Mercy Housing Celebrates Sustainability Milestones – and Commits to Going Greener by 2030

On the roof of Hacienda Heights, Mercy Housing California (MHC)’s new senior community in Richmond, large solar panels glint in the sun. Down in Southern California, a parent at an MHC family community loads an Energy Star laundry machine under the glow of an LED light fixture. At MHC’s office in Sacramento, a management specialist reviews an alert about a spike in water usage at one of their properties, which could signify a leak.

Through these efforts and many more, Mercy Housing’s Green Hope Initiative is taking big strides toward reducing our organization’s carbon footprint and creating healthier living environments for residents.

From 2010 to 2020, Mercy Housing, Inc participated in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, which asked major companies and nonprofits to commit to reducing energy use throughout their portfolios by at least 20% over 10 years. Mercy Housing cruised past this goalpost, reducing energy consumption per square foot by 24% and water consumption by 27% over the 10-year period.

Fresh off the heels of the Better Buildings Challenge, Mercy Housing has now signed on to the even-more-ambitious Better Climate Challenge. By participating in the Department of Energy’s new challenge, we are pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our portfolio by at least 50% by 2030.

To hit this important benchmark, Mercy Housing will build on some of the strategies piloted during our participation in the Better Buildings Challenge. During that challenge, the Department of Energy singled out MHC’s Arden Aire Apartments in Sacramento as an especially successful model for reducing energy usage. Arden Aire was one of the first multi-family structures in the country to install fuel-switching gas-powered hot water heating systems with high-efficiency electric heat pumps and used creative financing methods to ensure this often-expensive equipment paid for itself through energy savings.

“The commitment to the Better Climate Challenge is an important step for our organization to address climate change,” said Jackie Slocombe, Director of Environmental Sustainability for Mercy Housing Management Group. “It will take continued dedication and innovation as an organization to remain on the forefront of environmental sustainability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve a low-carbon future. We are excited to collaborate with everyone at Mercy Housing to drive real-world action and progress for our residents and the buildings they call home.”