Mercy Housing Environmental Sustainability
At Mercy Housing, we care about the communities in which we serve, which is why we created Green Hope, our environmental sustainability program. This initiative was designed to reduce our consumption of natural resources, reduce our waste, and create healthier living environments. We have committed to be responsible stewards of the earth by making several external environmental commitments.
Green Hope guides us in all aspects of our operations, from designing, building, and rehabilitating properties, to office practices, property operations, and resident services.
Mercy Housing believes it is our duty and responsibility to incorporate environmental stewardship principles into all areas of our work including:
- Design, construction, and rehabilitation
- Property operations
- Office practices
- Resident services
Our three goals for Green Hope are to:
- Reduce Mercy Housing’s consumption of natural resources
- Reduce Mercy Housing’s waste
- Create healthier living environments
In order to meet our program goals, we have the following objectives:
- Reduce energy consumption
- Reduce water consumption
- Reduce paper consumption
- Increase purchase of items with recycled content
- Reduce waste generation
- Decrease hazardous chemical product use
- Pursue certification on 100% of new developments and major rehabilitation
Our Green Hope program has implemented many projects already including:
- Water conservation upgrades, including the installation of faucet aerators, low flow showerheads, toilet flappers and diverters, and low and ultralow flow toilets
- Energy efficiency upgrades such as lighting, insulation, air sealing, efficient space and hot water heating systems, and boiler controls
- Solar electric and solar hot water heating
- Measuring utility use at all properties
- Operation-wide purchasing standards (such as floor covering, water fixtures, lighting, and other items) that include minimum environmental threshold requirements
- Built and retrofitted existing buildings to external standards such as LEED, Evergreen Standards, Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, and other local environmental standards
- And more!
Green Hope Program Case Study
Boundary Village is located 15 feet from the US Canadian border, giving rise to its name. It is a 24-unit, low-income family housing apartment complex. The complex was originally built in 1979 and consists of two 2-story buildings. Mercy Housing owns and manages the complex which is a USDA Rural Development property. Boundary Village also receives HUD project-based rental assistance.
In pursuit of Green Hope’s goals of reducing consumption of natural resources, reducing waste, and creating healthier living environments, Mercy Housing has made four external commitments:
- We are part of Enterprise Community Partners’ call to action to “green up” the operations of Mercy Housing in every aspect of our work by 2020.
- We have pledged to reduce our energy and water consumption by 20 percent within 10 years as part of the Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future’s (SAHF’s) “Big Reach” initiative.
- We joined the Better Buildings Challenge, an initiative by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to reduce energy use by 20 percent over 10 years.
- We have pledged to install 300 megawatts (300 MW) capacity of renewable energy at Mercy Housing properties by 2020 as part of Renew300, the Federal Government’s renewable energy target.