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CAI Launches Interactive Environmental Initiative

4/21/2008  -  Alexandria, VA
Community Associations Institute (CAI) has launched an interactive, Internet-based initiative to help communities turn global thinking into local action in response to the dual challenges of energy conservation and environmental protection.

Launched to coincide with Earth Day (April 22), the campaign is designed to spur greater environmental awareness and positive action by community association leaders and the millions of people who live in homeowners associations, condominiums and other planned communities.

The centerpiece of the initiative is Community Green, a website that gives association leaders and residents a forum to share ideas on how to reduce waste, conserve energy and protect the environment.

"Close to 60 million Americans now live in homeowner and condominium associations, so we have the opportunity to make a real difference—and that's what we need to do," says CAI Chief Executive Officer Tom Skiba, CAE.

The initiative is based on the following principles:


  • Collaboration with our neighbors is the key component to develop sustainable, consensus-driven decisions.
  • Respecting property rights and honoring private agreements are compatible with sustainable environmental practices.
  • Vigilant consideration of our actions can minimize our environmental footprint.

"Like Americans in general, many community associations are already taking steps to reduce their environmental footprint," Skiba says. "But even more can be done. Progressive, forward-thinking associations have the opportunity to show leadership and set examples that other communities can follow. The website will facilitate the exchange of new ideas and different approaches to common environmental challenges."

For community associations, the website illustrates that thoughtful, consensus-driven decisions can bring about meaningful and sustainable results. For individual homeowners, the initiative promotes increased awareness and the importance of personal action to address local, national and global environmental challenges.

Long-time community association manager and CAI President T. Peter Kristian, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, encourages management professionals to demonstrate environmental leadership.

"Managers are in the perfect position to help their association clients develop ideas and build consensus on practical steps that can be taken to save energy and protect our environment. Smart, proactive community managers will embrace this leadership role."

CAI's Community Green initiative includes a partnership with Audubon International to spur greater environmental awareness, education and positive action by community associations. "The Audubon initiative is an excellent opportunity for the growing housing market represented by common-interest communities," Skiba says. "Together, we can reach tens of thousands of communities and millions of homeowners."

Said Audubon International Executive Director Kevin A. Fletcher, Ph.D: "Association-governed communities are an important building block for community life in cities and towns across the country, and working with the people in these associations provides us with a new and powerful audience to make change happen."

The CAI website will have information appropriate for individual homeowners and community association leaders. The site will be updated regularly with new ideas and success stories. Go to

CAI is a national membership organization dedicated to fostering vibrant, competent, harmonious common-interest communities. Founded in 1973, CAI and its 58 chapters provide education, tools and resources to the volunteers who govern communities and the professionals who support them. CAI's 28,000-plus members include community association volunteer leaders (homeowners), professional association managers and management firms and other professionals who provide products and services to community associations.

Phone: 703-970-9235