ElderHealth & Living has a philosophy based on sustainable principles. These principles reflect sustainable employment practices, food choices, equipment, and resource decisions for our buildings, and resident care.
We strive to find products, technology, and services that have the least adverse impact on the environment. When purchasing products, remodeling our buildings, and making decisions about the care of our residents and our employees, we consider a number of environmental factors before moving forward: the product or service’s longevity, renewability, and recyclability; whether or not we can we get it locally; whether it’s fiscally responsible; and if it is of exceptional quality.
We believe that when decisions are based on this philosophy, we contribute to the health of the community we live in, our employees and their families, our campus, our residents and their families, and the environment.
Examples of Our Current Sustainable Practices
Employees: We treat our employees with respect and value them as team members and as one of our most important asset. We pay our employees competitive wages and offer an attractive benefit package including: health/dental insurance, 401 K plan, disability benefits, life insurance, employee assistance program, massage, advancement opportunities, and continuing education. Creating an employment environment that meets the needs of our employees and the campus ensures sustainable employment.
Operations: We focus on choosing supplies and equipment that have the least amount of impact on the environment and that are sustainable. We decrease our waste by recycling and reusing items whenever possible. Our cleaning chemicals, pest control, and paper goods such as business cards and other printed materials are green certified.
Food Service: We serve locally grown produce, dairy products and meats whenever possible. Seasonal menus are planned based on the local availability of products. Our “Harvest of the Month” program allows us to support local farms and serve fresh produce year around. In addition, we participate in the global movement, “Meatless Mondays” to reduce our consumption of meat. We strive to purchase food that minimizes harm to the environment by identifying USDA/FDA/3rd Party certifications that are the most significant and purchasing food with those certifications.
Local Community: We support local business whenever possible by using local contractors, landscapers and vendors as our first choice.
Fiscal Responsibility: ElderHealth & Living is fiscally prudent which keeps our services affordable and sustainable. We work in a preventive fashion to maintain our homes and equipment. We believe in fixing problems completely the first time rather than using less expensive materials or “Band-aid” approaches to our maintenance projects.
Energy: Our staff participate in an alternative transportation program by riding bikes, walking, or carpooling to help reduce carbon emissions.
We installed solar panels on one of our buildings and replaced all our lighting with energy efficient fluorescents. The energy use of our appliances and electronic equipment is considered at the time of purchase and we strive to choose the most energy efficient available.
Care: We create shifts in the homes that meet the needs of our residents 24/7 without excess. To maintain independence and personal dignity our residents are encouraged to participate in home activities as much as they choose or are able. Our employees are trained with safety in mind, for themselves and our residents.
Staff members are encouraged to ask for assistance when a resident’s needs become physically or emotionally challenging. It is in this way that we ensure the best care for our residents and for our employees. It is our goal to have each employee leave work each day feeling that they did their best and that their best truly benefited the elders they worked with that day.
Green Team: ElderHealth & Living worked with Bring Recycling to form our Green Team, completed the Sustainability Assessment Requirements, and has earned the Re:think Award.
The Green Team works on special projects to continue growth in our sustainable practices on campus and provide education for our staff. ElderHealth & Living has Master Recyclers on staff that coordinates the recycling and composting in our 10 homes. Waste audits are done periodically to monitor waste.
ElderHealth & Living won the award for Environmental Values through the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce for 2012.