(VANCOUVER, BC, January 30, 2017)--A multifaceted approach to sustainability including environmentally friendlier laundry facilities and controlling pests with beneficial insects has earned a nonprofit life care community a prestigious environmental wellness award.
The International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2016 ICAA Innovators Green Award is the older-adult community of Wake Robin in Shelburne, Vermont. The community received the award for its Energy Use and Consumption Plan.
The competition was open to organizations and professionals that share ICAA's goals of changing society's perceptions of aging and improving the quality of life for older adults within seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, vocational, physical, spiritual, intellectual, social and environmental. An ICAA committee of judges chose the Innovators Green Award winner for excellence in making a positive difference in the lives of older adults in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way.
"The success of our green initiative -- and the practices we have in place to preserve and sustain a healthy community -- would not be possible without the commitment of the entire Wake Robin community, from the board and staff to the dedicated residents," says Leslie Parker, environmental services director at Wake Robin.
Instead of bleach in its laundry and aquatic center, the community switched to environmentally friendlier ozone as a disinfectant, deodorizer, bleaching agent and cleaning tool, helping it reduce its carbon footprint by 58,219 lbs. A hot-water reduction effort saved 316,090 gallons and over USD$24,000 in one year alone. Over two years, staff released some 100,000 ladybugs on the gardens and landscape to reduce damage from aphids and scale bugs.
Wake Robin sources its food locally whenever possible. Food waste is commercially composted year-round, and a resident-initiated composting program sends an additional 600-plus gallons of kitchen waste to a commercial composting operation.
Using solar energy has reduced the company’s on-site energy costs by 24%, while employee ride-sharing has reduced tailpipe emissions, saved employees money and helped build camaraderie.
"Data has shown the effectiveness of the energy use and conservation plan; however, it really boils down to an unwavering commitment from the entire Wake Robin community to ensure the plan succeeds," Parker states.
"A collective mindset is a driving reason for how we found success with our plan," Parker continues. "Everyone here believes in figuring out how to impact the environment in positive ways while working collectively to implement the changes to do so. This drive for change and knowledge is at the center of creating our thriving green community."
Says ICAA CEO and Founder Colin Milner: "Wake Robin's holistic approach proves that saving the environment can also save dollars -- and create a healthier living environment for older adults. They’ve set a tremendous example for other older-adult organizations to follow."
As the Green Award recipient, Wake Robin received a crystal award of recognition, along with a free pass to the ICAA Conference 2016, held November 17-19 in Orlando, Florida. In addition, ICAA's Journal on Active Aging will publish a profile on the organization and its green initiatives in a 2017 issue.
About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
ICAA, a professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging – an approach to aging that helps older adults live life as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness – and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies, including the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada’s Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia (Canada) Ministries of Health and Healthy Living and Sport.
For more information or questions:
Contact: Colin Milner, CEO, ICAA
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