(Click here for the full story in the Herald Sun) The Institute for Sustainable Development has recognized two Research Triangle region businesses as Certified Green Plus: Bland Landscaping of Apex and Zemo Trevathan & Associates of Chapel Hill. Bland Landscaping is recognized as a national leader in its field in environmentally friendly practices and strong employee and community engagement. Zemo Trevathan & Associates specializes in sustainability consulting, business value analytics and leadership coaching.
One of the exciting things about Green Plus is that the learning process is really a two way street,” said Chris Carmody, Director of the Sustainable Business Initiative. “In Green Plus, not only do businesses learn from our university partners, they also teach other businesses and the universities themselves about real world small business sustainability issues,” Carmody concluded.
The overall business plan for Green Plus was commissioned by UNC Chapel Hill Vice Chancellor Tony Waldrop in 2007. The Center for Sustainable Enterprise at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business developed the plan, and a partnership of UNC, Duke, and chambers of commerce built and tested the program with small businesses in North Carolina and Ohio in 2008. The formal program was launched in February, 2009.
“It has been a wonderful learning and networking process, becoming part of the Green Plus Program. I’ve been inspired to extend and add to my own practices around social and environmental responsibility – simple things like inviting contractors and service providers to voluntarily commit to the same sustainable practices that the company is committed to,” said Zemo Trevathan. “I have been very impressed with the track record the Institute for Sustainable Development has with providing concrete help to companies in fulfilling triple bottom line objectives,” Trevathan concluded.
Since 2005, Bland Landscaping has implemented a variety of environmental and social initiatives to reduce costs to the company, improve the lives of its employees, clients, vendors and reduce waste to the environment. A few of these measures include
- Use of diesel trucks and all off-road diesel equipment fueled with locally produced B20 Bio-diesel.
- Recycling of all scrap metal, office paper, blueprints, magazines, cardboard and bottles, waste oil, contaminated fuels and green waste.
- Use of hybridized 4-mix engines instead of traditional 2 cycle engines when purchasing handheld power tools. These engines generate less noise and fewer hydrocarbons, as well as reducing fuel consumption.
- Installation of a 16,000 gallon cistern at its Wake Forest facility to capture rainwater from the 4,000 square foot roof, saving valuable potable water for other uses.
- Where applicable, the installation of Evapotranspiration systems that significantly reduce the amount of water used on a site, and a series of other extensive measures to conserve and recapture water.
- Replacing its entire fleet of backpack blowers with new Stihl BR550 blowers that are 40% more efficient in their use of fuel.
- Use of Integrated Pest management to control insects and diseases – a scientific approach of using less harmful chemicals.
- Installation of GPS devices on all it vehicles to cut down on wasted idling time and help create more efficient routes.
Bland Landscaping is also strong on the People side of the triple bottom line, with mandatory paid community service days for its entire management team each month; cultivation of elementary school gardens, compost bins and courtyard improvements; middle school and high school expos and mentoring; high school horticulture program involvement; Habitat for Humanity landscaping projects; middle school tree donations; cancer awareness and survivor programs and high school business alliances.