CAI encourages all homeowner associations to actively participate in ensuring environmental quality in communities. In this interest, CAI abides by three fundamental principles:
Collaboration with neighbors is the best way to develop sustainable, consensus-driven decisions.
Respecting property rights and honoring private agreements between homeowners associations and homeowners compatible with sustainable environmental practices.
Vigilant consideration of our actions will minimize our environmental footprint.
Environmental considerations exist in all facets of community living, from choices individual homeowners make with their own unit appliances to larger community-wide initiatives for drainage, electricity or building with environmentally friendly building materials. Associations are also interested in and affected by larger environmental issues beyond their own gates---at the municipal, state and federal level. Locally, associations occupy acres of land and constitute hundreds of voting citizens in any municipality. The environmental history of the association’s own property as well as neighboring properties have a direct impact on association living. Further, there are numerous federal and state statutes and regulations directing quality of air, water and soil. The Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA"), and in some jurisdictions, local and state agencies, often work with municipalities to ensure compliance and achieve remediation, where necessary. To avoid being subjected to undesirable or extremely costly governmental decisions concerning the environment, associations must be aware, educated and an active participant in environmental quality management.
CAI recommends that associations craft policy resolutions to guide owners in energy efficiency and to inspire confidence among owners that the association is also utilizing sustainable technologies and "going green" with its own community projects. Associations are encouraged to be aware of environmental initiatives and to continually educate its own members with updates. CAI encourages owners to become actively involved within the municipality where environmental initiatives are likely to impact the association’s best environmental and financial interests. Finally, CAI encourages associations to tap the abundance of resources within CAI (state and national). CAI's website includes links and articles, fact sheets and legislative updates on a wide variety of environmental concerns.