Grounds maintenance and landscape creation specialists, idverde, have been awarded a ten-year Grounds Maintenance, Sports and Bereavement Services contract with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea that will achieve carbon neutrality in year one.
By placing sustainability and the environment at its core, the parks management and landscape maintenance contract will see the latest electric technology deployed. Electric vans, mowers and hedge cutters will be in use across all parks, cemeteries and open spaces.
During the new contract, which is estimated to 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 local community and idverde will work closely with local groups, initially targeting the Portobello Squares.
The ten-year contract (with up to five-year extension), starts in April 2021 and is driven by idverde’s sustainability methodology and investment in electrification and zero-emission assets for the Royal Borough, including:
- 12 Electric Vehicles
- All Electric Small Plant
- 5 E-Cargo bikes for Supervisors and Park Keepers to use
- Full Carbon Offsetting from Year One
- Sustainable Planting Guide
- 5-year plastic reduction plan in place
- Real-time Management Information System using PDAs to reduce paperwork and waste
Other environmental initiatives include rainwater harvesting for irrigating the nursery and filling bowsers and an enhanced green waste composting facility.
Saul Huxley, idverde’s Organic Development Director, said:
“Accomplishing outstanding results with parks and open spaces, while achieving strict environmental and social objectives are central to this innovative contract. 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.”
idverde will be introducing the following new sustainability working methods and service improvements:
- 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 commencing Year One
- Internal accredited horticultural training for all staff
- The creation of a Community Nursery for local groups to use, with community training sessions and workshops
- Two horticultural apprentices per annum, starting their training in the nursery
Saul 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 is an incredible opportunity to showcase idverde’s innovative approach to integrating technology with engaged staff to deliver world class grounds maintenance services. 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, Lead Member for Leisure at Kensington and Chelsea Council, said: “We are all very proud of our parks and open spaces in the borough. Not only are they beautiful places to spend time and take a break from the hustle of city life, but for many of us they are a welcome piece of green space.
“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.”