The History, Nature, and Role of the Piper Shores Sustainability Collaborative

The Piper Shores Board of Directors’ 2017 Strategic Plan directed management to “develop a plan to address environmental sustainability.” The Sustainability Collaborative (SC) was created by Piper Shores management as the Piper Shores Environmental Working Group in 2020 to help create and implement such a plan.  In its 2022 Strategic Plan the Board updated its directive by instructing management to “implement a plan to address environmental sustainability.” 

From its inception, the SC has been comprised of management, board members, residents, and a representative from the Town of Scarborough. The SC is led by co-chairs, one resident and one staff member. Thus, the SC is distinctive from Piper Shores resident committees, which are all created by and responsible to the Resident Council and consist exclusively of residents.

The mission statement of the SC states that its goals are “reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing energy and water usage, minimizing waste, adopting landscape and habitat stewardship best practices, and further strengthening and improving management and resident engagement.” It says further that “Piper Shores is committed to being a leader among Continuing Care Retirement Communities.”

The SC is responsible for developing and monitoring a sustainability agenda for Piper Shores, starting with a sustainability plan created with the assistance of consultants. Beyond the sustainability plan, the SC carries out an ongoing process of evaluating proposals, which can come from its own members, other committees, or other members of the Piper Shores community. In the process of developing such proposals, the SC consults with relevant resident committees and/or the Council, when appropriate, before sending a proposal to management. Management makes decisions regarding the adoption of any proposal, and if affirmative, is responsible for its implementation. 

The SC has a special relationship with the Sustainability Interest Group (SIG), which is open to all Piper Shores residents. The SIG educates residents about various sustainability issues and initiatives, facilitates resident involvement in sustainability initiatives on campus and sustainability activism off campus, and conveys residents’ sustainability concerns and suggestions to the SC for evaluation and the development of appropriate proposals.