Caring for the earth has been a central value throughout Vincentian’s nearly 100-year history. While we are committed to serving our residents and caring for the wellbeing of our employees, we also are making investments to improve the sustainability of our campuses to ensure a healthier planet for future generations.
To demonstrate this commitment, “Championing Environmental Wellness and Sustainability” is an organization-wide goal focused reducing our environmental impact, improving the health and well-being of our residents and employees, and enhancing the communities where we work and live.
Here are a few ways that Vincentian is committed to the health of our planet and its living things:
- Conserving paper by defaulting our copiers and printers to duplex printing and black and white.
- Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, working to eliminate the use of disposable products, including as plates, bowls, and utensils in our employee kitchens by replacing them with ceramic dishes and bowls, reusable plastic drinking cups, and metal utensils.
- Reducing food waste by donating unused food to area food banks.
- Switched to biodegradable trash bags across all locations.
- Added recycling boxes in the kitchens of all of our facilities to encourage recycling paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and other items.
- Joined the K-Cycle™ Recycling Program to make sure that every K-Cup® pod employees use is fully recycled.
- Recycle PCs, electronics, cell phones and other e-waste items.
- Multiple past supporter of the Pennsylvania Resources Council Hard To Recycle event.
Reusing / Repurposing
- Regularly receive and repurpose donated items, rather than purchase new. For example, the office furniture at The Convent was donated to Vincentian. The playground equipment at Vincentian Child Discovery Center will be cleaned and painted, rather than purchase new.
Health and Wellness
- Vincentian’s Thrive Wellness program was created to encourage, incentivize, and recognize employees who take action to manage and improve their health. You can learn more about Thrive and our wellness benefits on the UPMC Health Plan website at www.upmchealthplan.com/.
- Vincentian is taking advantage of significant LED lighting rebates offered through Duquesne Light. Whenever possible, we select LED lighting fixtures that meet the criteria for the rebate. In some instances, the rebate has reduced the overall LED upgrade costs by more than a third. LED bulbs use less power than incandescent bulbs and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by saving energy.
- LED lighting was installed on the first and second floor corridors of Vincentian de Marillac.
- LED lighting will be installed as part of the Vincentian Home Heritage Building renovation project, which includes resident rooms, corridors, dining rooms and common areas.
- Planning to install state-of-the-art cloud-based lighting system at Schenley Gardens, which will be controlled by occupancy sensors that detect people’s presence, switching lighting on and off or changing the light levels in the room based on natural daylight.
- Replacing all of the windows in Marian Manor Building C with energy-efficient upgrades.
- Installed digital signage and resident messaging in Terrace Place and Schenley Gardens with plans to extend this to our other locations.
- Planning for an intranet site to increase collaboration and serve as one place for information.
- Using file sharing and online paperless processes, including Docusign, rather than printing hard copies.
Construction and Landscaping
Whether it’s a renovation project or new construction, the goal is to reduce our impact on the environment by using sustainable development practices, employing energy efficiency, and taking advantage of green technology.
- The building was positioned and designed to minimize energy use by maximizing natural light/heat patterns from the sun.
- During construction, a stormwater management project was implemented to mitigate stormwater runoff to neighboring homes.
- Also, during construction, an arborist was hired to preserve more than 300 trees on the property.
- The property features a pond, meadow, walking trails and outdoor recreation areas.
- In 2019, dozens of fruit trees were planted to form a mini food forest at Vincentian Home. Tree varieties include apples, pears and peaches suitable for Pittsburgh’s climate. Vincentian Home plans to use the trees for educational, therapeutic and nutritional opportunities for residents and guests. The trees were planted in collaboration with One Tree Per Child, Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, SWPAA, area high school students and Vincentian residents.
Vincentian Marian Manor
- In 2020, Maintenance Manager Rich Batson, who is a licensed beekeeper, started a honeybee colony with about 60,000 bees. It’s estimated that the colony has grown to about 500,000. Flowers and fruit trees were planted to promote pollination and honey production. A video camera was installed in one of the hives and residents can watch the bees in action on closed-circuit tv.
Child Discovery Center
- Renovating the playground using environmentally safe material.
- Painting and repurposing the playground equipment, rather than purchasing new.
- Installed new carpeting that is eco-friendly and non-toxic.
- Installed a bottle-filling station with our traditional water fountains to encourage the reuse plastic bottles.
- Formed our own landscaping team, rather than contracting it, to care for our greenspaces, optimize care/oversight to control all of materials and reduce and minimize chemical use.
- Planning to plant and foster native flowers and vegetation on all of our properties.
- Purchased various-sized fleet vehicles so we can more efficiently serve the needs of our residents and employees. Rather than use a large shuttle bus for meal delivery or to transport one person, we now have smaller vans.