The SDG Connection: Sustainable Business

With this blog we intend to highlight how communities of any size can utilize the Sustainable Development Guide to make a difference combatting climate change. Check out our past issues in the SDG Connection blog series as we turn our attention to the importance of Sustainable Business in this issue.  

How are Business Actions Connected to Climate?

Sustainable businesses are beneficial to the community and local economy. There is plenty of data that shows sustainable businesses can perform better financially, improve productivity, and attract both customers and talent! As a former army base and Superfund site, the Devens community took a lemons-to-lemonade approach to become a model of sustainable development and redevelop into a sustainable business community, an idea cemented in the Devens ReUse or Master Plan.

Devens’ has a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by providing opportunities for businesses to be sustainable and innovative through actions in the Devens Forward Plan. As a community with a large employment base of over 6000 and less than 300 dwelling units, focusing on continuing to grow and support our business community in Devens can help us to achieve the UN SDGs, including promoting sustainable economic growth and innovation.

Our Growing, Diverse Business Community

Devens is home to more than 100 businesses supporting 6,000+ workers and has a diverse industry mix, including manufacturing, biotechnology, logistics, film production, and a range of service industries. Devens functions as the premier Eco-Industrial Park in the US, meaning that one firm’s waste stream is another’s source or raw materials.

There are many ways businesses in Devens are achieving sustainability objectives. One way it through Devens’ promotion of adaptive reuse for businesses to reuse former military or industrial facilities, like Quiet3PF’s reuse of the American Superconductor building. Devens also provides a number of incentives for businesses who install green infrastructure or renewable energy.

Sustainable Business Spotlight: Bristol-Myers Squibb

Devens has been successful in attracting sustainable businesses to the community, such as Bristol-Myers Squibb who have sustainability as a corporate mission. Some of their key sustainability achievements include:

  • Has 17 LEED rated buildings (7 Gold, 9 Silver and 1 certified)
  • Has green roofs on two buildings in Devens 
  • Adopted goals to reduce their total corporate energy usage by 15% (as of 2015, they achieve a 13.1% reduction)
  • Recognized as the 2021 Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence by US Department of Energy

The green roof at Bristol-Myers Squibb's cell therapy facility.

What Can Businesses and Residents do to Make an Impact?

  1. Support local businesses and check out the Devens Community Map to find businesses in the community.
  2. A Department of Labor facility at Devens offers targeted job skills and job training for at risk youth at the Shriver Center
  3. Improve your business’s environmental and economic performance through the Devens EcoStar program
  4. Work with the Devens Eco-Efficiency Center or donate and purchase materials from The Great Exchange
  5. Check out our Climate Action Toolkit for Businesses for resources and tips to advance your sustainability objectives.
  6. Contact us about tracking and reporting your business’s sustainability metrics on our dashboard.