EPA Announces GreenScapes Alliance

On November 13, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a major effort to broaden and enhance waste reduction efforts nationwide. The agency launched its GreenScapes Alliance, which aims to combine government and industry into a powerful, unified influence over the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste materials in large land use applications. These land use activities include four million miles of roadside landscaping, Brownfields land revitalization and the beautification and maintenance of office complexes, golf courses and parks. More than 100,000 businesses are involved in these land use activities, and are potential participants in the Alliance.

The new Alliance is another unique component of the Agency's Resource Conservation Challenge, which is a major EPA initiative that identifies and uses innovative, flexible and protective ways to conserve natural resources and energy. The GreenScapes Alliance reinforces these goals by emphasizing a holistic multimedia view of environmental impacts and stewardship. In addition, the Alliance:

  • Provides information about the cost savings that can be achieved from reducing material use and waste, resource conservation and on the performance and durability of environmentally preferable products such as recycled-content and biobased products.
  • Educates land managers that environmentally beneficial landscaping efforts yield water and energy savings, conserves landfill space and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Publicizes case studies, success stories and technical assistance to help alleviate concerns regarding alternative practices and products.
  • Promotes market expansion and growth of recycled-content and biobased products.
  • Awards organizations that achieve environmental excellence in reduction, reuse, recycling and rebuying for waste prevention and pollution prevention.

GreenScapes participants fall into two categories. The first group is Partners, which are businesses and agencies that will achieve actual pollution prevention results. The second group is Allies, which are supportive industry associations that will advertise and promote GreenScapes philosophies to their membership and others. Prospective participants include about 73,000 landscape contractors, landscape care and maintenance companies and landscape installers; around 16,000 golf facilities; approximately 11,000 establishments in the highway and street construction industry that work on four million miles of roads; and 3,066 counties that do highway maintenance in 52 states, territories and the District of Columbia.

EPA announced the Alliance in Pittsburgh, Penn., at the national meeting of the U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC), where USGBC was recognized as a GreenScapes Charter Ally. The Council is a strong proponent of GreenScapes goals. It is a coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. USGBC is leading a national consensus for producing a new generation of buildings that deliver high performance inside and out. The Council's members work together to develop leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) products and resources; to host the Greenbuild Annual International Conference and Expo; and to develop policy guidance and educational and marketing tools that support the adoption of sustainable building. USGBC also works with key industry and research organizations and federal, state and local government agencies to transform the built environment. More information about USGBC is available at: www.usgbc.org.

To learn more about GreenScapes philosophies, or to become a participant in the GreenScapes Alliance, visit the Web site at: www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/green.

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