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Welcome to the STIHL USA Blog

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How We Went Green (and Won!)

by Kurt Bland, LICT, LICM, president, Bland Landscaping Co. Inc.

It was an honor to be the recent recipient of the 2012 Smith Seal of North Carolina Sustainable Business Award from the Greater Raleigh Chamber’s Pinnacle Award and the 2012 Market Transformation Award from Raleigh’s Environmental awards. We were recognized for sustainable business practices incorporated into our daily operations, and for our efforts in making business decisions that lessen our company’s overall environmental impact.

My dad started the business back in 1976 and since then, our North Carolina-based company has become a team of 206 highly skilled and certified people, handling 384 total properties including commercial properties, estate gardening services, landscape renovation and construction plus irrigation and pest management services. At Bland Landscaping Co. Inc., our passion is providing service to meet the needs of our customers. My personal passion is working with customers and being adaptive and flexible to their needs.
STIHL BR 500 low-noise backpack blower

In 2005, we took deliberate efforts to focus on how to improve sustainability initiatives. One of the first steps we took was to begin using bio-diesel fuels for our equipment, and soon after that, we completely replaced all of our existing blowers with the STIHL BR 500 and BR 550 back pack blowers offering low-emission and less noise. We were early adopters of sustainable practices and now have one of the largest fleets in the area.
We replaced a total of 60 blowers, and have a current inventory of 137 STIHL backpack blowers, saving our company up to 23,400 gallons of gasoline, 461,000 pounds of CO2, and a total of up to $85,000 per year in fuel costs.  As was mentioned to Lawn and Landscape our company consistently saves money even as fuel prices rise and fall. In addition to the fuel savings, we also save on the cost of air filters for the BR 500 blower since it requires less filters a year compared to the monthly filter replacement of previous models.

To say that our relationship with STIHL is strong is an understatement. We have a mutually beneficial relationship with STIHL along with Clay’s Power Equipment in Raleigh, our local STIHL dealer. The reliability, dependability, fuel efficiency and overall value of owning the same model in house, makes our business run more efficiently. When you invest in the same reliable models of outdoor power equipment for every crew, training and maintenance are simplified and larger fuel tanks increase our productivity all day.

We are always looking for better techniques and technologies to help us reduce the environmental impact of our business at Bland Landscaping and STIHL helps us stay committed to that goal.