March 21, 2012
GAITHERSBURG, Md. - At Asbury Methodist Village, partnerships both expected and unlikely are creating a significantly positive impact on the environment. From tree plantings with area high school students to large-scale analyses of operational systems with corporate partners, the continuing care retirement community in the heart of Gaithersburg is looking greener every year.
In 2011, Asbury Methodist Village’s management branch, Asbury Communities, partnered with food and facilities management firm Sodexo to save 943,000 gallons of water in laundry operations at Asbury Methodist Village; Asbury~Solomons Island, Solomons, Md.; and Bethany Village, Mechanicsburg, Pa.
“In keeping with Asbury’s core value of stewardship, the principle of sustainability is being employed at every Asbury community – in virtually every area of operations,” said Doug Leidig, chief operating officer. “Sodexo shares our commitment to the environment and is helping us implement new and more effective ways to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, conserve water, promote responsible waste management and reduce the use of toxic chemicals.”
The reduction in water consumption grew out of a year-long process that began with measuring each washing machine to achieve maximum efficiency with water, chemical and energy use. In addition to the water savings, the corporation also was able to achieve a savings of $30,000 as a result of the changes.
This year, two additional Asbury communities – Springhill in Erie, Pa., and Inverness Village in Tulsa, Okla. – will come fully online with the program.
Asbury Methodist Village is currently awaiting approval from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to pilot a new product that will allow laundry to be washed at a lower temperature and reduce the number of rinse cycles – saving even more water.
And soon after Earth Day, the community will be rolling out its first natural-gas powered vehicle, the first step taken after Asbury/Sodexo management recently completed a system-wide fleet survey of the vehicles on each Asbury campus. Some of the survey’s environmental goals included tracking vehicles’ age – which has a significant impact on fuel efficiency – and studying the feasibility of introducing natural-gas-powered or electric cars.
On April 21, 2012, residents of Asbury Methodist Village will team up with Gaithersburg High School students to celebrate Earth Day by planting more than 40 trees at Gaithersburg’s Bohrer Park at Summit Hill Farm. The resident-driven event is part of Asbury’s Beloved Community project, a community outreach program partnering Asbury residents, the Wesley Theological Seminary and the City of Gaithersburg.
Year after year, Asbury Methodist Village residents have bucked the stereotype that the green eco-friendly movement is a youth movement. Last year, the Wildlife Habitat Council recertified Asbury Methodist Village as a Wildlife at Work site through 2014. This designation grew out of a petition started by one resident and her neighbors to create a bird sanctuary on the community’s campus. Their efforts led to the creation of a 17-acre wildlife preserve. Usually, the Council designation requires recertification every year. The council cited Asbury’s extensive stream restoration project and conservation education activities in the special exemption.
That recertification followed Asbury Methodist Village’s receipt of The City of Gaithersburg 2010 Environmental Award for innovative, sustainable green practices and a recycling award from Montgomery County in 2009.
Asbury Methodist Village is a CARF-CCAC and EAGLE-accredited continuing care retirement community that is part of Asbury Communities, Inc., which provides management and support services for a system of continuing care retirement communities for older adults. Asbury Communities is ranked by LeadingAge and Ziegler Capital Markets Group’s AZ 100 as the 15th largest not-for-profit multi-site senior living organization in the country. Asbury Methodist Village is also a member of LifeSpan Network.