Best Business Practices for Sustainable Landscaping

As the eco-consciousness movement gains momentum, adopting greener principles can be a powerful catalyst for business growth. Today’s enterprises are uniquely positioned to demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship by implementing these sustainable landscaping practices. 

Water Conservation

Around 22% of water usage by office buildings is for landscaping. This rate will likely be higher in drier regions across the country. However, water is such a scarce resource that using so much to keep commercial lawns lush while 2.7 billion people face shortage yearly is simply impractical.

Businesses can contribute to global conservation efforts through efficient irrigation techniques and harvesting systems to capture rainwater on-site. Another option is to group plants based on their hydration needs, minimizing waste. 

Native Plants Cultivation

Stripping land of the trees and flowers that are already there to plant exotic vegetation can lead to substantial biodiversity loss. Plus, foreign shrubbery can be expensive to maintain, thereby impacting businesses’ bottom lines. 

Native plant landscaping is much more sustainable and cost-effective. For one, local plants are already a part of the region’s established ecosystem, so they require less maintenance. They’re also more likely to attract and sustain endemic species, which is great for the environment. 

Strategic Tree Placements 

Using trees to provide shade can be an effective way to reduce energy consumption. This involves planting them on the building’s southern and western sides to block the sun’s rays. They lose their leaves during winter, making it easier for solar heat to provide indoor warmth. 

In some cases, trees can also enhance outdoor appeal. For example, eastern redbuds grow to around 20-30 feet and can brighten any landscape with their stunning pink and white flowers. They’re also drought-tolerant and can thrive with little maintenance once fully grown. 

Permeable Paving

Using porous materials instead of asphalt or concrete for landscape paving can provide several environmental benefits. Permeable pavement allows rainwater and snowmelt to slowly infiltrate the ground. This reduces uncontrolled runoff volume, which is a major source of flooding and pollution. Porous paving can absorb rainwater to replenish subsoils in arid environments. 

Organic Fertilizers and Pest Control   

Harsh chemical pesticides and fertilizers have no place in sustainable landscaping. They’re harmful to the environment and human health. Sprayed herbicides can contaminate water, soil and other vegetation in the area, disrupting the ecosystem’s balance. 

There’s some reputational risk for businesses, too. Amid rapidly expanding ESG frameworks, no company can afford to be in the media for using these harmful products to maintain its landscaping. 

Soil Quality Preservation

Protecting soil from degradation is a prominent green landscaping practice. It involves treating the soil as a living ecosystem that needs replenishment and sustenance. Good conservation practices can minimize soil fertility loss from erosion and chemical pollution, improving its ability to support plant life and retain water. 

Proper preservation also requires using specialized equipment to minimize the potential impact of heavy machinery on ground compactness. Multi-terrain machines are ideal for sites with soft grounds and turf-protected areas because they distribute weight over a wide surface area compared to wheeled equipment. 

Sustainable Lighting

Installing solar-powered landscape lighting can reduce reliance on energy from fossil fuels, which are the main drivers of climate change. The more systems that can be transitioned to renewable energy sources, the better for the planet. 

This approach also offers significant financial benefits. Outdoor lighting requires around 1.3 quadrillion BTUs, costing $10 billion yearly. Energy-efficient LEDs can slash these costs by half. They also have a longer life span, reducing replacement expenses. 

Permaculture Methods

Permaculture is the practice of cultivating mutually beneficial species to support efficient growth processes. For example, landscapers often place low-light plants under taller, leafy varieties to enhance photosynthesis. 

It’s also a natural way to prevent environmental degradation and pest infestations. Some professionals plant catnip around landscape perimeters to keep cockroaches away. 

Why Businesses Need Sustainable Landscaping 

Investing in eco-friendly landscaping can be highly beneficial from a business perspective in the following ways: 

  • Environmental benefits: Designing an outdoor area to minimize ecological impact can be an excellent way for organizations to offset their operational carbon footprint.
  • Social responsibility: Companies that prioritize sustainability best practices contribute positively to society and improve community engagement.
  • Improved talent attraction: Businesses that invest in green landscaping make a statement about their priorities and may be able to better attract talented job-seekers who share their values. 
  • Increased property value: A well-maintained, eco-friendly landscape can drive up a building’s market value, making it more appealing to potential buyers or tenants. 
  • Enhanced aesthetics: Plants grown on sustainable landscapes can thrive with minimal maintenance, providing natural beauty and color year-round. Also, using permaculture creates interesting focal points and textures along the building’s facade. 

Adopt Green Landscaping Best Practices 

Embracing sustainability principles is an ecologically responsible choice and a strategic decision that can set businesses apart. Implementing water conservation, native plant cultivation, organic pest management and other best practices enables companies to create thriving landscapes that help the planet.

About the Author

Jack Shaw is the senior writer for Modded, a men’s lifestyle publication. An avid outdoorsman and lover of nature, he’ll often find himself taking retreats out to explore his environment and encourages others to do the same. His writings have been featured on sites such as Duluth Pack, Tiny Buddha and more.

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