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Sustainability: embracing the new eco-system in the housing industry


playgroundGoing green isn’t just good for the environment; it also is good for business, as many residents are interested in living in a community that upholds environmentally sound practices.

Decades ago, such suggestions were few and far between, but today it’s the norm for residents to be concerned about the sustainability efforts behind the buildings they call home.

Communities are learning that there is more to being sustainable than LEED certification and recycling. What about the carbon footprint of the items used in and around the community, such as playgrounds?

Every business, including those in the rental housing industry, is part of a sophisticated ecosystem—a network of suppliers and partners working in tandem. Sustainability efforts often hinge on a level of supply-chain transparency. So how are business partners finding ways to work together towards sustainable growth goals?

Because there are so many ways for a company to achieve sustainability, it can be confusing to know what to look for when purchasing from supplier partners. Define the term “sustainability” to mean “meeting today’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

A service partner with a true commitment to sustainability is not only concerned about the environment and business operations, but also in the products they make and how those might affect the consumers who utilize them. A vendor is committed to sustainability if it has a multi-attribute certification program that is evaluated by a third-party expert in sustainability.

At Playworld, we believe our play equipment should create a lasting legacy of fun — not environmental harm. Children and their families deserve environmentally-certified playgrounds not only at their housing complex, but also at their local park and school.

One of Playworld’s distributors, Northwest Playground Equipment, has an established relationship with Oregon-based Chrisman Development, a leader in the development, rehabilitation and management of affordable housing projects. The company serves low-income families, seniors, the disabled and the chronically mentally ill.

The duo has worked together on numerous playground installations at various multifamily communities in Oregon.

“Many of our buildings are LEED Certified and, whenever possible, we try and take a green approach with all materials we use during renovation and maintenance projects, says Brad Chase, construction manager for Chrisman Development. “We value the environment; and the overall health and safety of our residents is extremely important.”

Chase says that when a healthy and safe environment is provided for residents, their retention rate improves. “Being focused on sustainability and energy-saving practices helps benefit our residents with things such as lower utility bills,” Chase says. “We find value in being able to work with likeminded companies who openly express their commitment to saving the environment.”


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