Facilities management firm Mitie has launched a comprehensive new net zero City Landscaping Service intended to help its environmentally conscious customers reduce their emissions impact in cities and other pollution hotspots.
The service brings together low-carbon technologies with innovative techniques to cover the whole spectrum of facilities management activities, Mitie said.
The service will ensure zero landfill waste and zero single-use plastic at participating sites, while Mitie will use only electric vehicles and other battery-powered equipment, such as leaf blowers and lawn mowers, to serve the sites.
The service will use a Mercedes e-Vito electric van custom-fitted with solar panels, Mitie explained, generating renewable energy to charge the battery-powered landscaping equipment.
Any general waste that is produced will be processed into heat and power, it added, while green waste will be sent to anaerobic digestion plants, where it will be turned into methane, liquid fertiliser, and compost to be used in a number of industries, including natural gas power and farming.
The new service will also replace all chemicals, such as pesticides and synthetic fertilisers, with environmentally friendly techniques such as hand weeding. Single-use plastic bags will be replaced with reusable polypropylene refuse collection satchels, while sustainable working practices such as flexible work schedules aim to contribute to reduced congestion in cities.
Ecological experts will advise on incorporating support for biodiversity into landscaping models, through approaches such as wildflower planting and creating ‘green walls'.
"Our new Plan Zero City Landscaping Service offers the most sustainable service possible, from the choice of vehicles and tools, all the way through to how waste is disposed," said Tim Howell, landscapes managing director at Mitie.
"We've looked at every element of the service in detail from banning black bin bags to bringing back traditional and more manual landscaping techniques. While there's still a way to go in the fight against climate change, we're proud to be leading the industry with this sustainability-first approach to help to create greener cities."
The Plan Zero City Landscaping Service is being trialled in London and will be rolled-out to other major cities across the UK later this year, the firm said.
It forms part of Mitie's ambitious Plan Zero commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2025, which was launched in February this year. The Plan commits Mitie to eliminating carbon emissions from power and transport, eradicating non-sustainable waste, and improving inefficient buildings to ensure they meet the highest environmental standards.
Last year, Mitie also joined the Climate Group's EV100, pledging to electrify its entire electric vehicle fleet. Its first goal was to switch 20 per cent of its cars and small vans to electric by the end of 2020. The addition of the Mercedes e-Vito vans to its fleet means Mitie is now around three-quarters of the way to meeting the goal, the firm said.
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