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City Business The Green Team

Few companies can rival the Green Team’s enthusiasm for curbing pollution. The very name suggests a group of cheerleaders and the company (located at 5402 W. State St.) is gung-ho carbon-neutral, working against the grain in a field of work that is heavily dependent on  lawnmowers, pesticides, manure and other approaches that pollute the environment.

Bradley Blaeser

Bradley Blaeser. Photo by Sean Lyons.

You might call Bradley Blaeser the head greenie, the company’s CEO and president. After college, Blaeser worked with urban gardening and landscaping projects, which spurred his decision to start the Green Team in 2006. The company is an all-purpose yard-care business that uses its environmentally-friendly methods to encourage green solutions to its clients. That includes vehicles that run on biodiesel fuels, tools (such as lawnmowers) with electric motors, and organic fertilizers to cut back on pollution and lower energy costs — giving Mother Nature more room to breathe while saving money. The Green Team will also install and manage rain barrels, compost, and native gardens.

As the company goes into its eighth year of business, it now has around 20 employees (the number fluctuates with the additional seasonal work that summers provide), and enjoys steady business in Southeast Wisconsin.

From modest beginnings, Blaeser grew the business — working out of his home during the Green Team’s first year of existence.

“I told my wife that I would only be there for one year,” says Blaeser. “True to my word, I found a place — a crappy place — but a place to get out of my house.”

While the business had made a step in the right direction, Blaeser knew he needed to continue growing. He realized its future might depend upon partnering with businesses in similar circumstances. He then teamed up with Earthcare Natural Lawn and Landscapes, and Greener Roofs and Gardens, two local businesses that shared his businesses’ financial situation. One year later, Forester Tree Service also joined the partnership.

Green Team, 5402 W. State St.

Green Team, 5402 W. State St. Photo by Sean Lyons.

“Five years ago, we found a place together,” says Blaeser. “It had a shop but it didn’t have an office. So the following year, we were motivated to get a different place that combined having legitimate offices with a shop and a yard, and that’s when we officially formed the Sustainable Landscape Consortium.”

The businesses, all offering varied services in the outdoors maintenance industry, work together on many projects that surface, assisting each other with shared knowledge of the field, and by sharing employees for the varied needs of the certain jobs.

“I think we all in theory thought that would be good,” he says. “And we made it happen by renting a space and starting to work on projects and eventually, we all took advantage of sharing employees. If another business has an ebb and flow that we’re able to accommodate, we can swap employees and then everyone wins.”

With a few more years under its belt, the Green Team’s business model has proven to be successful. As it has grown, the business can now service residential, municipal and commercial projects.

“We’ve kind of been hitting our stride. We have a real diverse client portfolio. We do 30-40 percent design and installation, and the other 60 percent is maintenance — which is anything from mowing to bed maintenance, and specialized property care of any kind.”

A prime example of the company’s dedication to green initiatives is its servicing of all of the Village of Shorewood’s turf, natural lawn care and some of the its streetscape maintenance.

“They’ve had enough success, specifically with the natural lawn care portion. We’re building up the organic matter, and they’ve turned all of the turf in the Village of Shorewood chemical-free.”

All in all, the Green Team’s clean, green mantra reaps benefits for all.

“The non-sexy black-and-white mission is to reduce our company’s chemical and energy footprint — and then in turn, handing that over to our client.”

Blaeser is confident the company’s services can not only grant their customers guilt-free, pollution-free sustainability practices, but benefit them financially. “If we can save money on our overhead,” says Blaeser, “we’re going to have that ability to pass that onto our clients.”

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