Tenant Engagement: Eco-Concierge Program at Xavier

Engaging tenants to positively impact the environment

At each of our assets, we develop a unique set of opportunities for our tenants to engage with the building’s community and the broader neighborhood, while positively impacting the environment and their lives. An exemplary representation of this commitment is the “Eco-Concierge” program at Xavier, a Green Cities Fund II, 240-unit multi-family building located in the Cabrini Green neighborhood of Chicago, IL.

From 2016-2017, Gerding Edlen partnered with the local utility company and three additional organizations—Seventhwave, Cool Choices and Evergreen Economics—to launch a pilot “Eco-Concierge” program at Xavier. Like a hotel concierge, the Eco-Concierge was a resource for tenants, where they could come to get additional information or answers to questions about sustainable best practices. The program included:

  • An information desk located in the lobby, where the Eco-Concierge held regular office hours
  • Monthly information sessions on topics such as utility incentive programs, waste management and Nest Learning Thermostats
  • Gamification opportunities, such as a “Cool Choices” online sustainability game

Xavier’s Eco-Concierge held dedicated office hours at a sustainability information desk located in the lobby, and throughout the year, they engaged, educated and inspired our residents to reduce their personal energy use and live a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.

Cool Choices was one of the most popular engagement activities. This web-based, game-based platform provided Xavier’s residents the opportunity to earn points by logging sustainable actions. This not only educated the tenants in a fun, modern way, but it also led to real results. Nearly one-third of the property's tenants participated, totaling 1,251 actions. The sustainability actions derived from the game were equivalent to:

  • powering a single-family home for an entire year;
  • a reduction in carbon emissions equivalent to 18 car trips from L.A. to NYC;
  • and an average utility bill savings of $70 per player

Due to the success of the program, we launched a 2018 Cool Choices program at six Gerding Edlen Green Cities Fund II and III properties—Troy Boston, Jones Chicago, The Eddy, Neponset Landing, 420 E. Ohio and Xavier. As a result, nearly 4,500 sustainable actions were taken, which equated to $6,320 in total annualized savings1. Additionally, the program offset 60,210 lbs. of CO2; saved 8,027 gal. of water; conserved 975 gal. of gas; and saved 16,102 kWh of electricity. Residents also shared more than 100 ideas for making their buildings even more sustainable, such as putting a recycling bin in the mail room for junk mail.

Through programs like the Eco-Conceirge and Cool Choices, we are able to engage with our tenants in more meaningful ways and reinforce the many opportunities available to them to live more sustainable lifestyles.


1 Cool Choices provided estimated savings from actions players took in the Gerding Edlen Cool Choices game; The estimated savings are annualized— these savings would occur if participants maintained the same habits throughout one year.