Beyond a green interior - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Beyond a green interior

In PLANET’s November PLANET News Interior e-publicationI talk about how our industry can take advantage of the sustainability, green movement. Yes, PLANET and the Green Plants for Green Buildings organization are lobbying the U.S. Green Building Council for LEED recognition, and our members already tout the health benefits of “green” interiors, but we have other opportunities at hand.

Probably at no time in our recent memory has the word sustainability had more meaning. Green is golden now in environmental vernacular, but it’s also at the top of every business owner’s bottom line. All of us are working hard to sustain our companies, to survive the economic downturn and, yes, survive the recovery.

Sustaining our clients, services, profitability, and the health and well-being of our employees has to be a top priority for all of us, and it goes beyond being green or encouraging our customers to be greener. Yet the two — the economic and environmental aspects of sustainability — are inter-related. In fact, I would argue they are tied at the hip. More sustainable environments will save our clients money (make them more profitable), provide a better workplace for their customers and employees, and enhance their image within the community.

The interesting point is, the term sustainability has gained popularity because of its environmental meaning, but the last two years have shined the light on its economic and business-oriented underpinnings. Again, as business owners, our No. 1 priority is to sustain our company and livelihood — and that’s something our clients also understand very well. When you talk sustainable environments to them, make sure to go beyond green and talk about the pragmatic, economic benefits of having interior plants. Yes, plants are aesthetically appealing and provide numerous health benefits, but they, too, can add dollars to the bottom line.