Rendering of Enso Village sustainable garden


Kendal Corporation Commitment to Sustainability

At the Kendal Corporation, affiliated senior living communities have a history of prioritizing sustainability in design and operations. This commitment to environmentally conscious approaches reflects Kendal’s Quaker roots. In alignment with our Quaker-inspired values, we believe human beings are stewards of the earth and should protect and preserve it for future generations. As environmental threats to the planet become more visible and increase in depth and breadth, the pursuit of sustainable initiatives has evolved into a moral and imperative action for the organization. Kendal’s commitment to combating climate change recognizes the collective effort of many individuals and organizations. When we all take small steps to change the here and the now, we can ultimately design a better world for our children and grandchildren.

Senior Living residents and staff work toward sustainability goals by planting trees

Green Senior Living

From everyday initiatives such as composting and tree planting programs, to foundational choices such as the use of energy-efficient lighting in residences or clean water management techniques, Kendal practices its dedication to enviornmentalism.

Sustainability Is Key Focus for The Kendal Corporation and Affiliates

The Kendal Corporation has long focused on environmental stewardship as a core Quaker value in the planning and operation of its affiliated life plan communities. As a result, there is a determined effort at the community level across the system to reduce the carbon footprint of our activities and to embrace operational approaches that have a positive impact on the environment for today and for future generations of residents.

Following is an overview of the many sustainability projects embraced by Kendal affiliates across the nation:

Barclay Friends (West Chester, PA)

The staff and residents of Barclay Friends have been committed to range of programs that support sustainability, as follows:

  • Composting: The waste from the kitchen at Barclay Friends is composted.
  • Building Technology:  The HVAC systems are managed by the Building Automation System as a means of improving energy efficiency.
  • LED Replacement Program: There has been a focused effort at replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs across the campus.
  • Raised garden beds in seven garden areas around the campus are used by residents and team members for organic vegetable gardening.  Over 1,000 pounds of fresh produce are contributed each year to a local food bank. 
  • Barclay Friends’ horticulturist works in cooperation with the West Chester Green Team to offer garden beds and organic gardening educational programs to members of the local community. 

Collington (Mitchellville, MD)

With a major renovation currently in the planning process, Collington is combining a focus on its current operations with changes that might be made during future construction and expansion activities on its campus. Sustainability projects include:

  • Campus Sustainability Plan: A resident led effort culminated in the development of a Campus Sustainability Plan that will help guide a range of activities at Collington in the future.
  • Energy Audit:  Planning is underway for the completion of an energy audit to identify areas for improvement.
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations:  New EV charging stations were recently installed at Collington.
  • Peak Energy Shaving Program:  Collington has implemented a program to help residents understand when the peak cooling days of summer are occurring so that energy usage can be curtailed as a method of lowering cost and consumption.
  • Arboretum: Accreditation as a Level 1 Arboretum was achieved, with more than one hundred species of tree identified and walking path maintained across the 125-acre campus.
  • Native Plant Species and Removal of Invasives: The residents and staff at Collington are committed to maintenance and planting of native species while invasives are identified and removed.
  • Composting: The collection of resident food waste for composting is a focal point of an effort to reduce the campus’ impact on the local landfill.

Enso Village (Healdsburg, CA)

As the newest Kendal affiliate, opened in late 2023, Enso Village is an amazing example of sustainable approaches to design and operations. Developed with a goal to have a net zero carbon footprint as early as possible in its operation, Enso Village is implementing a series of programs that are beginning to achieve milestones on that path. Already, significant amounts of power are being generated by solar panels installed on carports throughout the community. In addition, the electricity used by Enso Village is tied to municipal geothermal energy created at a nearby geyser basin. Other sustainability projects include:

  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations:  The community has forty-eight electric charging stations for residents’ cars, encouraging them to adopt zero-emissions transportation alternatives.
  • Red List Free Building Materials:  Enso Village was built with Red List-free materials, meaning no toxic or harmful substances were used in the building process.
  • Car Barn: The first retirement community in the nation to utilize a car barn that hydraulicly stores cars when not in use, Enso Village residents with electric vehicles can receive charging while stored.
  • Composting: As more residents move in during 2024, the Enso Village composting program will ensure kitchen wastes are reused for composting.
  • Farming:  Enso Village will be growing its own vegetables and herbs for use in the dining programs at the community. The first crops will be planted this year as the growing season returns.

Kendal at Hanover (Hanover, NH)

Kendal at Hanover, led by a group of forward-looking residents and a committed staff, has embraced a number of programs that have been an inspiration to other affiliates across the Kendal system. Among the highlights are

  • Energy Audit: Using a local engineering firm, Kendal at Hanover garnered information from its energy audit that is helping to drive decision-making regarding building and system improvements across the campus. Energy monitoring has helped to identify needed changes and has helped involve residents in actions to make the community more energy efficient.
  • WEST (Working Environmental Sustainability Team):   The purpose of the Working Environmental Sustainability Team is to organize and promote within Kendal at Hanover ways to address environmental responsibility, resource efficiency, and the reduction of our carbon footprint in accordance with our guiding principle. This now standing committee is comprised of residents and staff.
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: Kendal at Hanover installed its new stations during 2023 for use by residents, staff, and visitors.
  • LED Replacement: There has been a focused program to switch incandescent bulbs for LED replacements both in public areas and in resident living areas.
  • Composting: Kendal at Hanover has, for many years, utilized a pulper to allow food waste from the commercial kitchen to be composted by a local farmer. The collection of resident food waste for composting is a focal point of an effort to reduce the campus’ impact on the local landfill.
  • Native Plants and Invasive Species Removal:  There is a focused effort to plant only native species and to remove invasive species on the campus.
  • Kendal at Hanover remains an EPA Green Power Partner at over 99% renewable electricity for 2023. KaH is the only affiliate Green Power Partner.
  • Routine energy-saving improvements are ongoing via the many projects now underway.
  • Building Technology:  The HVAC systems are managed by the Building Automation System as a means of improving energy efficiency.
  • Metal is collected in a large dumpster and recycled.
  • Residents have led the TREX recycling initiative focused on clear flexible plastic wrap.
  • Residents have also led an initiative for Styrofoam recycling.
  • Dining program has reusable to-go containers for residents.
  • Plans are in place for NO or SLOW Mow May.
  • Kendal at Hanover has been a recent observant of “Dark Skies” and supports the Town program of same name.

Kendal on Hudson (Sleepy Hollow, NY)

Kendal on Hudson is developing a Sustainability Action Plan for the entire campus. They brought in a sustainability consultant to assess opportunities for embracing environmentally friendly approaches to the design and future operations of Kendal on Hudson. Step one is to incorporate sustainability initiatives in the upcoming Commons Refresh Project which will update the main kitchen and dining room as well as the lobby, terrace, fitness center and pool. Step two is to incorporate sustainability initiatives into operations and into its long-range capital plan. Following are a sample of the many sustainability projects underway at Kendal on Hudson:

  • Energy Audit: A local engineering firm is completing an energy audit that will provide necessary data to drive decision-making related to updating of building systems and the building envelope.
  • Composting: Residents of Kendal on Hudson are partnering with a program sponsored by the Village of Sleepy Hollow to collect kitchen waste for composting.  Resident plantings are now collected in a separate composting area.
  • Recycling: Kendal on Hudson is collaborating with a local not-for-profit to recycle appliances, cabinets and furnishings that are replaced as part of the unit turnover process.
  • Grounds:  Kendal on Hudson is a Certified Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Foundation.  They are using native and pollinator plants, participate in No Mow May, are limiting the use of herbicides and pesticides for landscaping and collect rainwater from all buildings for use on the grounds.
  • Electrical:  Kendal on Hudson has installed LED lighting throughout the campus, has installed smart thermostats in health care areas, uses occupancy sensors to turn off lighting in common areas and is investigating the use of a summer boiler.

Kendal at Ithaca (NY)

The residents and staff at Kendal at Ithaca have embraced a wide range of programs in support of sustainability goals across the campus. Highlights include:

  • Low Mow Grass Program: Turf alternatives are being analyzed, including low mow varieties for certain areas around campus.
  • Earth Day 2024: There will be a campus wide clean-up as well as pruning of trees and garden improvements. There will also be a tree planting ceremony.
  • LED: The LED replacement project for individual resident usage has been a success with over 700 bulbs installed.
  • Trex Bench: Kendal at Ithaca has participated in a program with the Trex company to collect and recycle plastic in exchange for a Trex bench. To date, two benches have been received.
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: Implementation of five EV charging stations is complete and after State of NY grant monies were applied, total cost was $600 per station.
  • Composting of Yard Waste: Bins have been located around the campus to facilitate collection and composting of yard waste.

Kendal at Lexington (VA)

The leadership at Kendal at Lexington has been proactively implementing a wide range of programs related to sustainability in recent years. Following are highlights:

  • Peak Energy Shaving: A focused effort on energy conservation among residents took place in 2023. This helped to raise awareness of the peak energy shaving program.
  • Unit Turnover Program:  For unit turnovers, a checklist has been created to look at replacement of major building systems (e.g., HVAC) and insulation so that the ILU units become much more energy efficient.
  • Earth Week 2024:  There are a number of programs planned that will feature planned activities, including a speaker on water conservation.
  • Low Mow Implementation:  As the warm season returns, there is a focus on the grass and meadows.
  • Compositing:  Household composting is taking place across the campus
  • Off Peak Charging:  Kendal at Lexington is adding new off-peak charging stations for their fleet of electric golf carts and utility vehicles.
  • Trex Recycling Program: Kendal at Lexington has received its 7th bench from the Trex recycling program and has donated it to a local not-for-profit.
  • LED Replacement:  There has been significant support across the campus for the replacement of incandescent bulbs with LEDs.

Kendal at Oberlin (OH)

Sustainability has been a core value that is embraced by the residents and staff at Kendal at Oberlin during its over 30 years of operation. The wide range of programs that have been implemented include:

  • Campus Sustainability Plan: The focus of Kendal at Oberlin on sustainability programming is outlined in its Plan.
  • Energy Audit: A local engineering firm is working with the leadership of Kendal at Oberlin to complete an energy audit.
  • LED Replacement: Incandescent bulbs have been replaced across the campus in both community spaces and residential living units.
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: New electric vehicle charging stations have been installed for use by residents, staff and visitors.
  • Electric Vehicle Fleet:  Kendal at Oberlin is in the process of systematically changing its vehicles to electric as their life cycles warrant replacement.
  • Solar Arrays: Solar arrays are being installed on resident parking garages.
  • Composting: There is a residential composting program that collects food waste from residents for composting.
  • Energy Management Technology:  A building automation system is utilized to control HVAC and lighting in the most efficient manner possible.
  • Arboretum: Kendal at Oberlin is certified as Level 2 arboretum, with extensive walking paths highlighting the many species of trees.
  • Dark Skies: The campus has implemented an extensive effort to reduce light pollution while keeping the residents safe. LED light poles are replacing existing ones on the one-mile drive, with 25 now installed and additional installations planned for this year.
  • Geothermal: Many of the Kendal at Oberlin cottages are heated by geothermal systems.
  • Master Landscape Plan:  Using conservation initiatives that include low mow, no mow, and specific prairie and tree selection, there will be reduction in the use of fossil fuels from maintenance equipment and enhancement of pollinators and carbon sequestration.

Lathrop Community (Easthampton & Northampton, MA)

Residents and staff of both Lathrop campuses have embraced programs in support of sustainability, as follows:

  • Leadership:   There is a Sustainability Committee actively exploring areas for improvement and increases in efficiency:  energy, water, waste, and land.
  • Composting:  Composting bins have been set up near the community gardens to collect resident kitchen waste.
  • Removal of Invasive Species:  There has been a robust program focused on removal of invasive species on the campuses and in the woods surrounding them.
  • Food Gardens: Both campuses have areas for residents to grow their own vegetables.