The Brookline Chamber of Commerce and Climate is Everybody’s Business recognize all the organizations that are working to become green and to celebrate how far businesses, non-profits and faith communities have come in helping the town reduce its carbon footprint.
The following organizations, who participated in our September 2019 pilot workshop and took the environmental self-assessment, are our top environmental performers. Thank you to them for all the work they’ve done – and hope to do in the future.
Sunshine Academy, founded in 2006 and now with three locations in Brookline, is a model for sustainability. With various sustainable practices, on-site solar panels, and 100% renewable energy purchasing through the Brookline Green Electricity Program, the preschool has taken the most high-impact steps. To make its operations even more climate friendly, Sunshine Academy plans to add Mini-Split heating and cooling systems and more solar panels in the near future.
Brothers & Sisters Co.
Brothers & Sisters Co., a local café featuring locally roasted coffee, incorporates various green practices within its business operations. The café serves plant-based and low-waste meal options, helping to reduce carbon emissions and waste at the source. It also manages its unused and unsold products responsibly by donating, composting, and repurposing. In terms of energy efficiency, the café received an audit through the Mass Save Energy Assessment Program. To further green its business, Brothers & Sisters Co. plans to switch to reusable utensils and to expand composting within the business and promote it to its customers.
With various environmental sustainability practices in the workplace, Neta scored high on the Climate Is Everybody’s Business Self-Assessment. The business recycles much of its waste, eliminates the use of plastic utensils, and offers paperless options for billing. During events, Neta aims for “zero waste” by encouraging participants to bring their own foodware, working with local charities to donate leftover reusable items and food, and more. The business also donates a portion of its profits to sustainability focused activities. In the near future, Neta plans to become more green by looking into alternative packaging options.
Rifrullo owner Colleen Suhansoky has made sustainability a key pillar of running her restaurant. The Brookline eatery completed an energy audit through the Mass Save Energy Assessment Program, and has since opted up to 100% renewable energy. Rifrullo also places an emphasis on employee buy-in, providing training on sustainability in the workplace, proper waste disposal, and green transportation options for arriving to work. With significant plant-based menu options as well, Rifrullo works to embody sustainability in as many aspects of its business as possible.
StudioMLA Architects has emerged as a sustainability leader in Brookline, specifically in sustainable consumption. They pursue responsible purchasing habits by maintaining an inventory to avoid overordering of supplies, utilizing reclaimed office furnishings, and purchasing cleaning products that are Green Sale/EPA Safer Choice Certified. On the other end, they also have a comprehensive recycling system, including the recycling of hazardous waste products (paints, solvents) and ink cartridges in addition to more traditional papers and plastics. Their sustainability goal now is to improve upon their energy savings with greater mindfulness about thermostat control.
Sustainability is central to the mission of 2Life Communities, a non-profit that develops affordable senior housing in the Greater Boston area. The organization has on-site renewable energy production and at least 75% LED lighting in its facilities. Aiming for even higher energy efficiency, 2Life Communities completed a lighting retrofit program and has arranged to upgrade refrigerators and AC to Energy Star Certified units. In its current and future projects, the non-profit is likewise committed to implementing green practices. The design and construction of its latest project – the Harold and Ronald Brown Family House – will be focused on sustainability. Construction waste will be managed responsibly through recycling practices. The building itself will feature LED light fixtures, EnergyStar appliances, a solar hot water system, a green roof that will reduce the heat island effect, and a tight building envelope with a high-quality air barrier and a highly efficient heating and cooling system that will reduce heating and cooling needs.
Finecreationsjewelry, featuring hand-crafted designs with textures inspired by nature and fabrics, is environmentally-conscious in its operations. It uses USA-sourced sustainable sterling, contributing to carbon emissions reduction and natural resource conservation. Opting up to 100% renewable energy through the Brookline Green Electricity Program and completing an audit through the Mass Save Energy Assessment Program, the business also strives for efficiency and contributes in Brookline’s transition to clean energy.