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Massachusetts Businesses Taking Climate Change Seriously

BOSTON (CBS) - Boston is now one of several U.S. cities posting climate change research data that's been taken down from the EPA website.

This week, the city launched the new site,

In a statement, Mayor Marty Walsh explained the decision to publish the information was "important," adding "[It will] show Boston residents that we take the science of climate change seriously."

Walsh is one of more than 300 mayors across 47 states who have pledged to adopt the goals of the Paris agreement, with or without President Trump.

"What Trump did in pulling out of the Paris Accord shows in some ways irresponsibility," the mayor told WBZ-TV earlier this month.

Walsh recently gained national attention, after this tweet speaking out against the president's decision was re-tweeted more than 13,000 times.

"I think he should check his geography. Watching this White House and how it operates it seems like the only way you can get through to them is through Twitter," said Walsh.

But setting the pace to be climate conscious has been going on in Massachusetts for decades.

"We are very focused on being good stewards of the environment," said Mark Sylvia, the former state undersecretary for energy in Deval Patrick's administration. He is now the managing director of external affairs at Blue Wave Solar.

Blue Wave Solar was recently ranked by the Boston Business Journal as one of the 50 fastest growing private companies in the state. In eight years, they've helped develop solar projects in at least 30 local communities. Collectively, the panels can produce more than 100 megawatts of solar energy -  enough to power more than 16,000 homes.

"We can develop a 1 or 2 or 3 megawatt project in a field and we can actually provide that value to individual residents so you don't have to put it on your roof," said Sylvia.

solar panels energy
(Image credit: Blue Wave Solar)

Blue Wave's commitment to making solar energy available to everyone earned them a Certified B recognition. The business is now one of two solar companies in the state vowing to do business not just for success but for the greater good.

In fact, Massachusetts is a leader in developing its solar footprint. The Solar Energy and Industries Association ranked the Commonwealth seventh among the top ten solar states. Massachusetts has more solar jobs - 14,582 - than any other other state except California, according to the state's Clean Energy Center.

solar jobs
(WBZ-TV graphic)

Developers are also following suit by building smarter, climate resilient properties along the water.

Sitting at the edge of the Charleston Navy Yard is the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where every nook has a purpose. The building is raised 2.5 feet above the 500-year flood plain. And everything that keeps the building running is on the top floor.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. (WBZ-TV)

"If anything were to happen, all of our equipment is safe up here. We can keep the building running until we have to evacuate, or as long as we have patients," said Anthony Sankale, Spaulding's engineering supervisor.

Spaulding's vice president of operations, Paula Hereau, says a green roof soaks up storm water and the windows can open.

green roof Spaulding Rehab
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital's green roof. (WBZ-TV)

"During Hurricane Katrina, which happened around the same time we were thinking about the building, they lost power and needed to break windows to let fresh air in - this would prevent that," Hereau told WBZ.

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