The Wisconsin Department of Tourism has welcomed Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant & Butik as a certified member of its Travel Green Wisconsin (TGW) program. With a longstanding conservation legacy, the program furthers Wisconsin’s commitment to sustainability. Al Johnson's joins more than 545 TGW-Certified businesses across Wisconsin.
Al Johnson's earned its certification by implementing green practices such as its insulating green sod roof, which was originally installed in 1973; the sod was later replaced and updated with enhanced roofing materials in 2013. The insulation qualities of sod have minimized Al Johnson's environmental impact for almost five decades.
“Wisconsin has a longstanding tradition of conservation and Travel Green Wisconsin is an opportunity for businesses to further distinguish themselves for their sustainable practices,” said State Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “We applaud Al Johnson's commitment to making sustainability a priority to their business, knowing the importance of doing our part now preserves our natural resources and treasures for future generations.”
Among many other green practices that the restaurant has institutionalized in its operations, Al Johnson's utilizes the retention pond on its property to water outside areas. Further, the restaurant's famous green sod roof was upgraded in recent years to retain more water, lowering sod watering usage by 50%. The building also uses Energy Star® qualified windows in most of its window openings. To receive Travel Green certification, Al Johnson's had to demonstrate that it employs dozens of individual green practices, from big to small, to prove its commitment to conservation and sustainability.
Even small practices can have a big impact. In a study done in 2013, TGW businesses that installed low flow fixtures such as toilets, showerheads, and faucets reduced their annual water use by nearly 37 million gallons. Stacked end-to-end, that’s enough water bottles to circle the Earth over one and a half times. The study also found that by switching to energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs, TGW businesses reduced their lighting-related electricity usage by 75 percent, saving an estimated $3 million each year.