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Citycare Property has been one of the first open space maintenance service providers in New Zealand to purchase and deploy a commercial grade electric mower.

Dubbed the Mean Green Machine, the mower provides eight hours of continuous mowing, and is currently being used at Christchurch International Airport Limited (CIAL).

It has all of the grunt of a traditional diesel mower while being low maintenance. And because it’s zero emission, harmful emissions equivalent to the output of over 200 cars are cut each year.

Powered by long-lasting lithium batteries that deliver 8,000 hours of peak performance, the Mean Green Machine has a photovoltaic roof that helps charge the mower as it works during the day. After a long day of mowing the lawns around Christchurch Airport, the mower goes back to the yard, is plugged in, charges overnight and is ready for operation the following morning.

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The switch to electric is part of Citycare Property's wider strategy to use innovative technology and solutions to champion sustainable business practices, and aligning with clients on projects that are meaningful and demonstrate shared values.

Citycare Property's Grounds Manager Richard Boxall sees the benefits of the mower and the opportunity to work in partnership with clients to promote sustainability.

“Obvious benefits of having an electric mower are the fact that there are no fumes, no noise.

“CIAL is focused on being environmentally-friendly across a range of initiatives, so Citycare saw that an environmentally-friendly electric mower was in line with their vison of where they would like to be,” says Richard.

CIAL recognises the impact it can have on sustainability and embraces the opportunity to be a leader in this area.

CIAL's Sustainability Manager Brodie Akacich confirmed the airport had two key objectives: “reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and to reduce our operational emissions.

“No one company or individual can embrace all of the challenges alone that face the world when it comes to climate change, so collaborating with our partners is just one way we can share the stories and achieve our objectives together,” says Brodie.

“Christchurch airport is committed to championing our place in the world and as part of that we see that we have the responsibility and privilege of having a kaitiaki role to play for sustainability here in the South Island.”

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Citycare has worked closely with CIAL on this sustainable initiative and both companies recognise the power of collaborative engagement when it comes to improving sustainability.

“We’re very proud and excited to be working with Citycare on this initiative,” says Brodie, “and we welcome the electric mower here to CIAL and look forward to collaborating further with Citycare on other sustainability projects.”

Although the Mean Green mower is an impressive piece of sustainable tech, it is only a part of Citycare’s wider concerted effort to embrace sustainability in a considered and responsible approach.

Other initiatives include replacing a complete range of handheld greenspace tools with electric versions that again reduce harmful emissions, while maintaining the performance of traditional fossil-fuel-powered tools.

The company has also purchased 11 electric push-mowers to maintain grass berms across the country.

When it comes to transport, Citycare is also driving change by introducing three new electric vehicles into its airport fleet – two Kangoo Maxi medium sized vans and a larger transit-sized van.

Kangoo van

“Environmental responsibility and commercial responsibility go hand in hand,” says Citycare Group's Executive General Manager of Strategy, Marketing & Business Development, Nige Cottingham.

“In the long run, environmental sustainability policies do lead to a more sustainable business model overall, and increasingly our customers are rightly demanding that we deliver.”