Schochet operates a comprehensive Sustainability Initiative with the goal of continuously reducing its environmental footprint by setting portfolio-wide sustainability targets in energy, water, and CO2 reduction. This includes the heavy involvement of staff with targets set in four-year phases encompassing:
- Energy Use Intensity
- Water Use Intensity
- CO2 (metric tons)
After exceeding its 3% reduction goal for the phase ending in 2018 by reaching 5.2% energy savings and 8.7% water savings, Schochet set a goal of 5% savings in energy, water, and CO2 for 2019 - 2022.
Schochet has implemented more than 160 projects across the portfolio at a cost of over $12 million; 79% of which was covered by incentives and grants through careful planning of projects that optimized the region's generous programs. Measures include:
- Installing smart thermostats across the portfolio, enabling facilities staff to control temperatures from their computers.
- Streamlining standardization of chemical water treatments for boilers across properties, and hiring a single contractor to service them.
- Hiring a single contractor to provide consistent green cleaning across properties.
As a result, Schochet estimates energy cost avoidance of approximately $1.67 million per year; water reductions at over 3.1 million gallons per year; and greenhouse gas reductions at approximately 16,990 tons per year, equivalent to 3,754 cars off the road, along with developing a healthy environmental plan (e.g. no-smoking policy and integrated pest management practices) and streamlined improvements in operations and maintenance practices.
See more about Schochet's sustainability initiatives with Rethinking Power Management LLC (RPM), a Boston based energy consulting firm, as well as the Better Buildings® Challenge, a program associated with the U.S. Department of Energy, by clicking below.
Improving Our Environmental Footprint
In 2009, Schochet, together with its energy and sustainability consulting firm, Rethinking Power Management, launched a comprehensive Sustainability Initiative with the goal of continuously reducing Schochet’s environmental footprint across its housing portfolio by:
- Improving building performance
- Optimizing energy and water consumption
- Reducing waste and the use of toxic materials
- Improving occupant health and comfort
An internal “Green Team”, headed by Schochet Executive Vice President of Property Management Peter Lewis, transformed the company’s approach to energy and water retrofit planning, providing sustainability training to property and facility managers, and involving them in every step of the retrofit planning process.
Schochet developed a Sustainability Roadmap – a portfolio-wide, property-level list of energy and water projects based on input from staff – to guide the budgeting and refinancing processes. The team sets portfolio-wide sustainability targets in energy, water, and CO 2 reduction in 4-year phases. Schochet’s owner clients have invested $3.7 million (supported by $13 million of leveraged investment from various utility providers) in 175 energy conservation and equipment replacement projects to increase efficiency, resulting in more than $9 million of utility savings. Schochet-managed communities have realized an overall energy use reduction of nearly 16.4%; an overall water use reduction of 17.4% and CO2 emissions reduction of 20.7%, improving quality of life not only for residents of Schochet properties but for the surrounding neighborhoods as well.
In 2022, Schochet was one of nine multi-family housing providers to participate in the multifamily Better Climate Challenge, a voluntary platform run by HUD in conjunction with the DOE for multifamily housing providers to join with other building sectors to set ambitious, portfolio-wide, operational Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals and showcase how they are taking steps to address climate change. More specifically, partnering organizations commit to reducing their scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by at least 50 percent within 10 years. Partners also set an energy efficiency target as well, typically 20 percent.
In recognition of its efforts, Schochet received a Greenovate award from the City of Boston 2013 for its energy conservation leadership and was one of the first 17 organizations to be accredited as a green company nationally by HUD. Corporate executives have participated in numerous panels and speaking engagements outlining and sharing the wealth of knowledge the firm as developed in this arena so that others can replicate and build upon their experiences. In early 2023, Lewis was named Certified Green Property Management credential holder of the year by the New England Affordable Housing Management Association (NEAHMA).
Looking toward the future, Schochet remains committed to assuming and maintaining a role of environmental stewardship -- through exploring and incorporating renewable technologies, integrating decarbonization and resilience planning into initiative goals, increasing staff training and involvement, and sharing Schochet’s innovative approaches to integrating sustainability at the corporate level.