Eco-Friendly Apartments


How to Create Eco-Friendly Apartments

Climate change and its effects are salient areas of discussion and concern today. Renters are demanding more energy-efficient appliances, lower water usage, and recycling. According to MRI Real Estate Software, 61% of renters are even willing to pay more each month in rent for an eco-friendly apartment.1

If you’re looking to encourage more sustainable and eco-friendly apartment living in your community, here are the latest trends and ideas to achieve that goal.

The Eco-Effect: Keep Current Residents & Lure New Residents

With climate concerns top-of-mind, residents are keenly interested in adopting green initiatives and living in sustainable apartment buildings. Younger residents are more interested than any other demographic in sustainable living. The beauty of taking steps now to reduce your community’s carbon footprint and lower water usage is that these actions attract new residents and retain current residents. Further, it allows you to hit targets set by your state, such as the CALGreen Building Standards.2

The Benefits of a “Green” Apartment

Given booming energy prices, building or remodeling an apartment community with multiple windows leads to a lower electrical bill. It also enhances the well-being of residents by harnessing the benefits of natural light, which has been proven to improve both mental and physical health.

Even without installing solar panels, it’s important to review your Solar Reflectance Index, which measures the ability of a roof to return solar energy to the atmosphere. High solar reflectivity reduces energy usage by lowering the inside temperature and thereby lowering energy bills. You can also easily search the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency®, which acts as a central source of financial incentives offered via energy-efficient initiatives.3

Sustainability Includes People, Planet, Peace & Prosperity

Sustainability is more than merely reducing energy costs and lowering our carbon footprint. As the United Nations noted in its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 17 goals assist with people, planet, peace, and prosperity.4 In short, these are lifestyle goals that enhance happiness. Favergray Contractors concurs: “These trends (sustainability) not only increase property value but promote a much better lifestyle for multifamily residents to live comfortably. Even with these trends taking a front seat in design, there is still a continuous strive to develop innovative and methods to enhance living conditions.”5

It’s easy to see how focusing on energy, water, infrastructure, and climate goals also increases the well-being of your residents. As a point of fact, 80% of apartment residents believe that living in green multifamily apartments is good for their health.6

Sustainable apartment buildings with community gardens also literally connect residents to the earth. They understand the value of water, sun, and the goodness of fresh fruit and vegetables. Gardening also cultivates both food and relationships while also reducing waste.

Recycling is Key to Lowering Waste and Landfills

According to the EPA, recycling rates in multifamily communities hover at only about 14%.7 Why? The three key reasons are a lack of resident education, needed infrastructure improvement, and property management engagement. Tackling these obstacles can result in waste-hauling cost savings as well as lasting changes in resident behavior. As Patrick Malloy, resource conservation specialist at the King County Housing Authority, noted, one property saved over $21k through recycling.8 Keys to success include making it easy for residents to recycle, educating them on the difference between waste and recyclable packaging, and putting conveniently located recycling bins in common areas.

Smart Tech to the Rescue

It’s time to go beyond LED lights and introduce connected thermostats to control energy use. Motion sensors can trigger lightning, heating, and blinds to conserve energy in common areas and vacant apartment units. Among the latest and greatest in innovative property management solutions is  using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for predictive analytics so that you’re alerted for preventive maintenance. Leak detectors, shut-off valves, and smart meters work together to create a smart water platform. Connected appliances also help to conserve water. According to a Johnson Controls’ survey of the company’s Building Efficiency Panel, 70% of respondents believe that the ability to predict and diagnose problems and provide or propose solutions will be a “game changer.”9

Water as a Precious Resource

Given the stratospheric heat waves this past summer, consumers are beginning to understand global warming and our disappearing water reserves. Installing low-flow sinks, showerheads, and toilets is a solid first step in conserving water, as is buying energy-efficient appliances. Dishwashers and washing machines that are Energy Star® certified also use significantly less water than the appliances of yesteryear.

Electric Vehicle Charging as a Key Amenity

Since most charging of electric cars happens at home, installing electric chargers works as a bonus amenity for your residents. Although Tesla has its proprietary Supercharger, 17 other major EV brands have stated that they will switch to Tesla’s charging port. You might also consider installing a Magic Dock that allows non-Tesla cars to conveniently charge in your apartment community. It’s estimated that electric cars will total 8.5 million in 2025 and that over half of all cars sold will be electric by 2040.10

Reducing Your Environmental Impact with Smart Lockers

Consumers are clearly in a conflicting space: they want immediate delivery of their packages, but they also remain concerned about the environmental impact of home delivery. In recent research, 47% of respondents said they are worried that the way deliveries are sent is not sustainable. In addition, for economic and environmental reasons, 31% feel pressured to reduce the number of parcels they receive.

Apartment package lockers (or smart lockers) create a central delivery hub to enable carriers to deliver multiple packages to one location rather than multiple locations, saving gas and lowering emissions. These parcel locker/electronic locker solutions not only provide a practical response to the increased package delivery demands but also contribute to the broader eco-friendly goals of a multifamily community.

Initiating eco-friendly amenities and eco-friendly apartment living works as a win/win: good for the environment and good for residents. To discover how to make your apartment community more sustainable, talk to a Parcel Pending by Quadient representative today!


  1. Elevated Living. The Property Manager’s Guide to a Sustainable Multifamily Community. June 20, 2023.
  2. State of California Building Standards Commission. CALGreen. 2022.
  3. North Carolina State University. Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.
  4. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The 17 Goals.
  5. FaverGray. Top 5 Sustainable Multifamily Trends.
  6. Elevated Living. The Property Manager’s Guide to a Sustainable Multifamily Community. June 20, 2023.
  7. Metzler, Michelle. Cracking the Code to Better Recycling. April 2, 2018.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Deloitte University Press. Smart buildings: How IoT technology aims to add value for real estate companies. 2016.
  10. CleanTechnica. When Will Electric Cars Start to Out-Sell Fossil-Fuel Vehicles? Projections Are All Over The Map. May 23, 2021.
  11. Parcel Pending. Parcel Pandemonium: Managing the Challenges of Growing E-Commerce. August 18, 2023.