Brookdale outlines plans to reduce environmental impact

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Brookdale outlines plans to reduce environmental impact
Brookdale outlines plans to reduce environmental impact

When your company has more than 80,000 employees working at more than 1,100 locations covering more than 87 million square feet in 47 states, their actions are bound to have far-reaching effects on the environment.

Brookdale says those numbers — along with 108,000, the approximate number of residents in its communities — were factors when the company undertook sustainability efforts in 2015. The country's largest senior living provider released the results of its actions to date on Tuesday in the first of what it says will be annual sustainability reports.

Creating Enduring Value: 2016 Sustainability Report” also includes Brookdale's goals for the future, which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy use by 15% by 2019 as well as achieving measurable, year-over-year decreases in water consumption and landfill waste.

“These practices will have a significant, direct impact on our residents and their families, our associates and the environment, not just now, but for generations to come,” said Andy Smith, Brookdale's president and CEO. “As a leader in the industry and the first operator to establish this kind of initiative, we hope to offer a model for others to follow.”

The effort involves more than reducing the company's environmental impact, however, according to the report. “It is also about creating economic value and driving continuous improvement in our performance,” the document states. “We have been working on achieving excellence for years, but our sustainability initiative is helping sharpen our focus and allowing us to bring a range of efforts into alignment.”

Brookdale said it “generated and distributed” a significant amount of economic value in 2015, including $5 billion in revenue, $1.8 billion in associate compensation and $362 million in net capital expenditures.

The company issued the report after establishing a Sustainability Leadership Council and developing a three-year roadmap for achieving its sustainability goals. The roadmap encompasses three focus areas with nine key priorities that were developed with feedback from investors, residents, healthcare partners, employees, suppliers and sustainability experts:

  • People: Engaging residents and their families, company associates and suppliers. Residents, for instance, have created vegetable gardens and have participated in recycling efforts that have benefited a local zoo. And suppliers are helping the company procure products better suited to its goals, improve processes related to product use and manage waste and recycling.
  • Places: Reducing water consumption, energy use and waste.
  • Performance: Providing high-quality care and reporting progress and excellence through continuous improvement.

This year, according to the report, Brookdale plans to continue its efforts to improve resident care and engage residents in sustainability activities, increase associate education and create integrated strategic volunteering and philanthropic opportunities, and build comprehensive, sustainability-driven supplier policies, development, partnering and innovations.

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