Gangbusters For Green

When the organization formerly known as Plants At Work began the renaming process, it cast a wide net, sending out a Zoomeran survey to industry members and working with its board of directors to narrow down the choices. Speaking to the green building movement was a top priority, and the new formal name, Green Plants For Green Buildings, was the clear winner. The name was fully in place by the OFA Short Course in July 2007, says MJ Gilhooley of Gilhooley Consulting, which provides PR and other services for the organization.

“At this point, everyone knows about ‘green’ being an important trend affecting everything from Windex to the cars we select,” Gilhooley says. “Therefore, the idea of a green building makes sense almost immediately to both professionals and the public.

”The Green Plants For Green Buildings (GPGB) Web site, www.gpgb.org, is working to communicate this message and explain the benefits of plants in hospitality, retail, general office and health care settings, as well as in the home. So far, Gilhooley says, the most “clicked through” area on the site is the “in the home” menu option. “The core of our message is still the benefits of having plants inside the built environment — every built environment — including in the home," she says.

Hard At Work

In addition to promoting its name change and mission statement through several four-page spreads in industry trade publications, electronic newsletters and through trade show materials, GPGB is also working hard to educate professionals outside the green industry about the benefits of interior plants. GPGB was recently showcased in the “Green Zone” at the International Facility Management Association’s World Workplace where, Gilhooley says, GPGB was “a huge hit. We were attracting our core audience,” she says. “There were many professionals who own or manage millions of square feet around the world and, after spending some time at our booth, they certainly understood the environmental benefits that plants bring to the indoor built environment.”

The organization plans to provide a full new line of educational materials to enable sponsor companies to both better understand the benefits of GPGB, as well as to communicate those benefits professionally to their current and potential customers, Gilhooley adds.“

This will include items like a corporate sales package to use duringvarious stages of the client relationship cycle,” she says.

In addition, GPGB will offer sponsor companies continuing education training, which will enable all sponsors to become official providers of continuing education units (CEUs) to the professional architects, building owners and green building professionals in their regions.“

We feel this alone can recap enough critical change to transform the dynamic from a buyers market to a sellers market,” Gilhooley says. “The fact that to date, already we have 99 trained presenters who have taught the benefits of plants in the built environment directly to nearly 350 end users indicates the beginning of an aspect of the program that has the potential to revolutionize the way end users see interior plants.”

Along with its new name, in July 2007 GPGB also received non-profit declaration of independence from any other organizations, Gilhooley says. “It’s important that the message remains true to GPGB and does not get diluted with other special interests,” she says. “This does not mean that we could not partner with a group at some time, but it does mean that, as a program, it remains autonomous both in message and financially.” The non-profit status also helps the organization be more creative in its programming, as well as in avenues of fundraising, Gilhooley adds. “We can offer a complete tax deduction for contributions; we can apply for corporate responsibility funds and other grants, and funding that is usually only available to non-profits.”

Upping The Ante

In September 2007, the new GPGB board of directors met in person for the first time for a strategic planning session. While the board came up with many ideas, Gilhooley says, the group will be careful to “sculpt a master plan on which the program can be sustained for many years to come. This does not happen overnight,” she says.

However, the organization is concurrently and aggressively researching methods to produce and present interior plants that are even more environmentally friendly and “ultra green.” This includes looking into the VeriFlora sustainability certification program (see www.greenhousegrower.com/sustainability or www.veriflora.com), Gilhooley says.

“We are similarly looking at many other ways plants can become particularly green for buildings such as measuring the carbon dioxide levels of absorption; and looking into the positive lifecycle issues of plants, the recycled container options for the future, the compost elements and the water conservation issues that can be amplified through simple, professional best green practices.”

These areas of research and their eventual results will allow for even more targeted public relations messages from GPGB, both to the industry and the public at large, she adds.

“We will be able to communicate that interior plants are particularly healthy and more beneficial to the environment than we had thought. That indeed we are reducing the carbon footprint as we provide a product that calms, enhances productivity, absorbs common toxins, reduces noise, inspires creative problem solving, helps with the recruiting process, improves mood, helps balance humidity levels to match that of human comfort and reduces what many deem to be a serious health problem today — stress,” Gilhooley says. “Not even mentioning the pure aesthetic value that makes plants a complete package and what would seem like an obvious investment.”

In addition, GPGB will promote the bottom line return on investment for interior plants, as well as communicating its goal that every built environment invest in one plant per 100 square feet, Gilhooley says. “When this is achieved, the plants to human benefits are maximized.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

More From Uncategorized...

March 4, 2015

Nexus Corporation’s Cheryl Longtin Encourages Women To Seek Volunteer Leadership Opportunities

When Cheryl Longtin came to the horticulture business in 1994, she applied her experience in the automotive industry to promote the adoption of more technology in greenhouse production. Longtin says horticulture, with its rich family tradition, has long promoted women in the industry compared to other industries, but women in horticulture must continue to seek out opportunities to provide volunteer leadership in organizations that shape the future of the business.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Second Annual GreenhouseConnect Will Bring Growers and Suppliers Together in San Diego This October

Following a successful inaugural event in Tampa last fall, Greenhouse Grower has announced the dates of its second annual GreenhouseConnect: October 26-29, 2015. Representatives of an expected two dozen leading greenhouse operations from across the U.S. will join senior-level suppliers at Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego for several days of one-on-one strategic meetings, a growers-only roundtable, informational sessions and a variety of networking events.

Read More
cultivate'15 logo

March 4, 2015

Cultivate’15: AmericanHort Announces What’s New

In an industry that has seen major changes occurring at a fast pace, many industry professionals leave Cultivate with their heads spinning and no clear idea of how to regroup and strategize. Cultivate’15 is “Changing the Game.” As this year’s focus, Changing the Game will call your attention to the ways in which our industry has changed and your opportunities to compete successfully.

Read More
Latest Stories

February 11, 2015

Benchmarks: Find Your Game-Changer

Refuse to accept the status quo in your organization. Explore possibilities until you find what works best for your company.

Read More
Lychnis 'Petitie Jenny'

February 2, 2015

Variety Showcase: A Dainty Debutante

Lychnis flos-cuculi ‘Petite Jenny’ is a dwarf form of the popular Blooms of Bressingham® variety Lychnis ‘Jenny.’ This double-flowered little beauty was discovered by Paul Gooderham at Bressingham in a patch of its parent, ‘Jenny.’ ‘Petite Jenny’ produces masses of large, fluffy, double flowers like ‘Jenny,’ but with a more diminutive habit. The species goes by the common name “ragged robin,” but there’s nothing unkempt about ‘Petite Jenny’. An easy-to-grow, tidy little plant, it is suitable for any sunny or lightly shaded border and is also a good container candidate. Garden Performance Mass of bright pink double blooms beginning in mid-May. Sterile blooms provide a longer flowering period Erect, leafy flowering stems Forms compact, bushy clumps just 14” tall with an 18” spread Attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and is deer-resistant Ideal for containers, front of borders, informal cottage gardens and as cut flowers’ Sun or part shade USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to […]

Read More

January 20, 2015

Register Now For Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Trad…

The first-ever conference, sponsored by Meister Media Worldwide and the Biopesticide Industry Alliance, March 3-5, offers hands-on, real-world technical advice on biocontrols to help you craft a “softer” pest management program focused on resistance management, MRLs and results.

Read More

October 6, 2014

Fighting Fall Foliar Disease: The Best Defense Is A Goo…

Managing foliar diseases starts with evaluating the greenhouse environment. Virginia Brubaker, GGS Pro Technical support supervisor for Griffin Greenhouse Supplies, shares some ways you can defend against fall foliar diseases.

Read More

July 11, 2014

Highlights From The 2013 USDA Floriculture Crops Summar…

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its 2013 Floriculture Crops Summary in June. Here are some of the main findings.

Read More

June 16, 2014

Pine Wood Chips As An Alternative To Perlite In Greenho…

This is the third article of the four article series highlighting the production and use of pine wood chips as aggregates in greenhouse substrates. We found growers do not need to adjust their production practices when 20% pine wood chips are utilized as a perlite replacement.

Read More

June 4, 2014

Hortilux To Service Philips Indal Supplemental Lighting…

Hortilux Schréder (Hortilux) will be undertaking the warranty and service work for existing Philips Indal supplemental lighting systems for greenhouse horticulture. To deliver this service, Hortilux is taking over the entire stock of parts and production tools from Philips Indal Horticulture, so Hortilux is able to provide the full range of service and maintenance on these supplemental lighting systems, even after they are no longer covered by warranty. In North America, this will fall under the domain of PL Light Systems Canada Inc., a division of Dool Industries and a sister-company of Hortilux. In North America, PL Light Systems will contact the existing Philips Indal horticultural clients and work with them to quantify their service and maintenance needs. PL Light Systems offers a wide range of service and maintenance services, including on site supplemental lighting measurements, lamp and reflector measurements, trouble-shooting and repair maintenance and automated reflector cleaning services. These […]

Read More

May 29, 2014

Country Raisin’s Joins HGTV HOME Plant Collection…

The HGTV HOME Plant Collection announced Country Raisin's as a new annuals grower for 2014.

Read More

April 24, 2014

ePlantSource Announces Five New Partnerships

ePlantSource has announced the addition of five new suppliers to the list of partner companies who provide their products on ePlantSource.com. The additional partners will offer customers new products as well as expanded options for programs and locations.

Read More

April 16, 2014

Update: House Approves Bill To Raise ACA Full-Time Defi…

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on April 3 that would raise the definition of full-time employment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to 40 hours per week.

Read More

March 27, 2014

Amidst Drought, Solar Desalination Allows California Wa…

California's Panoche Water District has implemented a solar desalination facility in response to the need for cost-effective solutions that would ensure the availability of sustainable water in the vital agricultural region. The facility, located in Firebaugh, Calif., utilizes renewable desalination technology from WaterFX.

Read More

March 14, 2014

Adaptive Plastics Announces Laurie Stribling Will Move …

Adaptive Plastics, Inc. has announced the promotion of Laurie Stribling to a newly created outside sales position. In her new position, Stribling will drive sales of Solexx greenhouse covering to commercial greenhouse and nursery growers.

Read More

March 14, 2014

BASF Empress Intrinsic Brand Fungicide Approved For Use…

BASF Empress Intrinsic brand fungicide has received supplemental labeling from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use on herbaceous and woody plants in greenhouse, nursery container and field production in New York.

Read More
Nicotiana 'Starlight Avatar' from Bioglow is the world's first light-producing plant.

January 31, 2014

Auction For ‘Starlight Avatar’ Went Live To…

BioGlow's auction went live on January 31 for nicotiana 'Starlight Avatar,' the world's first light producing plant.

Read More

January 29, 2014

U.S. Farm Bill Passed In The House After Years Of Indus…

The Farm Bill passed in the House of Representatives on January 29, and could be voted on as early as January 30 in the Senate.

Read More

January 2, 2014

MSU To Host 2014 Independent Plant Breeders Conference,…

If you want an opportunity to learn from and network with other plant breeders, new product development and market gurus and intellectual property experts, consider attending the 2014 Independent Plant Breeders Conference, October 30 to November 2, 2014. Held at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, Mich., educational sessions will fill the first two days, focused on helping independent breeders be successful, from technical aspects of breeding through product development and marketing. The final day will include tours of Western Michigan nurseries, garden centers and horticultural landmarks. Sessions will cover topics including: Basic and advanced plant breeding techniques Managing a breeding program Bringing selections to market Intellectual property management Market trends A formal agenda, list of sessions and registration details will be released in the spring. Meanwhile, if you have questions, contact Michigan State University’s Ryan Warner. Find information on hotel accommodations here. Independent Plant Breeders & Students of […]

Read More

November 19, 2013

Greenhouse Grower’s 2014 State Of The Indu…

Greenhouse Grower's State Of The Industry Survey is now open and we need your input. From crop and sales trends to the issues that keep you up at night, your responses to the survey are the basis for our annual State Of The Industry Report in the January issue.

Read More

November 19, 2013

Suntory Reveals Its 2014 Consumer Advertising Plans

To help growers and retailers prepare for the coming spring season, Suntory Flowers announces its multimedia consumer advertising plans for 2014. Leading lifestyle publications where advertising will appear include: • Better Homes & Gardens – April issue (Sun Parasol) • Southern Living – March issue (Sun Parasol) • Sunset – March issue (Sun Parasol) – Plus an extensive digital campaign March through May beginning with Senetti, then transitioning to Sun Parasol. Publications that already engage the avid gardener, where advertising will appear include: • Country Gardens – Early Spring (Senetti) and Spring (Sun Parasol) back covers • Fine Gardening – January/February (Senetti), March/April (Senetti), May/June (Sun Parasol) issues and the Container Gardening issue (Sun Parasol). A multi-faceted digital campaign will run March through May, starting with Senetti and then transitioning to Sun Parasol, while also featuring key annuals in The Suntory Collection. • Inspirations  – the official publication published by […]

Read More