Sustainability and Best Practices, Taking Both to the Next Level

Sometimes, in any business, lessons come in layers. Such is the case with much of what we hear about sustainability these days. It occurred to us recently as we were reading over a May 2012 publication called, “Taking Green to the Next Level,” which takes a look at how several different landscaping firms have approached sustainability issues in diverse regions.

“Taking Green to the Next Level” is published by the Next Level Network, a green industry peer group facilitated by Bruce K. Wilson of the Wilson-Oyler Group. Wilson is a landscape industry veteran recognized for his expertise on environmental stewardship.

The brochure includes many topics and ideas of interest to those of us in the landscape industry, like the professional team at Stay Green, who care about our environment and managing our resources as efficiently as possible. Among the topics covered:

• Drought-tolerant landscaping by Heads Up, an Albuquerque, N.M., firm whose leaders are experts in the landscape palette of their region.

• Rainwater harvesting and storage by Lambert Landscape Co. of Dallas.

• A contribution from Stay Green’s own President-CEO Chris Angelo, who outlined our efforts to reduce vehicle emissions, recycle green waste, use organic fertilizers and more.

• A reminder from Ohio-based Enviroscapes that sustainable landscaping is not just for those of us in dry climates. Ohio is drought-free, but there are still steps to achieve sustainability, such as storm water control, pollution reduction and wildlife protection.

We participated — and read with interest — because sustainability is one of our favorite topics at Stay Green, and we’re always brainstorming for new ideas, and looking to our respected peers to discover trends as well as ideas that might work well here.

And that’s where “Taking Green to the Next Level” hit yet another level for us: In addition to being strong advocates of sustainable practices in landscaping, we also advocate best practices for businesses of all kinds, not just landscaping firms. The “Next Level” publication is an example of just that kind of activity. It’s more than just a compendium of ideas to improve sustainability for landscaping firms — it’s an example of industry leaders putting their heads together and striving to address common issues.

Whatever your business, it’s an approach that may work for you. Seeking out respected colleagues can be beneficial whatever the topic — whether it’s finding a more efficient way to manufacture a widget, or to motivate employees to reach for higher levels of success, or to improve sustainability of your own operation. We’ll gladly handle the landscaping part of it for you, of course — but operating a business in a sustainable way can include so much more than landscaping.

So, please — join us in striving to get to that next level, whether it’s in sustainable landscaping, sustainability elsewhere in your operations or just collaborating with your peers to develop best practices for your own industry.

After all, if two heads are better than one…

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