The Business Case for Sustainability

Sedum Green Roof at J.W. Winco, WI | © Sean Foltz

J.W. Winco’s sedum green roof now saves their business money and reduces stormwater runoff | © Sean Foltz

We can all play an important role in improving our local rivers, and redesigning your property is just one step in this process.

This is why American Rivers has been busy over the last several years connecting businesses, schools and churches to funding programs that help supplement the cost of retrofitting their properties with green infrastructure.

These retrofits help infiltrate the amount of stormwater that runs into our waterways and eventually Lake Michigan; there by improving water quality and helping to abate flooding. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, the Joyce Foundation and the Fund for Lake Michigan have all played a role in supplementing many of the completed projects here in Wisconsin.

J.W. Winco is one of many businesses stepping up to make a difference in their local watershed. They are major supplier of standard industrial machine components in New Berlin, Wisconsin, and recently completed installation of a green roof system on its manufacturing facility.

MMSD funding covered 29% of the cost of the project. This 15,800 square foot green roof is now one of the largest in the state, and is capturing over 18,000 gallons of stormwater during a 1-inch event. The sedum used on the roof was grown locally by Hanging Gardens.

The green roof will now greatly reduce heating and cooling costs, lower energy usage, improve air quality, increase urban green space, extend the roof life and reduce J.W. Winco’s stormwater fee paid to the city. J.W. Winco is also working with American Rivers on retrofitting their 2 acre parking lot with a combination of bioswales and porous pavement in the coming year.

If you are interested in learning more about this project, available funding programs or green infrastructure in general please contact me at or 414-727-2292.

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