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Monday, March 21, 2022

Leading Sustainability in Business with Vestar

Leading Sustainability in Business with Vestar

On the North end of Westminster sits a dining destination, shopping hub, and open-air gathering place for community events. Not only are all three of these hotspots located in one modern plaza, they collectively form The Orchard Town Center, Westminster’s most recent winner of the Sustainable Business Award.

The Orchard Town Center is managed by Vestar, which was named the 2021 SAGE Sustainable Business of the Year for being a champion of sustainability and leading by example.

Marketing and Events Director Paige Jeschke explains how the company has found new ways to reduce energy costs and promote resources to businesses and the community at large.

“At our property we’ve made some really great changes,” she said. “LED lights, reclaimed water, and then partnering with the city from a marketing perspective to have sustainability events.”

The Orchard Town Center utilizes water-efficient landscaping throughout the property, and is in the process of retrofitting parking lots with energy-efficient LED lights. These two initiatives not only demonstrate the practicality of sustainable practices, but also save Vestar money on energy and water costs throughout the year.

“I approached Vestar about a year ago about participating in SAGE,” said Bridger Tomlin, Sustainability Associate for the City of Westminster. “Vestar is not only a business, they’re a conduit to businesses within the Orchard. Working and creating a partnership with Vestar was essential to promoting our sustainable business program.”

SAGE, the City’s sustainable business program, is an acronym that stands for SAVE, ACT, GROW, and EARN - the key outcomes the city hopes businesses will achieve in participating in the program. Businesses who become SAGE certified get access to cost saving resources, grant information, and many other benefits.

“We act as a concierge service for businesses connecting them with cost saving and resource saving initiatives,” Tomlin said. “We’re able to work with a business wherever they are in their sustainability journey and act as a main point person, basically a sustainability staff person for businesses that don’t have one.”

To become SAGE certified, The Orchard Town Center completed over 30 sustainable business best practices. One key element of Vestar’s efforts was the installation and promotion of two charging stations for electric vehicles on the property.

“We have two locations on the property for EV Go stations, and they are well used,” Jeschke said. “Any time I’m driving by, there’s always a car there that’s using it. Hopefully we’ll continue to see an uptick in the use of those. Another benefit is that it draws people to the center. They have EV Go app, they’re looking for stations, so it brings people to the shopping center, and as their car is charging they’re shopping and dining.”

In 2021, Vestar partnered with the City and Drive Clean Colorado to host an electric vehicle showcase during the summer farmers market. The event was one of many ways the company has proven to be a champion of sustainability in Westminster.

“I’m always looking for new and unique ways to incorporate sustainability,” Jeschke said. “We have great community relationships, and we’re happy to show how sustainability is important here at the Orchard and in the community as well.”

To learn more about the City of Westminster’s SAGE Sustainable Business Program, including how to sign up for a free advising session for you and your business, email sage@cityofwestminster.us or call 303-658-2662.

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