The P2O Team wishes to congratulate and thank Landscape East & West for their participation and recent certification as a Landscape Ecological Business. Since their inception in 1980, Landscape East & West (“LEWI”) has provided their customers with creative designs and quality workmanship in construction and maintenance. The company continues to grow with dedicated and committed employees and offers full service landscape design, construction, maintenance, organic services, and water management solutions. Locally owned and operated, they pride themselves on environmentally sound practices and a long term commitment to their customers.
Steve Stewart company owner says “When we started looking at the Eco-Logical Business Program in early 2008 it seemed like a natural fit with our company philosophy. About three years ago we made a commitment to move to more sustainable practices, so many of the requirements to being part of the Eco-biz program were things that we were currently doing or were moving towards”. The EcoBiz program found a number of efforts worthy of note on the LEWI site. When they moved into their new facility in SE Portland in 2006, LEWI built a state of the art wash pad with a water filtration and recycling system where they wash equipment and vehicles. In addition they built a bio-swale to manage stormwater runoff to help protect Johnson Creek which is adjacent to their site. In early 2008 they switched to total organic based lawn, plant and tree fertility solutions.
Even with all of the systems and processes in place, the certification was not without its challenges. The Company had its own above ground fuel storage tanks, a large yard waste composting area, and needed to improve spill protection signage and processes. “I think the value of the Eco-Biz audit is to have another set of eyes on your business,” said Stewart. “Sometimes you think you are doing all the right things, but someone from outside the company can point out areas for improvement. By far our biggest challenge was the management of our fuel tanks and delivery systems. We added a roof over our fuel pumps to mitigate any run-off from the tanks due to rain fall and we implemented a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan for the on site fuel tanks. Our processes now will help identify on a more proactive basis any potential spill hazards with our petroleum-based products. With the help of the P2O team we also have equipped our trucks and yards with portable spill kits.”
One of the other big challenges for LEWI was yard waste storage. Like many landscape companies, they brought a lot of yard clippings and leaves back to their yard each day from their maintenance routes. They were composting the material on site and then hauling it off to an approved facility for resale a couple of times per year. “This was a practice that we were very committed to due to the benefits of composting” said Stewart. “After our P2O audit and getting a better understanding of the regulations, we decided it was better to let a state approved facility handle the paperwork. We now ship our yard waste out to an approved facility weekly.” Their patience with the P2O process was exemplary.
With the certification process complete LEWI is on to the next phase of their sustainability efforts. Stewart said “We need to continuously improve our processes and practices because the sustainability effort is never complete. Each year we will identify areas for improvement and work towards the goal of minimizing our impact on the environment. Everyone here is committed to the process. It has become part of our culture.”
Landscape East & West is proud to be one of the newest members of the Eco-Logical Business program.