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Case study

Pacific Arbour Retirement Communities

Total GHG Inventory

  • 2008: 953 tonnes CO2e
  • 2009: 924 tonnes CO2e
  • 2010: 851 tonnes CO2e

GHG Reduction Highlights

  • Heat: insulation, “eyebrows”, hot-water preheat
  • Waste: organic waste composting

Actual Reductions

  • 102 tonnes CO2e over 3 years
  • Waste: 30%
  • Summerhill footprint: 15%

Pacific Arbour Retirement Communities is committed to offering its residents a healthy, balanced lifestyle, and are always striving to enhance their services and amenities. For over 3 years they have worked with Climate Smart to measure their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to establish a wide variety of reduction strategies.

Through this partnership, Pacific Arbour Retirement learned that the largest source of GHG emissions from their operations came from the heating of their facilities. To address this, they invested in new insulation for their buildings, and installed triple-paned windows to help retain heat throughout the day. In designing their buildings, they included “eyebrows” above windows on the southern exposure to cut down on passive solar heating and helping to keep the building cooler in the summertime. An air-to-water heat pump preheats hot water, giving them a 3-to-1 efficiency in producing hot water for the building.

Another opportunity that was identified through the Climate Smart program was reducing their waste to landfill. In feeding their residents, they were generating a significant amount of organic waste. They chose to investigate different technologies and methods, including the installation of an on-site compost digester, which helped to reduce their waste going to the landfill by 30%.

Over the three years that they have been with the Climate Smart program, the Pacific Arbour’s Summerhill facility has seen a reduction in their carbon footprint by 15%.

Pacific Arbour Retirement Communities is passionate about the culture that they create at their facilities, and found that the Climate Smart program fit in perfectly. In providing for their residents, while ensuring they reduce their impact on the planet, they have successfully engrained a culture of sustainability within their operations.

This video case study brought to you by Vancity Credit Union and Metro Vancouver.

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