Going Green with Your HOA
The trend to environmental friendly management practices is still ongoing in the US, Canada, UK, Germany and Australia.
The negative implications of air pollution, contaminated ground water, refuse on our property, microplastics in the oceans, excessive use of landfill disposals, and wasted energy are on the mind’s of your community members.
This matter is more than the topic of global warming and instead really touches on cleaning up the very place where we all live.
A community that is not green, not usable or enjoyable, which we know is polluting and wasteful, sinks our spirit. It decreases property values, lowers lifestyles, and diminishes the value of the HOA. We can do better and in doing so, we can bring our community spirit alive for benefits we might not realize presently.
For you, the advantage of an eco-friendly initiative is in how it highlights the beneficial role of association management, putting it in an entirely different light for members. “Doing Good” makes a powerful statement by itself.
When communities thrive, it’s often because they’ve developed a shared purpose and a real sense of value in participation. Isn’t that what community is — sharing, participation, and greater comfort?
Enabling Community Participation and Green Leadership
That’s why we should all be doing our part not to pollute our environment, and help set a tone for efficiency, aesthetics and responsible use of materials and resources.
These environmental activities appeal to kids for sure, but also teens and adults too, and foster leadership in your community for good causes in the community. An example would be a spring clean up day where members walk all areas outdoors and pick up trash or loose packaging strewn about. This kind of community event can double as a spring barbecue or other type of member party.
Anything that gets members active, boosts health and self-esteem, and as well, lifts the brand image of your association and is good for business.
A Plan for Going Green with Your HOA
Let’s start by creating a plan with 7 key steps you could take to get the eco-friendly movement rolling.
Step 1: Conduct a Sustainability Assessment
Conduct a thorough assessment of your community’s current operations and practices. Discover where you’re polluting or using costly resources as these provide opportunities for some recognizable improvements. Review your use of energy and water, waste disposal, and landscaping practices point by point.
Step 2: Create a Committee to Execute the Plan
A committee or task force might involve your property management company as well as HOA members interested in sustainability and community improvement. The committee would assist with planning, implementation, monitoring results, and communicating with the entire association and the HOA board about progress made.
Step 3: Create a Sustainability Plan
Build a comprehensive sustainability plan to outline your community’s goals, strategies, and timelines for implementing this eco-friendly program. The plan covers prioritizing and executing specific actions revealed in your sustainability assessment.
Step 4: Implement Sustainable Practices
Implement the improvements listed in your sustainability plan. These actions might include:
- installing LED lighting
- going paperless via community association software with online portals for members
- hold board meetings virtually
- buying water-saving devices
- programmable thermostats in common areas
- setting up recycling and composting programs
- encouraging members to reduce plastic packaging selection at retail
- using drought-tolerant landscaping
- using renewable energy such as solar panels
- using more bio-degradable materials
- using eco-friendly appliances (water heaters, washers, dryers, heat exchangers)
Consider how each of your improvements provides additional benefits of community enjoyment since you’re transitioning to gain more support from members (e.g., solar panels to provide night lighting for better security).
Step 5: Monitor and Track Progress
Measure energy and water usage and waste reduction, and note any dollar value savings. Also track member participation, and note changes in member attitudes toward the community/HOA board via online surveys you can conduct via ManageCasa’s platform.
Step 6: Promoting Environmental Consciousness
A lack of support for initiatives often stops many of green initiatives from progressing, which means communications and even promotion are necessary. You can get your well conceived messaging across via your community association management platform, educational workshops, and community events. You might focus on practical topics such as gardening, technology, health, parks, nature experiences since members may relate to these better personally.
Step 7: Celebrate Your Green Initiative Achievements
List all of your eco-friendly improvements, not just on dollar value, but also lifestyle improvements, community participation, and do surveys of how community members feel about what’s been achieved.
Recognize and celebrate the contribution of your environmental action team including community members. Highlight the successes and positive impacts via your HOA or community association website, in member’s portals, social media sites, and local, regional and national publications online.
Simple and Actionable
This 7 step plan to help your homeowners association or community association is clear and actionable. Simplicity and transparency are virtues in business too. A clear message to your membership does aid in encouraging participation and continued support for what is an important effort — caring for a community of people and being a good person.
Discover more about how ManageCasa can help optimize HOA management, condo association management and community association management.
See also: HOA Management Software | HOA Services | HOA Trends | HOA Management Companies | How HOA Management Companies are Evolving | HOA Challenges | CAI Conference Expo Dallas | Accounting Software | Toronto Property Management | Los Angeles Property Management | Association Management | HOA Welcome Packets | HOA Accounting Software