Illinois Contractor’s 6-Point Sustainability Plan

Tom Lupfer, owner of Illinois-based Lupfer Landscaping, is participating in a SITES pilot project in Chicago’s western suburbs. Located in Western Springs, IL, the project is a retrofit of an existing Homeowners Association (HOA). Throughout the project, Lupfer says his company will:

  • Use or re-use as much existing on-site material that it can
  • Recycle everything it cannot
  • Source local suppliers to reduce travel time
  • Avoid using heavy machinery
  • Partner with a local job-training organization to help spread mulch (avoid using a big blower truck)
  • Give priority to landscape suppliers that use recycled materials

The fact that Lupfer Landscaping currently maintains the site allows crews to often “double up” on trips. This one efficiency alone may allow crews to fill up with gas every 10 days instead of seven.

Lupfer says he’s been practicing sustainable initiatives for several years—simply to keep project costs down. But SITES now adds a strong economic component that can save contractors and their customers money. “During tough times, people understand economics, and will be even more receptive to sustainable initiatives that will ultimately keep everyone’s costs in line,” he adds. “From my perspective, practicing sustainability is as much a thought process as it is a specific design strategy.”