There are two green movements touching lumberyards today. The first, selling green products, makes sense in only a few parts of the country. But the second movement affects every dealer, no matter where you call home. It's how you run your business.

This unprecedented, single-theme issue of ProSales shows how you can operate your business in a way that's kinder to Mother Nature and saves money over the long run. You can be cheap and be green simultaneously.

From light bulbs to toilets to trucks, we uncovered dealers that have found that running green can boost the bottom line. Here are their stories, along with insights into the products and ideas that can improve the ways you do business.


Dealers across the country are finding that going green helps their pocketbooks as well. For example:

Fluorescent lights By switching to new T8 fixtures, Canby Builders Supply cut its lighting bill by $300 a month, took out one-third of the light fixtures, and still got brighter light in its facility.

Light sensors Palmer-Donavin's warehouse features motion sensors that turn on the lights only when needed.

Recycling McCoy's Building Supplies has become a reclamation center for old batteries.

Natural lighting BigHorn Building Materials' clerestory windows take advantage of Colorado's sun, and open automatically when the showroom gets too hot. Result: lower energy bills.

Paper Hancock Lumber Co.'s recycling initiative means it spends less on tipping fees for its regular trash.

Trucks BMC West is testing hybrid vehicles.

Fuel Carter Lee Lumber is switching its fleet to biodiesel.

Back office Parr Lumber is using recycled materials for the cubicles and floors in a renovated branch.

Document management Ply Mart's savings in gasoline alone covered the cost of linking its branches and installing scanners.

Sawdust Anderson Lumber sells its sawdust to a local college.

Motor oil Tindell's saves the oil it changes out of its trucks throughout the year and uses it in a heater for its millwork shop.

Fleet management Beacon Roofing is finding ways to reduce the amount of time its trucks are idling–and wasting fuel.

Geothermal Beisser Lumber's system saves it $54,000 a year in heating and cooling costs.

HVAC ABC Supply's expanded headquarters will feature a green roof as well as a system that makes ice at night for use by its air conditioning system the next day.

Solar Hayward Lumber's solar-powered truss facility now looks likely to pay off even faster than expected.

  • Vehicles
    Fuel Gauge / Escalating oil prices and environmental concerns lead to changes in fleet management. (Slide Show)
  • HVAC
    Straight From the Hearth / Dealers in the central United States reap savings from clever heating and air conditioning systems. (Slide Show)
  • Lighting
    Tripping the Light Fantastic / New bulb technology and more interest in letting the sunshine in keep staff illuminated for less. (Slide Show)
  • Water
    Flow Control / New toilets help you avoid flushing money down the drain, and other ways to save water.
  • Computers
    Very Un-PC / Ways to save include losing the screen-saver and turning off your machines every night.
  • Back Office
    Promoting Paper Cuts / Separating your paper from other trash can cut the cost of hauling waste.
  • Generating Power
    Power Steering / LBMs discover myriad alternatives for powering their facilities.
  • Byproducts
    No Wood to Waste / Dealers, component plants find profitable alternatives to the landfill for wood byproducts.
  • Sourcing
    Getting Into the Pipeline / Distributors of all sizes are interested in green products but are leery of testing the waters.
  • Education
    Prepare for Exams / The surge in awareness about green means builders will rely on you for information on products.
  • Commentary
    Going green is easier than you think. Capitalize on your expertise about what makes a tight, energy-efficient home, and benefits should follow.