The American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) has formed a collaboration with Automated Outdoor Solutions (AOS) and the Langton Group which benefits people, the planet, and profits. AOS sells, installs, and maintains robotic mowing systems and Langton Group is a premier landscaping company providing enhancing landscaping designs.
The collaborative group has created five robotic AGZA Certified Green Zones in three locations in Illinois: in Woodstock for companies including Sweetwater, Woodstock Sterile Solutions, and Dura Bar; in Geneva for Marklund; and in Marengo for Thompson Linear. An AGZA Certified Green Zone is a defined area of land on which routine landscape maintenance is performed with the use of quiet, low impact equipment using battery, electric, robotic, and people-powered tools. Green Zones are created through a structured, multi-step program designed to achieve a transition away from fossil fuel-based landscape maintenance. It has become the independently verified standard for low impact and sustainable grounds maintenance operations with education and certification at the core of the program.
AOS President Joe Langton, and dozens of his employees at AOS and the Langton Group, were among the first to become AGZA Service Pro® Certified. The Certification Course – a 15 lesson online course available in Spanish and English – was developed to help achieve professional competence in the new technologies.“The feedback was positive with employees appreciating the quality of the course and its comprehensive coverage” said Langton.
Training in the use of battery electric equipment, and proper set-up and installation of robotics and power hubs in the Green Zones, are also critical. Following professional certification of the work crews, the AGZA, AOS, and the Langton Group began work that resulted in the first successful robotic mower AGZA Certified Green Zone in the nation. “Previously, AGZA had attempted to create robotic mower Green Zones without success. Having Joe Langton’s technological expertise and experience were key to the success of the project,” said AGZA Founder Dan Mabe.
Mabe and Langton first met in early 2019 and both quickly understood that their companies had much in common. They realized that by working together they could develop a business model for land care that would improve working conditions for grounds maintenance workers, enhance quality of life for communities, improve the environment, and increase profits for businesses.
Dura Bar, a manufacturer of continuous cast iron bar stock, was the first ISO9001:2015 certified company to receive the Green Zone designation for its 20 serviceable acres of green space maintained with robotic mowers. According to Dura Bar representative, Melissa Bollig, “The AGZA Green Zone Certification is aligned with Dura Bar’s sustainability goals and relationship with our community.
Thompson Linear, a leader in mechanical motion technology, implemented its Green Zone with Husqvarna Automowers® and battery-powered handheld equipment that quieted land care operations on their property as well as in the surrounding community.
Understanding the environmental and economic benefits resulting from Green Zones are an essential component of the program. Non-profit organization, Quiet Communities Inc (QCi) and AGZA team up to provide Environmental Landscape Footprint (ELF®) reports that quantify the beneficial reductions in carbon emissions, toxic pollutants, noise fuel spillage, and toxic waste, along with economic return on investment and cost-effectiveness. “These metrics help organizations and individuals understand and communicate the tremendous difference a transition makes in improving the health of workers, the public, and the environment, as well as the substantial savings that can accrue over time,” says Jamie Banks, President of QCi. Organizations and companies can publish their ELF metrics on their websites and in their sustainability reports to communicate the progress they are making. ELF metrics for the AOS/Langton Group are listed below:
AGZA, AOS, and the Langton Group have lined up dozens of multi-acre projects with municipalities, private companies, and academic institutions who are increasingly coming to appreciate the value that independently verified low impact land care operations can bring to their sustainability projects. For more information, see Turf’s article on AGZA or visit the AGZA site here.