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Article updated: 1/22/2013 4:51 PM

Sebert Landscaping wins two national environmental awards

Sebert Landscaping's propane mowers and solar-powered trailer were among the reasons the company won two national environmental awards.

Sebert Landscaping's propane mowers and solar-powered trailer were among the reasons the company won two national environmental awards.

 

Sebert Landscaping

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By Christine Esposito

Sebert Landscaping, a commercial landscape contracting firm headquartered in Bartlett, has won two national awards recognizing the company for environmental leadership. The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) has recognized Sebert with a Sustainable Company Award, and Lawn & Landscape magazine has honored Sebert with an Environmental Business Award in the category of Most Innovative Use of Technology.

"These both are such respected organizations in the landscape industry that we are particularly honored to be recognized by them," said Jeff Sebert, president of Sebert Landscaping. "It's encouraging to see green business practices merit attention. Even though ours has traditionally been called the 'green industry,' there's much progress to be made yet."

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Sustainable Company Award

PLANET created the Sustainable Company Award to honor businesses that strive to protect and conserve resources, reduce waste, and prevent pollution, and that promote an ethic of environmental sustainability and improvement in their workplaces. The association seeks to recognize environmental vision and leadership in business and to highlight green business practices as a model for other businesses.

PLANET recognized Sebert for the company's sustainability-minded business practices, landscape management, facility and fleet. A small sampling of them includes:

• Recycling plastic pots and wooden pallets

• "Water smart" irrigation systems

• Composting and re-use of landscape waste

• Reducing the need for chemicals in the landscape through integrated pest management for trees and shrubs -- using predator insects and environmentally based tools to prevent infestations

• Offering low-voltage landscape lighting

• Providing low-mow alternatives to turf

• Conversion to propane mowers (pictured above) and battery-powered equipment

• An eco-friendly corporate headquarters featuring a green roof, solar panels and more that is on track to be certified Gold by the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Most Innovative Use of Technology

Lawn and & Landscape magazine's Environmental Business Award honors outstanding landscape companies that demonstrate a commitment to conducting business in ways that conserve, protect and enhance the urban environment. It recognizes Sebert's innovative use of technology on project sites as a way to green its operations, save money and provide greater client value.

Sebert, whose motto is "Lean Strategies for Greener Environments," began testing propane mowers three years ago and plans to completely convert to propane for all of its 70 crews in the next few years. Already a third of its mowers run on propane.

The company has also been testing and converting to battery-powered handheld trimmers and blowers, to replace gasoline-powered equipment.

Solar-Powered Trailer

This led to the question of how the company could efficiently charge its battery-powered equipment in the field. The answer was a solar-powered trailer. When, after an exhaustive search, Sebert couldn't find a solar trailer that would meet its needs, it decided to build its own. Solar film (pictured right) covers the roof of the trailer and collects solar energy. A converter box inside the trailer transforms the energy into usable electricity and sends it to a bank of battery chargers that replenish the tools.

Now the company is studying the trailer's performance and assessing its design and components, with a goal of building more solar trailers for its crews.

Sebert Landscaping (www.sebert.com) is an award-winning full-service commercial landscape contractor that has managed corporate properties throughout the Chicago area for more than 25 years. Sebert uses lean management strategies to beautify clients' properties while making them greener and potentially reducing their property-management costs. Based in Bartlett, IL, in a newly completed eco-friendly headquarters that is Gold-certified by the US Green Building Council, Sebert has branch offices in Elk Grove Village, Romeoville and Marengo. Great Impressions, Sebert's design arm, is based in Naperville. Sebert also owns and operates Grace Nursery, a 125-acre tree and shrub nursery in Marengo.

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