Green Acres x STIHL Partnership Announcement

Green Acres partners with STIHL on a Carbon Emissions Reduction Programme

Green Acres franchisee Paul Butler with the Battery Powered Garden Equipment

Green Acres franchisee Paul Butler with the STIHL Battery Powered Garden Equipment

13 September 2023 

Green Acres partners with STIHL on a Carbon Emissions Reduction Programme

Green Acres has partnered with STIHL to launch an ambitious nationwide emissions reduction programme by transitioning from petrol to battery-powered tools. The partnership, between the largest and most awarded home services franchise business in New Zealand and the global leader in outdoor power equipment, will see 181 Green Acres Lawn & Garden franchisees transition to the Cordless Range of battery-powered lawn and garden care equipment from STIHL over the next three years.

The programme is expected to reduce carbon emissions by over 80 metric tonnes across the group per year. That’s the equivalent of taking at least 25 Ford Rangers off the road every year for the next three years.[1]

The partnership followed a comprehensive six-month trial by Green Acres franchisees across the country comparing power, performance, weight, handling, noise and convenience of several brands in different conditions. This trial aimed to assess the overall business performance of battery-powered equipment in a commercial environment to ensure that they would improve the safety and efficiency of franchisees’ businesses while reducing carbon emissions.

As well as reducing emissions, franchisees will save up to $18,343 over the life of the battery (5 years) compared to petrol equipment, with a pay-back period of 16-18 months.

The partnership highlights Green Acres’ commitment to sustainability and its determination to meet the increasing demand from customers who prioritise sustainability practices and reducing carbon emissions. In a recent survey, over 35% of Green Acres’ customers who responded emphasised that they continually monitor and adapt their approach to transport, energy consumption, food, packaging and recycling When it comes to recent changes in their households, over 57% of respondents actively monitor energy consumption, while 35% of respondents have replaced home appliances with ones that have a higher energy star rating of 4 or better.

Nationwide support and a green technology pipeline

The partnership gives Green Acres franchisees access to STIHL’s nationwide service and support network, world-leading technology and R&D pipeline. STIHL’s Cordless Range of battery-powered equipment provide eco-friendly and efficient alternatives to traditional fossil fuel-powered tools, delivering equivalent power and greater convenience with significantly lower carbon emissions. These tools also contribute to noise reduction for franchisees, customers, and their neighbours.

STIHL, renowned for quality, innovative, and sustainable outdoor power equipment, offers a wide range of products designed to tackle versatile and demanding gardening tasks. With a focus on both ecology and high technology, STIHL products are known for their enduring repairability, backed by a long-term spare parts guarantee. Supported by STIHL’s nationwide network of 86 STIHL SHOP's, franchisees can rely on their commitment to making products long-lasting. Green Acres franchisees can also minimise the environmental impact of used Lithium-ion batteries thanks to STIHL’s safe and easy national battery recycling programme, available free of charge to all STIHL’s customers.

Additionally, STIHL’s tools help promote a safer, healthier working environment for franchisees, as they are lighter, reducing weight by up to over 40% for mowers[2] and 30% for line trimmers. This gives operators easier and better control of their equipment, minimising fatigue, back issues, and bodily stresses. Furthermore, battery-powered tools eliminate the need to transport combustible fuels, ensuring a significant reduction in hazards.

A simplified approach for ANZ Business Green Loan

To make this nationwide programme attractive to franchisees, Green Acres put together a comprehensive package that covers equipment, a green technology pathway, service and support, and financing. In the long run, the transition ends up being cost-effective for franchisees because they won’t have to pay for petrol or maintenance and servicing as much.

Green Acres has also worked with ANZ to provide franchisees access to the ANZ Business Green Loan to assist with making the transition. The loan allows eligible customers to borrow at a special floating rate which can be used for investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable land and water use, and the building, renovating, or purchasing of green buildings and clean transport[3].

“Green Acres is dedicated to making franchisees successful, enabling them to run their businesses efficiently and achieve financial independence,” said Jason Hill, Green Acres General Manager. “Our partnership with STIHL demonstrates our commitment to ongoing innovation and sustainability, positioning our franchisees as industry leaders while making group environmental impact and supporting local communities.

Not waiting for regulatory changes

“Through this programme, we also hope to change the mindset that switching to a greener business model requires lots of work,” says Hill. “It is easier than you might think, and businesses can take action to drive sustainability at their own pace instead of waiting for regulatory changes. Businesses that do their homework have the power to make significant and lasting changes that contribute to a healthy environment and a sustainable future.”

A model of professionalism

“STIHL Cordless Range has got to a place now where it becomes a very advanced and reliable option for anyone in the lawn mowing industry. The battery-powered range features innovative, high-quality power tools that not only deliver exceptional performance but also contribute to a greener future, while maintenance costs are lower than petrol equipment,” said Brad Cathcart, STIHL Key Accounts Manager.

“Green Acres is recognised as a leader in lawn and garden care, setting the standard in professionalism and excellence. We believe this partnership will encourage more people to make the switch, so it aligns with our commitment to sustainability and allows us to make a meaningful difference by reducing carbon emissions. Together with Green Acres, we are empowering professionals and homeowners to embrace eco-friendly alternatives while providing convenience and efficiency.”

[1] Carbon output of a 2.0L single turbo diesel (manual) Ford Ranger = 212 g/km. If the vehicle travels 15,000 km per year or 3.18 metric tonnes of CO2.

[2] Leading brand of internal combustion lawnmower weight: 44kg, STIHL RMA448 Lawn Mower weight 25.8 kg (including 1.8kg battery).

[3] For more information on the ANZ Business Green Loan and eligibility criteria go to the ANZ website.