Friday, March 14, 2008

ABC Supply Company Brings Green Technology to the World

ABC Supply Co. Inc is the largest wholesale distributor of roofing, siding and window supplies in the United States and it is headquartered in a central area of Beloit, Wisconsin. ABC Supply opened its first three stores in 1982 and within twenty years it had reached billions of dollars in revenue and hundreds of operating stores. Today, ABC Supply is still thriving with almost 350 stores and a place on the Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies [“History”]. Prior to his death in late 2007, Ken Hendricks, former ABC Supply Co. CEO made it an initiative of the company to invest in green technology. It was once said about Ken Hendricks that, “[Ken] didn't build new buildings, he took old buildings and made them into something beautiful."[Terrien]. According to the State Line News, ABC has become a leader in “green roofing technology, solar roofing material and the wind-turbine industry.” [Weiss].

*from Green Grid Roofs

One of the most successful products that ABC Supply has developed is their GreenGrid roof system, which is displayed on the roof of the ABC Supply headquarters. The technology will also be used at Beloit College for the Center for the Sciences. Green roofs can help lower water run-off, work very efficiently and are easy to replace. The green roof retains a high amount of rainwater, which reduces the amount of water that goes through public or private storm sewers and can decrease erosion [“GreenGrid”]. A GreenGrid system can absorb 90% of each inch of rainfall [Luckey]. Green roofs are more complex and more expensive than a traditional roof, but the money is made up in energy savings and other environmental impacts.

*from Green Grid Roofs

In a March 2007 article, the State Line News wrote that, “According to the U.S. Green Building Council, it is estimated that if all the roofs in [Chicago] were green roods, the urban temperatures would be reduced be 12 degrees.” [Weiss]. The GreenGrid system on ABC’s headquarters is 80,000 square-feet and reduces temperatures in the building by 20 degrees [Scott]. In the last ten years, ABC’s GreenGrid roofing technology has been used all around the United States and in 2008 will be installed on the roof of one of the buildings built for the Beijing Olympics. Green roofs have also become a huge urban trend in Europe, where they have thrived since the 1970’s [Scott]. Hendricks also planned to invest in wind-turbine manufacturing stating, “We hope to be the largest tower manufacturer in the world. Right now we are totally sold out for five years.” [Weiss].


Works Cited

GreenGrid. Beloit, Wisconsin: Weston Solutions, 2006.

"History and Corporate Milestones." ABC Supply. 2008. ABC Supply. 16 Mar. 2008 <**>.

Luckey, Shannon. "The Rise of Green." Beloit College Magazine Summer 2007. 15 Mar. 2008 <**>.

Scott, Cheryl. "Environmental Efforts a Part of Business." Beloit Daily News. 9 Oct. 2007 <**>.

Terrien, Rick. "SustainableWork." 4 Jan. 2008. 21 Mar. 2008 <**>.

Weiss, Lori. "Going Green is as Easy as ABC." State Line News 21 Mar. 2007. 19 Mar. 2008 <**>.

No comments: