Shelton's PerkinElmer named an Environmental Champion for efforts

PerkinElmer of Shelton has received an Aquarion Environmental Champion Award.

PerkinElmer company was recognized for its environmental efforts as well as for encouraging employees to participate voluntarily internal and external environmental projects, as well as for some of its company projects.

PerkinElmer was one of four businesses, organization and individuals to be honored in the fifth annual awards by Aquarion, the public water supplier in Shelton and many other parts of southwestern Connecticut.

PerkinElmer was recognized in the Large Business Category. It received a $2,500 grant to be given to an environmental nonprofit of its choice.

The awards recognize volunteer projects that have significantly contributed to the improvement of environmental quality through the protection, conservation, restoration and stewardship of Connecticut’s water, air, soils, and plant and wildlife habitats.

Cleanups to community water testing

“The focus of Shelton’s PerkinElmer is not only on human health — it’s also on the health of the environment and the company’s surrounding community,” according to Aquarion publicity material.

Some of PerkinElmer’s efforts have included:

— Having employees clean trash and debris from a mile-long stretch of shoreline on Long Island Sound, including a protected refuge for the endangered piping plover as well as ospreys and other birds

— Ecological water-testing projects with community schools, scouts and other organizations, all aimed to highlight the need for preventing water pollution.

— Extensively retrofitting its facilities with high-efficiency equipment of all types, including boilers, lighting, electric motors, variable speed drives, chillers and other technologies that conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas production.

— Eliminating elemental mercury from all of its manufactured products.

— Using organic fertilizers and natural pest control measures on the grounds of its facilities.

— Achieving the globally recognized ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems Certification.

Hundreds of entries received

The winners were announced during a June 6 ceremony held at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo.

Aquarion accepted hundreds of nominations from across the state in four categories: Business, Nonprofit Organization, Adult and Student (grade 9-12).

The other winning entries were:

Nonprofit:  Mill River Wetland Committee of Fairfield; $2,500 grant

Adult:  Shelley Harms of Norfolk; $2,500 grant to environmental nonprofit of her choice

Student:  Stefanie Milovic from New Fairfield High School; $1,000 award

Charles V. Firlotte, president and CEO of Aquarion Water Co., said Aquarion “constantly seeks new ways to preserve Connecticut’s natural beauty and resources.

"We are pleased to recognize the businesses, individuals and organizations who share that goal and dedicate their time, energy and talents to these important initiatives," Firlotte said.

The award ceremony was part of the 2015 Wild Wine, Beer and Food Safari, the Beardsley Zoo’s annual fundraising event. Presenters for Saturday’s ceremony included U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and John Betkoski III, vice chairman of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

Panel of judges

The panel of independent judges for this year’s awards was headed by John Herlihy, Aquarion vice president of water quality and environmental management, and included:

— Sally Harold, director of Restoration and Fish Passage, the Nature Conservancy

— Christopher Klemmer, environmental engineer

— James Little, development director, Connecticut Forest and Park Association

— Melissa Mulrooney, executive director and CEO, Stamford Museum and Nature Center

— Jessica Summers, director of development and marketing, Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

— Michael Swann, environmental engineer

— Andrew Wood, senior vice president of external relations, Mystic Aquarium.

Aquarion serves 51 towns in CT

Aquarion Water Co. is the public water supply company for more than 625,000 people in 51 cities and towns throughout Connecticut, as well as serving customers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Based in Bridgeport, it has been in the public water supply business since 1857, when it began at the Bridgeport Hydraulic Co.

Aquarion serves Shelton and owns reservoirs and equipment in the city.