August 15, 2009
Green industry members are invited to evaluate their company’s environmental practices by taking a 10 minute, online survey.

The Environmental Scorecard was created by LO’s Environmental Stewardship committee to help horticultural businesses become better environmental stewards. Since its introduction, on Earth Day in April of this year, 97 companies have logged on to fill out the scorecard/survey. However, only 40 per cent of respondents who began the survey fully completed it. If any of the subcategories don’t apply, there is a “not applicable” check box. Participants are encouraged to continue on and complete the survey. Most respondents are landscape and maintenance contractors, with lawn care operators, retailers and designers close behind.

The scorecard measures a firm’s impact on air quality, waste management, water stewardship, greening its offices and use of horticultural best practices within its own areas of practice (landscape design, maintenance, garden centre, snow and ice management, irrigation, etc.). Nursery growers are covered under the Environmental Farm Plan program, so best practices for the nursery sector have not been included in the scorecard.

The survey is quick and easy to use and takes approximately 10 minutes to fill out. It is intended to provide companies with an opportunity to review and improve their environmental practices, and hopefully stimulate conversation and innovation. The survey is a working document, and will be regularly improved and updated. Comments are welcomed to, and will be used to improve future scorecards.

Nathan Helder, chair of LO’s Environmental Stewardship committee, notes, “We all need to become better environmental stewards. The scorecard can be used as a gap analysis to determine what is missing from your environmental practices.”
The online survey can be accessed at under the Resources tab. All industry members are welcome to take part. Survey responses are kept confidential, and will lead to training opportunities geared towards industry needs.

Win a prize  

By completing the scorecard, companies are automatically entered into the new Green for Life Awards. This new award promotes, recognizes and rewards environmentally responsible retailers in the horticulture and floriculture industries.

Participants, who complete their online scorecards by Oct. 1, will receive a graded report and be eligible to win one of three $500 cash prizes courtesy of Turf Revolution. Prizes will be awarded at Garden and Floral Expo, Oct. 20-21, held at the Toronto Congress Centre.

Caption: Taking part in the survey requires a simple click of the mouse