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Benchmarking eco-industrial park development: the case of Devens

Vesela Veleva (College of Management, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Peter Lowitt (Devens Enterprise Commission, Devens, Massachusetts United States)
Neil Angus (Devens Enterprise Commission, Devens, Massachusetts USA)
Dona Neely (Devens Eco-Efficiency Center, Devens, Massachusetts USA)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 4 July 2016




The purpose of this paper is to review and update Devens eco-industrial park sustainability indicators and benchmark progress made since 2000 in the seven key areas of its sustainability vision.


The authors examined publicly available data for Devens, Massachusetts, and obtained additional data from Devens Enterprise Commission and a survey of 29 local organizations.


Of the 43 indicators adopted by Devens eco-industrial park in 2012, 29 demonstrate progress, seven show lack of progress, six point to a potential progress, and for one no information was available in 2000 to evaluate progress. Most progress has been made in the areas of transportation, business and economic sustainability, governance and natural resources.

Research limitations/implications

For some proposed indicators no data were available to evaluate progress (e.g. waste generation, recycling, compositing, and landfill diversion) yet these are among the key measures for an eco-industrial park.

Practical implications

Proposed framework, indicators and lessons learned are of value for researchers and practitioners at other eco-industrial parks (EIPs) interested in benchmarking progress toward sustainable local development.

Social implications

The case provides insights on integrating sustainability in local economic development.


The study is paving the way toward development of a standardized set of sustainability indicators for EIPs in the USA.



The authors would like to thank Devens Enterprise Commission for funding the study and providing access to data, reports, and other materials for this research.


Veleva, V., Lowitt, P., Angus, N. and Neely, D. (2016), "Benchmarking eco-industrial park development: the case of Devens", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 1147-1170.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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