We are committed to healthy, sustainable practices that benefit our residents and communities. For Rural Neighborhoods going ‘green’ is simply good stewardship. It makes economic and environmental sense. Here are our top goals:
- Reduce our organizational environmental impact through sustainable business practices
- Educate our communities about conservation
- Reduce resident utility costs
- Build green
- Use green practices to manage and retrofit our portfolio
Using sustainable business practices in our day-to-day operations makes a difference. Rural Neighborhoods follows a Green Operations Plan that outlines how we will conduct our business and reduce our ecological footprint. Using Energy Star labeled office equipment, replacing CRT monitors with flat panel screens, activating ‘power-save’ modes on copiers and other equipment, recycling ink cartridges, replacing disposable kitchenware with reusable dishes, etc., and using recycled paper products are a few simple and effective steps.
Green Education and Counseling
Rural Neighborhoods empowers residents through conservation education and counseling. New tenant orientation gives residents the tools needed to maximize energy efficiency, water conservation and create a healthy indoor environment. Local Earth Day celebrations and our Healthy Home Guide prompt residents to undertake green practices throughout their tenure as renters and to integrate healthy lifestyle elements into everyday living.
Rural Neighborhoods has always promoted conservation through installation of individual-metered utilities. Economic responsibility for household consumption reduces usage by 10-25%. Now we are implementing an improved utility tracking system to better monitor energy usage at our properties. It will allow tenants to compare energy and water consumption. It can also prioritize specific rental properties that call for additional resource-saving measures.
We put our green beliefs into action! Rural Neighborhoods is committed to ensuring new construction and rehabilitation projects meet green standards. Our two newest communities — Orchid Grove and Cypress Cove – received “Florida Green Homes Silver” awards from the Florida Green Building Coalition. Now breaking ground is our Pollywog Creek Senior Housing project, a rental community scheduled to receive both Florida Green Building Coalition and Energy Star Home certifications. Sustainable development provides tremendous benefits to residents through reduced energy costs and healthier indoor environments.
Land conservation is also critical to our efforts. Rural Neighborhoods’ restoration efforts improved poor conditions in two stressed wetlands and established a preserve for native gopher tortoises.
Retrofits and Management Practices
Capital improvements to our rental portfolio are undertaken using green criteria. In 2012, Rural Neighborhoods installed energy improvements including 16 SEER central air conditioners, CFL and LED lighting and Energy Star ceiling fan and appliances in Main Street Village. We are now underway setting green specifications for the planned 2014 rehabilitation of Metro Dade Farm Labor — our oldest rental community.
To provide healthier living environments, Rural Neighborhoods is making improvements in its property management practices such as using low VOC paints and adhesives for make readies, using green pest management practices at our properties, replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs and planting additional trees at our properties.