Collington: A Culture of Sustainability

Society is witnessing first-hand the effects of climate change and the threat our carbon footprint has imprinted upon the planet. Before such dramatic evidence emerged, Collington recognized humanity’s role as stewards of the Earth, not only for the present generation but for future generations as well.

Collington, deeply influenced by its Quaker-inspired commitment to the environment, has embraced sustainability as an ethical imperative. This commitment materialized in the form of Collington’s Sustainability Plan, launched in 2021 with the aim of effecting collective change. Over the course of three years, through the concerted efforts of management and resident committees, this plan is making an impact.

The Sustainability Plan introduced a comprehensive array of initiatives that have since become integral to Collington’s culture. Today, sustainability is interwoven into the very fabric of life at Collington, where residing on campus inherently entails a dedication to environmental stewardship.

A Community in Action

Collington’s focus on sustainability is evident in its adoption of over 30 initiatives spanning recycling, green energy, reusable resources, and landscaping. Residents are provided ample opportunities to engage in daily practices that contribute towards carbon neutrality. Even marketing and sales efforts prioritize sustainability, ensuring that prospective residents are aligned with Collington’s eco-conscious ethos from the outset.

Residents of Collington also join Kendal Affiliates across the country in the mission of Senior Stewards Acting for the Environment (SSAFE), a non-profit dedicated to mitigating global warming by sharing residents’ experience, knowledge and resources. In 2023, SSAFE established the “Mike Burke Annual Award for Excellence in Advocacy” in honor of the late resident of Collington who inspired others with environmental activism.

To commemorate the successful implementation of the Sustainability Plan, Collington initiated its inaugural Earth Week celebrations. Residents and team members engaged in beautification projects across the 125acre campus and indulged in vegetarian meals in the dining rooms. Prospective residents were also invited to partake in nature tours, further highlighting Collington’s commitment to sustainability.                                                                

Steps Beyond a Sustainability Plan

Collington’s environmental consciousness persists beyond the completion of the initial Sustainability Plan. A new plan is currently in development, with renewed green goals on the horizon.

“We are continually seeking opportunities to enhance our community through the introduction of eco-friendly alternatives,” remarked Megan Barbour, Chief Operating Officer at Collington. “Initiatives such as installing our EV Charging Stations and reducing single-use plastics demonstrate our ongoing commitment to sustainability.”

While leadership plays a pivotal role in steering Collington towards a greener future, the true essence of the movement lies within the residents. For instance, the success of Collington’s recycling program is credited to the proactive involvement of the residents, who have transformed it from a mere program to a source of community pride.

“At Collington, sustainability transcends individual initiatives; it is a way of life and a shared responsibility,” Megan emphasized.

In essence, sustainability at Collington goes beyond a mere plan; it is ingrained in the very essence of campus operations and the daily lives of its residents and team members.