The Towbes Group, developer of quality residential and commercial properties throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, is committed to becoming an environmentally responsible and sustainable local business. Its most recent green business achievement award came from the Santa Barbara County Green Business office, which certified the management office and common areas at the Encina Meadows Apartment Community in Goleta.
To reduce waste, Encina Meadows employed several new techniques, including replacement of disposable kitchen products with ceramics and washable silverware and adding recycling bins at every desk to encourage convenience and maximum use.
The slogan “Scan When You Can” is found on office equipment in an effort to avoid unnecessary copying. Green purchasing efforts include a policy to purchase only post-consumer recycled content paper products and bulk product purchasing is centralized to reduce excessive packaging often associated with ordering supplies from office supply stores. These efforts helped Encina Meadows achieve a tremendous score of 85 percent waste diversion.
Other action steps included installing light sensors and timers in the common areas to reduce electricity consumption. Also, in a effort to maintain the beautiful landscaping and common areas, Encina Meadows only engages vendors that maintain green business practices such as composting and utilization of drip irrigation with smart meters. A Towbes electric car is also available to employees throughout the day for errands.
To become a Santa Barbara County Certified Green Business, Encina Meadows upgraded its employee restrooms to be water efficient, replacing older toilets with new ultra-low flow models. These capital investments significantly reduce water usage and, reduce costs.
“Going green is a process that keeps evolving and re-energizes its participants to stay engaged and constantly look for new ways to approach common practices," Encina Meadows Apartment Community manager Nadra Ehrman said. "We are also proud of our double pane window project, which will collectively save our residents an estimated $50,000 and decrease electricity usage by 884,676 kWh annually.”
The Towbes Group’s Corporate Office was awarded the Santa Barbara Green Business Certification in 2010. Shortly thereafter, Rancho Franciscan Senior Community, managed by The Towbes Group, became the first multifamily housing community to receive a green business certification.
Craig Zimmerman, president of The Towbes Group, has made it a company goal to have all of its residential communities certified by the Santa Barbara County Green Business office by 2016.
— Sam Carey is a marketing intern for The Towbes Group.