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IFMA Guide for Sustainable Landscaping

New "How-To" Guide

A Business Case that Benefits People and Organizations

The International Facility Management Association’s IFMA Foundation has published another of its Sustainability How-to Guides, this one on Sustainable Landscaping.

Because of the strong interest in facility management education as it relates to sustainability and the implementation of energy saving techniques, IFMA is producing a series of white papers to better equip facility managers.

The aspect that I find to be so encouraging is that readers learn to develop a business case and ROI analysis for sustainability.  To me, this is the most compelling reason to pursue sustainable solutions – it makes such good business sense.

In the case of sustainable landscapes, the energy savings comes not so much through using less gasoline in lawnmowers, but through human energy.  The labor costs associated with an ongoing grounds maintenance program are quite significant.  Rather than planting something that is genetically pre-disposed to grow to a size of say 20′ in a location that requires only a 4′ plant, selecting the right plant material in the first place save lots of money.  Why continue to beat on that plant with shears for 20 years in order to keep it in bounds?

In addition to the financial benefits of using the right plant in the right place, smart planting design can and should yield other benefits to the organization as well.  Campus beauty, and and human well-being are results of wise landscape planning.

Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article titled “Should the Campus Green also be a Healing Space?” The article cites many studies that have shown that exposure to natural environments reduces tension, lowers blood pressure, and improves one’s ability to focus on tasks.  Colleges have a great resource in their campus greens.  (The same thing is true for corporate campuses, healthcare campuses, etc.).  Why not use them to their full potential?

Our LandEconics™ approach focuses on ways to have “beauty without breaking the bank”!  Aesthetics, healing environments, etc. and sustainability / cost effectiveness are not mutually exclusive – you can, and should have both.

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