In 2004, the Devens Enterprise Commission, the local regulatory and permitting authority, launched the voluntary EcoStar program to facilitate, support and recognize environmental stewardship initiatives pursued by facilities in the community. This endeavor supported their priority to promote sustainable development practices in the former Fort Devens, which experienced significant economic, environmental and social impacts when the Army’s New England headquarters closed 1996. Over the next few years, interest in corporate responsibility grew and participation in EcoStar expanded to include more establishments located in and around Devens.
Three years later plans were initiated to create a non-profit entity that would build on EcoStar’s success. In 2008, the Devens Eco-Efficiency Center began to provide no- and low- cost services that enable commercial, industrial and service establishments to conserve resources, save money and contribute to the betterment of the community.
The Eco-Efficiency Center has continued to expand its offerings and engage an increasing number of entities in its activities. During 2014 the Center helped 68 firms from 21 area towns achieve economic, environmental and social benefits.
In early 2014, the Devens Enterprise Commission voted to invest $200,000 in the Center to enable it to offer additional services that will attract the engagement of more firms from Devens and the region and in turn deliver greater value to the community. This growth will also enhance the Center’s ability to earn revenues, attract outside funding, and serve as a model for other business parks and development districts.