Mercy Housing has always set a high standard for affordable housing and our properties – creating communities and homes, not just buildings – with a conscious effort to positively impact the future needs of our residents as well as the immediate ones. This concept of forward-looking, of being aware of how what we do to today impacts tomorrow, is key to Mercy Housing in other ways. Specifically in our efforts to integrate green and sustainable elements into our developments as well as our office practices.
One example of this work is at Mercy Housing’s corporate office in Denver, Colo., where we are doing our part to help further the organization’s goal of environmental responsibility by becoming certified in Certifiably Green Denver Program. Certifiably Green Denver (CGD) is a joint venture between the Denver Department of Environmental Health’s Denver P2 Partners Program and the Downtown Denver Partnership. Our Denver Office Green Team has worked with the CGD program coordinator, Transwestern Building Management, and especially our corporate office staff in order to achieve certification the first time in 2012 and just recently re-certifying for 2013!
The certification program distinguishes five categories of efficiency: Business Management, Energy, Water Conservation, Resource Management, and Transportation. Here are just a few of the ways this certification was achieved:
- Business Management/Education – In 2012 we held a green themed event where educational materials as well as speakers were present, and excitement was generated around the sustainable efforts of our office. Another event is planned for May 13th 2013!
- Resource Management – We participate in a building wide recycling program. Thanks to the collaboration of Transwestern (our building management) and Waste Management, we have greatly reduced the amount of materials we send to landfills. In 2012 more than 90 tons of materials were diverted from our high rise office and sent to recycling facilities instead. Saving 9,717 gallons of oil and 377 cubic yards of landfill airspace (facts from Waste Management).
- Transportation – Mercy Housing’s Denver office provides employees with an RTD ECOPass. With two light rail stops and several bus stops within a couple of blocks of our downtown office, these passes are heavily utilized by our commuting staff! We hope in 2013 to collect stats on the number of employees using the public transit system.
To find out more about what it takes to become part of the Certifiably Green Denver Program visit their website at: http://www.denvergov.org/deh/certifiablygreendenver/tabid/434116/default.aspxx/default.aspx