Last December, AUT’s grounds maintenance went electric. The Estates team brought in two new grounds maintenance contractors who are committed to using all electric gear where possible.
One contractor, Recreational Services, who are carrying out grounds maintenance at North Campus and the mowing at South Campus, has purchased two electric vans for transporting tools, mowers and equipment. A John Deere electric ATV and all mowers (including the ‘Mean Green’ ride on mower), trimmers, blowers and chainsaws will be electric. They will also be using a ‘Foamstream’ chemical-free weed control system to combat weeds in hard surface areas, moss and mould.
Our other contractor, Natural Habitats, will be doing the grounds maintenance at City Campus and the gardens at South Campus. They have equipped their van with solar panels and an inverter to charge their electric mowers, trimmers, blowers, saws and other equipment.
Grounds Maintenance Supervisor Niven Winder says this is a great step towards reducing the University’s carbon footprint. “We are always looking for ways in which we can be more sustainable and saw this as a great opportunity to do our part in reducing emissions,” says Niven, “an added benefit is the considerable reduction in noise from the electric equipment, which we hope will make the grounds maintenance far less intrusive on other university activities.”
This is part of a wider focus for the University in making sure we are partnering with companies, organisations and service providers who are incorporating sustainability in their practices. Alsco, who provides all of AUT’s paper towels, recently launched the country’s first inter-city electric truck as well as two electric vans to use for their deliveries.
Find out more about AUT’s sustainability objectives, priority actions and targets by downloading our Sustainability Roadmap.