Landscaping specialist idverde has won a 10-year grounds maintenance, sports and bereavement services contract with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to achieve carbon neutrality in the first year.
The parks management and landscape maintenance contract will see the latest electric technology deployed, placing sustainability and the environment at its core, said idverde. Electric vans, mowers and hedge-cutters will be in use across all the London borough’s parks, cemeteries and open spaces.
During the contract, which should save at least 28 tonnes of carbon, idverde has committed to raising all borough parks and open spaces not already accredited to Green Flag standard. Green Flag criteria focus on the benefits provided to the community and idverde is working with local groups, initially targeting the Portobello Squares.
The contract, which includes a five-year extension option, starts in April and will be driven by idverde’s sustainability methodology and investment in electrification and zero-emission assets for the Royal Borough, including:
- Five E-Cargo bikes for use by supervisors and park keepers;
- Full carbon-offsetting from the first year;
- A sustainable planting guide;
- A five-year plastic reduction plan; and
- A real-time management information system using personal digital assistants to cut paperwork and waste.
Other environmental initiatives include rainwater harvesting for irrigating the nursery and filling bowsers and a green waste composting facility.
Saul Huxley, idverde’s organic development director, said: “Not only are we investing in electrification and zero-emission equipment and vehicles, but we are also investing in the idverde team on the ground through enhancing skills, standards and expertise.”
The company will also invoke sustainability working methods and service improvements including:
- A dedicated community and training manager to raise horticultural standards and increase community engagement activities and volunteering opportunities;
- Supported L2 horticultural training for all gardeners from the first year;
- Internal accredited horticultural training for all staff;
- The creation of a community nursery for local groups to use, with community training sessions and workshops; and
- Two horticultural apprenticeships a year, starting training in the nursery.
Huxley added: “As government bodies and businesses seek the best means to achieve sustainable outcomes, we firmly believe that this type of innovative carbon-neutral contract is a crucial asset in our ongoing efforts to reverse climate change and is a testament to the forward-thinking approach from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.”
Ben Binnell, idverde’s contract director for Kensington and Chelsea, said: “This contract will deliver improved biodiversity that enhances the local environment. There is also a strong element of community in our operational deployment plan and we look forward to engaging anew with residents to improve the green spaces.”
Councillor Emma Will, the council’s lead member for leisure, said: “As a council, we are committed to being carbon-neutral by 2030, and this includes our contractors, so it is great to see the plans idverde have to achieve this and help build the borough’s biodiversity.”
Image credit | idverde