Warren: Lynne Warren is a certified Master Gardener volunteer who has spent over 800 volunteer hours over 2.5 years designing, installing and maintaining the Richard Haley Native Plant Wildlife Gardens at DEP’s Goodwin Forest Conservation Education Center. She led the effort to create a program of collecting native plant seeds, propagating plants, and selling seeds and plants to raise funds for the Center.
Cub Scout Pack 709: Cub Scout Pack 709 teamed up with Girl Scout Troops 39326 and 30203 and the Calf Pen Meadow Elementary School PTA to plan and host an International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) at Gulf Beach in Milford in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Scouting in America. On September 19th, 143 volunteers participated in the ICC at Gulf Beach.
Connecticut Fund for the Environment: Connecticut Fund for the Environment’s Save the Sound acted as Connecticut’s coordinator for the 24th International Coastal Cleanup.
Franklin Construction: Their new construction projects comply with LEED requirements, but are not registered. About 95 % of the construction debris is recycled and reused. All thermostats, light bulbs and batteries are recycled properly. Management purchases environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.
Christopher Zurcher: Christopher Zurcher is the editor and founder of CT Environmental Headlines which is a blog, website and e-mail service that provides links to the public to current environmental news stories in the state.
North Haven Health & Racquet: The electrical generation system at North Haven & Racquet is designed for over 190 kW of production. It achieves this rate by using 623 Sunpower photovoltaic panels, that feed into two commercial grade inverters.
Saybrook Point Inn, Spa & Marina: Saybrook Point Inn, Spa & Marina has installed 144 PV panels on the roof of the Inn, with lobby monitoring, as part of an ongoing commitment towards environmental sustainability. This will provide an estimated 46,742 kWh of power.
Employee Volunteers of Covanta, Southern Connecticut: Volunteers from Covanta of Southeastern Connecticut (Covanta SECONN) partnered with the Connecticut Nature Conservancy to improve the habitat for local flora and fauna at the Poquetanuck Cove Preserve located in Ledyard, CT.
Salem Land Trust: The Salem Land Trust has purchased 72 acres of important open space and watershed land at 180 Rattlesnake Ledge Road in Salem, CT.
EMSAR – Stratford: In August 2009, EMSAR – Stratford partnered with A Greener Solution to recycle all secondary materials. Since August 2009, EMSAR’s trash generation has dropped 68% from an average of 20.98 tons/month to 6.7 tons/month. During this time EMSAR recycled an additional 41.57 tons of secondary materials.
BSA Troop 80: In May 2009, the BSA Troop 80 of Taftville organized and followed through with a cleanup of the environmentally challenged area on the riverbanks of the Quinebaug River between the Greenville Dam fish ladder and the Eighth Street Bridge. The scouts cleared four paths for local recreational fishermen to use as new places to fish.TORRINGTON
EMSAR – Torrington: EMSAR recycled over 400,000 pounds of plastic scrap in 2009. An outside vendor is used to grind scrap components for reuse in EMSAR’s production operations. By partnering with a new vendor, K-resin, obsolete color concentrates and quality control resins are now recycled.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Company: Key projects prepared for the Wildlife Habitat Council for 2010 recertification include development and upkeep of two nature trails, implementation of butterfly and pollinator gardens, conservation of endangered species bluebird monitoring program, pond management program, carbon footprint off-set and land care initiatives.
Philson Incorporated: Philson Incorporated hosted the 8th annual SteeleBrook River Clean-up on April 28, 2009.
The Siemon Company: The Siemon Company launched on September 14, 2009 a new waste management program that helped the company achieve a self certified zero-landfill status (99%). They also installed 700 solar panels on their 96,000 square foot Dynamic Building. This was brought online on December 31, 2008 and generated over 216,000 Kwh of clean energy in 2009.
Dave Steinmetz: Dave Steinmetz has been working on the No Butts About It Litter Campaign since 1996 with the goal to raise awareness and provide solutions for cigarette litter. In 2008, Dave worked with Keep America Beautiful on creating a statewide Cigarette Litter prevention program, which was launched in Connecticut on Earth Day in 2009. This program will raise awareness of the issue on a statewide basis.
Caroline & Victoria Heavens: Caroline and Victoria Heavens set bluebird boxes to encourage nesting. They enhanced their backyard by planting native blueberry, elderberry and raspberry bushes. In addition, they planted milkweed and bee balm to attract and nourish butterflies and hummingbirds.