GSP Garden Club - Green thumbs of gsp
Written by: Felyicia Jerald
Spotlighting Sustainable Gardening at the Global Services Parts Warehouse in Bibb County, Alabama
Kelsey Kopec, a Dangerous Goods Transportation Engineer at the NACW/GSP, doesn’t have a background in gardening and just a few months ago she could tell you very little about the hobby. Today, she’s leading a Garden Club made up of Team Members who work at the North America Central Warehouse (NACW)/Global Service Parts (GSP) in Bibb County, Alabama.
The garden sits in an unusual spot – positioned less than 20 feet from the main entrance to the
GSP building. GSP is an extension of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. GSP Team Members are responsible for procuring all service parts produced in North America for Mercedes-Benz Cars around the world. At that site, they process 40-50 inbound trucks daily in their 1.4 million square-foot building, filling around 2200 customer orders each day.
You may ask how this garden fits into the scope of operations for the GSP team in Alabama? It fits because it speaks to how we put sustainability into action. “Responsible Sustainability” is one of the six MO Strategy Pillars.
“MBUSI puts significant focus on making sure our plant operations protect the environment that surrounds us and we know our Team Members are just as passionate about their local community,” said Sarahanne Davidson, Lead Environmental Engineer for MBUSI.
The garden at the GSP building in Bibb County is just one of many examples of how MBUSI focuses on improving the environmental soundness of its products and business activities. Whether the topic is water consumption, hazardous waste, electricity costs, natural gas consumption, or recycling rates — a dozen environmentally-relevant parameters are measured monthly and compared with the facility’s aggressive targets.
“Our garden has been thriving. Last fall, we successfully grew all different kinds of seasonal lettuces and herbs,” said Kelsey. “The team is looking forward to the upcoming seasons to further explore the opportunities for growing and expanding our garden. We have already began experimenting by planting a variety of seeds in hopes to transfer these to our garden this spring.” The garden planters are only the beginning. There are future plans to expand the scope to educating members about the fruit trees along the site’s walking path.
Kelsey leads the Garden Club in biweekly meetings during lunch breaks to work in the planters and harvest the “crop”, as well as sharing recipes to use what they’re growing and “fun fact” sheets about the vegetables and herbs they grow.
“Some individuals within the group are very knowledgeable about gardening, so I personally have enjoyed learning from them,” she said. “It also excites me when I am able to share their knowledge with others.” “With the challenging times that we have been presented with over the past year, (gardening) is something that I took a lot of interest in,” said Kelsey. “Living in an apartment does have its limitations, especially during quarantine, but the opportunities for growing plants is endless. Now that I have moved into a house, I was able to take not only what I learned from the team at work, but also from my own personal experiences and apply it in my own backyard. Gardening has also been something that is very therapeutic for me. Growing your own food or any kind of plant is certainly not as difficult as it sounds.”